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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Eight – Feb/Mar '17 > THE ESSEN FACTOR

THE ESSEN FACTOR

Just how crucial is appearing at the world’s biggest games fair to the launch of a brand new title? TTG follows the fortunes of arty card game Final Touch before, during and after Spiel 2016
Three players try out Final Touch during Essen Spiel 2016.

It’s 3pm on Saturday, October 15th 2016, and Hall 3 of the Messe Exhibition Centre in Essen, Germany, is a teeming autobahn of human traffic. The faces of passing tabletop gamers, who have eagerly schlepped here from all around the world, reveal a mix of exhaustion and enthusiasm. The air thrums with the sound of amiable chatter, the shuffle of throbbing feet, the dull bump of colliding backpacks, bulked out to their very limits by recently purchased games.

Just by the hall’s west exit, French publisher Asmodee has set up its core demonstration area, where attendees of the 34th Internationalen Spieltage can get hands-on with its key titles. On one table, not far from the thickly coursing crowd and beneath a large banner depicting a cartoon Mona Lisa receiving a rude splat of pink paint on her schnozz, sits the open box for the game it’s advertising: Mona Klecksa or, as it’s called here and in the States, Final Touch.

This art-themed single-decker from Space Cowboys is one of the new titles Asmodee’s pushing this year. It’s already been released in France and the States, but for the rest of the world this is its big debut. However, while the Mysterium and Splendor tables on either side have players pressed attentively around them, the Final Touch table is ominously empty.

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