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SPIEL '22. The biggest board games event has just started

SPIEL '22. The biggest board games event has just started

Hanna Kwaśniewska |

The trade fair Internationale Spieltage SPIEL in Essen is the largest board game fair in Europe and one of the largest in the world (according to some sources - the largest). It's quite a treat not only for board game freaks, but also for escape room enthusiast. Every fan of board games has been waiting longingly for this day.

This board game fair, also known as Internationale Spieltage SPIEL, takes place from October 06-09 in Essen, Germany. Exhibitors from all over the world descend on Messe Essen to show everyone interested not only in their current products on offer but also in prototypes of new games. Very often during the fair, there are launches of new titles or English- and German-language versions of existing games.


And what do board games have to do with puzzles?

Well, quite a lot. In some ways, the board game market is similar to the escape room industry - despite certain boundaries, it is constantly trying to push and cross them. As a result, we can enjoy many products that allow us to interact with puzzles in new forms. Examples of products are:

  • board games that contain puzzles or activate players to solve logical or mathematical problems;
  • jigsaw puzzles that, when put together, create a network of riddles to solve;
  • role-playing card games that imitate escape room play;
  • other escape-room-related products.

This year's premieres

One of the biggest events associated with the Essen fair is the many launches of new titles. Some even say that if a publisher doesn't do a premiere during SPIEL, it might as well not do one at all. There must be something in that because the turnout on the first day of the fair is always impressive.

What launches of puzzle and escape room-related board games and other products are taking place during this edition? We will list a few (not all!) of them:

  • Deckscape: In Wonderland;
  • Decktective: You Can't Cheat Death;
  • IQ Files: Escape Room – Amnesia / Liberation / Sins;
  • EXIT: Das Spiel – Das Verschwinden des Sherlock Holmes;
  • EXIT: Das Spiel + Puzzle – Das Gold der Piraten (puzzles with riddles, German version);
  • Curse of the Dark;
  • Unlock!: Game Adventures;
  • Das Buch der Riten (German version of The Book of Rituals by Board&Dice and Lockme);
  • Escape from the Aquarium (an escape room game for kids).

You can find the full list of premieres from the SPIEL '22 PREMIERES category on the BoardGameGeek website.


And we were there!

In 2018 we were given the opportunity to attend the Essen fair for the first time - at that time our game "Escape Tales: The Awakening" from the story-driven escape game category premiered. We have to admit that the atmosphere prevailing at the event is amazing - especially for really die-hard board game fans. What does it look like? Yes, there are exhibitor booths, games to buy and tables where you can play. But that's not all. A crowd of gamers runs between the booths with suitcases and cajon backpacks (which are forbidden this year because they can cause injuries due to their size), many take part in mini-contests organized by exhibitors, and fair attendees meet at tables just to talk with each other. The atmosphere is friendly and homely, which contributes to its uniqueness.

We wish all fans of board games and escape rooms to make a trip to Essen for Internationale Spieltage SPIEL at least once in their lives and feel the excitement for themselves!

Hanna Kwaśniewska

Hanna Kwaśniewska


Lock.me team member. Germanist and scholar of German literature - German language is also her superpower. Besides escape rooms and board games, she loves Dragon Ball, Star Wars and cynology. After work she likes learning foreign languages, writing texts and planning her next trip to escape room, probably with rap music in the background. Totally extrovert.

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