Saturday, August 7, 2010

First Play: The Speicherstadt

I'm starting to realize that I like simplicity in my games.  Having explained the rules to my games, oh, you know, a few thousand times has made me appreciate the elegance of a nice clean German design.  And I think that's what we found last night in Stefan Feld's The Speicherstadt.  The majority of the game consists of an exceedingly simple auction that provides for some remarkably tough decisions.  The auction mechanic is so damn clever, in fact, that I think designers everywhere are shaking their heads thinking, "Why didn't I come up with that?"  (The rules are here if you're curious.)

The game actually has a whole deck of cards, each with varying details, but the symbology is very clear and it is easy enough to start playing the game and just explain the cards as they come up (which is what we did).  It is interesting to play this lighter, quicker design as opposed to Feld's much heavier Macao.  The main mechanism in Macao is also quite clever but I found the game itself to be bogged down terribly by too much choice and awful, awful design choices (see here). 

First impressions are that Speich is a fun and very interactive game that felt a bit like Stone Age.  Can't wait to try it again and see if there's more to it than just a clever auction.


  1. This was such a great game, thanks for sharing it! The nice thing about the game (but also one of the drawbacks) is that a game of this is only as good as those you play with. :)

  2. My pleasure! And it was such a simple game to explain, too. I think that's my favourite part.