SPIEL’21 will take place from today until October 17, 2021. And not just digitally like last year, but actually in Messe Essen’s showrooms. Well, there are fewer attendees, many games did not arrive on time or only in small quantities, so it sold out early on Thursday, but it was nice to be able to spend Thursday at the fair. It was nice to finally be able to test the games myself again and buy one or the other game.

Yes, the halls were required to wear a mask permanently, but that was a small sacrifice for a nice day of board games, and I was actually pleasantly surprised that this requirement was not violated. The players just seem to like to follow the rules.

In addition to the obligation to wear masks, it was noticed in the halls that this edition of SPIEL is not a normal trade fair. Of course, hats off to the fact that Friedhelm Merz Verlag and the participants had the courage to venture into the SPIEL’21 adventure, because in the case of Corona, the ripcord could have been pulled just before the door opened. be. But now we know that the fair will take place. But as I said, you noticed in the halls that it is not a normal trade fair. Due to the cap for visitors, the halls at the fair were significantly empty on Thursday compared to a normal Thursday, and I can at least say that the capacity limit was not reached on Thursday. Except for a few rows at the entrance, there was never the usual push and every box office was always easily accessible. Even in KOSMOS & Co., the floor area has not been converted into a playground. In general, the possibilities for test rounds were implemented very differently. You often had to book a table or the playing time at the tables was limited. But there were also enough publishers that things went like a normal year. So sit and play.

The availability of various games also showed that this year was not a normal fair year. Many games were not yet available despite being announced as new, and luckily, you can take a look at the materials on these games to get a first impression.

In conclusion, it can be said that SPIEL’21 actually feels relatively normal in the halls. For me personally, the day at the fair was a little busier than usual, primarily due to the fact that I was only at the fair for one day this year, so of course I had to pack all the “must see” things. games for the day. But it all worked out pretty well, and the day was fun, although I certainly missed an insider tip. I hope next year’s SPIEL’22 will have better marks so season tickets go on sale again and I can enjoy all four days of the show.

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