Spielwarenmesse: Toy innovations 2018: Games, Books, Learning & Experi­menting

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Messe-Neuheiten 2018: Spiele, Bücher, Lernen & Experimentieren, Multimedia


Toy innovations 2018: Games, Books, Learning & Experi­menting

from Harald Hemmerlein

Games and books constantly challenge children and adults alike. Anyone who takes an inquisitive and analytical approach to them wins. Many games also require players to be resistant to stress or able to think strategically. The innovations of the Games, Books, Learning and Experimenting, Multimedia product group are proving to be a veritable soft skills training programme for all players and readers. The Spielwarenmesse® showcases the new products for 2018 in Nuremberg.

Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH: Sau Mau Mau
Ravensburger Spieleverlag: Roller Coaster Hippo
Green Board Game Co. LTD: Shaperise
Hobby World: Bronze
HCM Kinzel GmbH: Polar Smash
Akibabus Ltd: Boxitale Knights of Nature
KOSMOS Verlag: Pepper Mint
Discovery Books GmbH: Pauli & Friends

Rapid playing pleasure

Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH from Germany (Hall 12.0 / A-12, D-13) is expanding its popular "Mau Mau" card game by two dimensions: on the programme are nimble pig races and players have to bet which pig will be the furthest ahead when the game stops. Whoever has scored the most points after four races has won the simple but varied and exciting betting and board game "Sau Mau Mau". On its 30th anniversary, the Ravensburger classic "Roller Coaster Hippo" is getting a modern makeover. Up to 12 players can expect 900 new and varied tasks such as "Knead the term earthworm with your eyes closed".

German company AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit GmbH (Hall 10.1 / C-04, D-09) is once again presenting a whole series of new card games. In the fast-paced game of "The Cat", the players all compete at the same time and try to collect as many cards displaying the same cat in a certain mood in all their stacks as quickly as possible so that they end up scoring the most points. "Verflucht" ("Cursed!") is a cooperative card game in which the players have to agree who can drive away which creature with which item. But the values of the card in players' hands mustn't be revealed, even if the players do often lose out on important points this way.

Building on your short-term memory

The inventor of the game "Shaperise" from British publisher The Green Board Game Co. LTD (Hall 12.0 / B-03-1) is just 12 years old. Sebastian Fleming-Smith was the one who came up with the memory and construction game. The aim of the game is to correctly follow the building instructions on the playing cards using coloured blocks. Each player has 30 seconds to memorise the pattern and then has to correctly recreate it from memory. There are three levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard. At the tender age of 11, the inventor won the "Young Games Inventor of the Year" competition in Great Britain with this game.

Patience – as the proverbial phrase would have it – is supposed to be a virtue, a view that, naturally, not everyone shares. When it comes to dealing with biggest puzzle in the world, the Grafika Puzzle from the SAS Alizé Group, a bit of patience wouldn't go amiss. The puzzle (Hall 10 / C-12) measuring 7.68 m x 2.04 m is packed in a 100 litre large travel case. Anyone wishing to put together one of the 31 pictures, such as the Taj Mahal or Rio de Janeiro's Sugarloaf Mountain, face to face, so to speak, can do so.

Conquering and defending territories

One of the biggest board game manufacturers from Russia is publisher Hobby World (Hall 10.0 / D-10). They are launching, among other things, "Bronze" by Konstantin Domashev. The family-friendly strategy game takes place in the Bronze Age and players have to gain knowledge and develop technology. This way, they make sure that they survive and go on to help explore new territories. After all, the game is all about such fundamental inventions as the wheel or pottery.

Only a few games have managed to be as successful on the international stage as "CATAN" by Klaus Teuber from Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG (Hall 10.0 / G-02). Together with his son Benjamin Teuber, he is introducing a new extension this year: "CATAN – The Rise of the Incas". Settling, trading, building...the basic Catan elements are getting new company. Because the game constantly confronts the players with new situations that they have to adapt their tactics to. Nature, for example, reclaims settlements. Fish, coca and feathers supplement the barter system.

In the wide field of children's games, HCM Kinzel GmbH proudly presents "Polar Smash" (Hall 10.0 / I-09). With the aid of little ice picks, this game of skill for children from about five years and up involves removing an igloo piece by piece so that it doesn't collapse. The player who pulls out the most difficult blocks of ice wins Polar Smash.

Worlds of play to experiment with

A new form of experimentation is being made possible by Israeli company Akibabus Ltd (Hall 10.0 / H-09). "Boxitale Knights of Nature" combines content displayed on a smartphone with experiments and tasks in the first world. A free app lets users integrate a fantasy character or a picture of the child playing the game into the animation, which issues game instructions. The children solve tasks by using crafting techniques such as painting, building, cutting or solving riddles and placing puzzles. The results are photographed with the smartphone and integrated into the animation.

KOSMOS publishing house (Hall 10.0 / G-02) wants to teach girls how much fun and adventure they can have with STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with their new experimental kit called "Pepper Mint". Players are accompanied by Pepper Mint, the self-confident protagonist, who leads them through the various adventure stories contained in the experimental kits. Together, a pulley is constructed in a treehouse adventure or a hydraulic drive is built during the deep-sea expedition. Young researchers find out things about technical and scientific phenomena using playable models and, at the same time, create a genuine world of play.

On a voyage of discovery with books

The publishing group Random House GmbH Bertelsmann (cbj Verlag, Hall 10.0 / D-18, E-17) is opening up a new children's book world relating to the "Little Friends" brand of HABA. Teresa Hochmuth is the author of the picture and reading books, while illustrator Maria Bogade lovingly portrays the three main characters Lilli, Mali and Matze. The protagonists accompany children through their time at kindergarten, join in any nonsense and help children to come to terms with their everyday experiences.

The team at Discovery Books GmbH from Austria (Hall 3A / B-41) has developed "Pauli & Friends", a series of children's books for 2- to 5-year-olds with several levels of discovery. Thermosensitive printing ink makes it possible for scenes to change when the temperature fluctuates. In another level of discovery, parents can use a specially designed app to bring the characters of the books to life for their children. Thanks to augmented reality, the images seem three-dimensional and additional effects can be created. The app can be used to record and replay to each page in the book the users' own audio content.


Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein


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