Circa Circa launched its German edition of About Time, produced with the broadsheet Die Zeit, at Frankfurt book fair and at Essen Spiel, Europe’s biggest consumer games fair. This has been our first jointly produced game overseas, and follows on from our Guardian edition, which was launched last year and is set to make a return through the paper’s Reader Offers very soon.

Iain McGill from Circa Circa attended the Frankfurt launch, while the whole team attended the four day Essen games fair. Frankfurt is very well known in the UK as the biggest event in the book calender in Europe. Essen Spiel is not so well known, and it is a sight to behold: eight halls of board games and thousands of players coming to enjoy their favourite ‘Eurogame’ . Rather than just a massive market for games, this is a community event. There are an awful lot of independent game publishers with thousands of titles to keep the massive following for boardgames in Europe happy.

There is nothing like Essen Spiel in the UK, (although we do now have an Expo in Birmingham in June). Playing board games in Germany is a way of life, not just something you do at Christmas as a way of getting through the tensions of a family Christmas. There are so many games on display, and so many great designers present, it is humbling for us. Some game inventors have more than 60 games to their name, most of course you would never have heard of because they do not by and large make it to the UK market.

About Time is a quiz, trivia game whereas Eurogames are generally strategy or abstract games. It is not just German games though – it is a global event with Americans, Koreans, Russians, French, in fact most of the developed world, all of whom come with an small army of avid players enjoying tournaments. About Time was sharing hall space with the Finnish contingent, with their distinct red and green punk geek hairstyles. As you would expect, the games community are heavily into a fantasy gothic and heavy metal aesthetic. It’s something I remember from my fantasy role playing days back in the murky past. And it is alive and kicking.

We sold a stack of games and enjoyed conversations with a range of distributors, journalists and game inventors. I am still recovering but now we are in full Christmas fair season. Watch out for About Time at Spirit of Christmas from 4th november and a number of other craft and gift fairs over the coming weeks.

And here is our man in Germany Anton Kammerl being interviewed at the Essen Spiel