Meeples Cafe sent me a complimentary copy of the Spielbox magazine, which they recently started distributing here in Malaysia. Spielbox has been published in Germany for many years, and only in recent years it was published in English too.
I currently don't subscribe to any boardgame magazine - be it the physical type or the online type. My BGG subscriptions and blog subscriptions are already more than I can handle. However it was interesting to read Spielbox. This is a German publication, so the perspectives in it are different from what I am used to on BGG and the mostly English blogs that I follow. I am reminded that the boardgame community that I am familiar with is not the only one around, despite how international and how big it is. As I went through the magazine, I found it interesting to be seeing games from a slightly different perspective. Not all the boardgame aspects that the writers talk about or boardgame elements that are important to them are the same as what I'm familiar with. And there are many games that I'm not familiar with at all. It's a little like joining a game group with different tastes from your regular gaming group. Exotic.
Most of the articles seem like they are directly translated from their original German versions. It feels a little weird, because some of the expressions and jokes don't quite translate well. Chong Sean has been subscribing to Spielbox for quite a while (one of his key reasons is the free game expansions), and he has exactly the same feeling.
This particular issue of Spielbox covers many many games. Some are detailed reviews, and there are many brief overviews. I think many are games from the Essen game fair last year, thus the quantity. This is good for those who wish to discover interesting new games. There are not many articles about the boardgame hobby in general though. The Games Journal website (now discontinued) used to have these and they were very good.