Spielwarenmesse: Toy innovations 2019: Games, Books, Learning and Experimenting

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Toy innovations 2019: Games, Books, Learning and Experimenting

from Harald Hemmerlein

Games and books are always challenging children and adults. There is a lot to be gained from approaching them with an inquisitive and analytical mindset. Many games also require resilience and strategic thinking. The Games, Books, Learning & Experimenting, Multimedia product group could even be considered a soft skills training programme for players and readers. Here is a selection of the innovations that will be presented at the Spielwarenmesse® 2019 in Nuremberg.

Voice assistants and sea witches as game partners

Voice assistants become game partners with Brain Pain. The party game, developed by Ideabay GmbH VUI.agency (Hall 3A/B-04), is available at all times on Google Assistant, for example, for those who enjoy a “voice game show”. This is a special kind of brain training. Brain Pain was a finalist in the most recent Alexa Games Challenge.

Better a voice assistant as a game partner than a sea witch: in the new Disney Villainous strategy game from Wonder Forge (Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH; Hall 12.0/A-12, D-13), players take on the roles of Disney baddies, including Ursula, Captain Hook and Prince John. They must unleash their inner villain to increase their power and defeat heroes.

Getting over the line with a poker face or in slow motion

A good poker face is always an advantage. Classic dice game Yahtzee has been a popular game of chance for more than 40 years. Thierry Denoual has now added poker combinations to the standard Yahtzee game with Kniffel Dice Duel from Berlin publisher Schmidt Spiele (Hall 10.1/A-04). The player that skilfully combines the five dice to gather the most (valuable) chips wins.

The Slow Motion Game / Hasbro, Inc.
The Slow Motion Game / Hasbro, Inc.

Hasbro, Inc. (Hall 12.0/F-10, H-05) is presenting an original action experience with The Slow Motion Game. The players have to race – but in slow motion. Headbands with light and sound effects indicate when a player is going too fast. He then gets a one-second penalty to force him to slow down. The players inch their way to the finish.

Games build connections

Rubik’s Cubes, on the other hand, inspire and connect at high speed. The SUPERCUBE from Chinese company FS GiiKER Technology Co., Ltd (Hall 4A/A-38) transfers the cube’s turns to a mobile device via app. This enables real-time matches with up to 10,000 players. The company dreams of creating a global community of SUPERCUBE players.

Games can also be linked. Hochspannung is an exciting numbers game from AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit GmbH (Hall 10.1/C-04, D-09). The first player to solve the uncovered arithmetical problem and lay a suitable card gets closer to the goal of ridding themselves of all of the cards in their hands. Maureen Hiron’s game can be combined with her successful Unter Spannung game.

Sea Monkeys  / Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co. KG
Sea Monkeys / Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co. KG

Nowadays, children from all different cultural backgrounds mix and play. Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH has collected 24 traditional and modern children’s games from all over the world and made just one out of them: a tour of different countries and their games. While playing, children aged four to seven learn about foreign countries and cultures. Games bring people together.

Bringing the world back home through play

3D puzzles of familiar landmarks are completely new to the Revell GmbH (Hall 12.2/P-13) range. Puzzle fans can recreate the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben in two sizes, Cologne Cathedral, Neuschwanstein Castle and the skylines of cosmopolitan cities such as New York at home using pressed foam parts, without glue or tools.

FACE IT / Drumond International
FACE IT / Drumond International

Anyone interested in deserts can bring their occupants home as house pets with Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co. KG from Germany (Hall 10.0/G-02). Its set with a spacious aquarium for the new theme – Sea Monkeys and masters of survival in the desert – allows amateur biologists to observe the development of these masters of survival and perform various experiments. A richly illustrated companion book supplies expert knowledge on the world of Sea Monkeys.

Facial expressions and feelings management

FACE IT from Drumond International from Singapore (Hall 10.1/D-19A) is an original adaptation of familiar guessing games. Players have to use their facial expressions rather than gestures, descriptions or drawings to help their team guess the word. But watch out for the sand timer!

Children do not always understand what it is they are feeling. The insightful children’s book “The Colour Monster” from designer, psychologist and art therapist Anna Llenas helps children to recognise and manage their feelings. The new collaborative game from HUCH! (Hutter Trade GmbH & Co KG; Hall 10.1/A-08) now explains “the colourful world of feelings” to children aged four and older.

Collaborative adventure games

Adventure Games / Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co. KG
Adventure Games / Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co. KG

With Adventure Games, KOSMOS Verlag (Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG; Hall 10.0/G-02) is publishing a new range of board games from designers Phil Walker-Harding and Matthew Dunstan in the trending area of collaborative event games. The first adventure in these playable stories for players aged 12 and older is “Das Verlies” (The Dungeon), while the thriller entitled “Die Monochrome AG” is suitable for players of 16 and older.

The term “adventure games” was originally used to denote a particular genre of computer games. These mainly involve a mystery which the players have to gradually uncover and solve. In the collaborative event games from KOSMOS, the players work together to explore rooms, speak with people, look for clues and combine various objects to reveal the secret within the story. The players’ choices and actions influence how the story progresses. While puzzle solving is the focus in the familiar live escape games in the “Exit: The Game” series, it’s all about the story in the Adventure Games collection.


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Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

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