Snakes & Lattes visit Essen, 2012

Written by Adam M / Published November 16th, 2012 / 0 Comments

October 18, 2012 marked the first time that Snakes & Lattes went to the Games Fair (or Spiel-Messe) in Essen, Germany. The experience was, in a word, surreal. The sheer number of people and games present at a convention spanning nine massive halls (I hope I didn't miss any) leaves me awestruck this many weeks later. Even though we were there from 10-6 for each of the four days, I left wanting more.

I wanted to be able to regale you all with a tantalizing narrative that captured the highs and the lows of every last step we took on those fateful four days. But I can't. Honestly, it's all a blur, and I can scarcely remember what happened on which day. What I regret most is not getting a hold of a German SIM card so that I could furiously tweet my every thought. So, with that in mind, I feel it best to report our travels through a posthumous list of the tweets I wish I had made, in no particular order.

  • First stop: Pearl Games. I played a prototype of Ginkgopolis this past summer and I MUST HAVE IT!
  • Xavier Georges, designer of Ginkgopolis signed my copy! It says I get first pick of colour. Sad there's no purple.
  • They have huge booths selling used games here. Just picked up some rare titles for my personal collection. #mwahahaha
  • The friendly folks at Odynaut Games Company recognized us by my S&L t-shirt. They know about us in Netherlands. Cool.
  • Brettspielwelt (online gaming portal) has wicked interactive demos. One of them is a kinect-like meeple swatting game.
  • Ben and I tried Artipia's Among the Stars. Cool spatial space station building game reminiscent of 7 Wonders.
  • Flatlined Games' Rumble in the Dungeon adds one tiny element to Rumble in the House which vastly improves the game.
  • Flatlined also has a really neat robot programming game by Antoine Bauza, Twin Tin Bots, on demo here. Thinking of contributing to their kickstarter.
  • Czech Games Edition has an oversized version of their new hit game, Tzolk'in, up on the wall. The gears on this game are radical! Can't wait to play this.
  • Vlaada Chvatil signed my copy of Bunny Bunny Moose Moose. #icandienow
  • Alain Epron (Vanuata) just gave us a signed copy of Maamut. This is one GORGEOUS looking game.
  • Our hosts are showing off their game, Interstellar Mayhem, in Hall 6. It's a fast-paced space battle game with wicked ships and asteroid bits.
  • Just met Antoine Bauza, designer of 7 Wonders. He signed his newest game, Tokaido, for us.
  • Richard Breese is here with his new game. Grabbing a copy for my personal collection. Another signature! :)
  • Just saw Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola) and Friedemann Friese (Power Grid) having a chat. Friedemann was wearing a Snakes & Lattes button! WHAT?!
  • Richard Garfield is signing promo cards for King of Tokyo. That line-up is... long. Really long. Oh well. :(
  • Queen Games has a HUGE area set up for their new game, Escape! Looks really fun.
  • Just played Escape. This game is AMAZING!! So. Tense.
  • Just chatted with Dirk Henn (Alhambra). He says he'll stop by the café the next time he's in Canada. :D
  • Hall 10 & 11 are attached. It's enormous!
  • Just met Jacques Zeimet (Geistesblitz, Kakerlakenpoker) and played his new games, Sonne und Mond. I like. Also, really nice guy.
  • Just sat down with the people at Spielbox. I love this magazine. I wish more Canadians knew about their English editions.
  • Tried to teach Santa Cruz to two German guys after having only read the rules once two weeks ago. It did not go well.
  • Got to play Geistesblitz and Geistesblitz 2.0 together with the advanced rules that join the two games. ABSOLUTELY CERTIFIABLE INSANE! #brainbroken
  • Zoch zum Spielen brought several TONS of bananas to promote their new game Banana Matcho. I'm also hungry. Excellent!
  • Bumped into Friedemann Friese again. Got him to sign Copycat and Unexpected Treasures, his two latest games.
  • BGG has a booth set up where you can "like" the games released at the fair. Very cool. Escape is currently #1.
  • Just bumped into Sébastien Pauchon (Jaipur). Why didn't I get a photo with him? #damn
  • Just played Hanabi with our hosts. This might be my new favourite co-op game.
  • Nabbed a copy of Lady Alice. I'm really pumped for this new deduction game set in the Mr. Jack universe. The art is gorgeous (same guy that did Mr. Jack Pocket).
  • Promo cards for 7 Wonders with Antoine Bauza's baby boy on them? That just might be the most adorable thing I've ever seen.
  • I can't begin to describe how busy it is today (Saturday). It's a veritable mosh pit in here.
  • Waiting to speak to Uwe Rosenberg!!
  • Uwe was super nice and super excited to hear about the café. He gave us a bunch of promo cards for Le Havre. Let me know if you want one.
  • Managed to snag the LAST copy of Suburbia, signed by the designer, Ted Alspach. This one has been getting a lot of positive buzz.
  • That's it? It's over? Why can't it be Thursday again? :(
  • In short, if you can get to Essen, do it. The experience of a liftime. Period.

You can have a browse of some of the photos from Ben and Adam's trip here, on our Facebook page. Now, let's look forward to Essen next year!

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