Article by John Dodds (

I though readers might be interested in this review of Games & Puzzles, the new professional UK board games magazine. I originally wrote the review for the Small Furry Creatures Press, an amateur magazine for games-players. Details about SFCP can be obtained from Paul Evans (

I have no connection with Game & Puzzles magazine and this is not an advert. I just thought that other gamers would be interested!

Games and Puzzles - A Review

Board-gamers of my generation - that is thirty-somethings - will have fond memories of a magazine called Games & Puzzles which ran from 1972 to 1981 and was responsible, in the case of many of us, for expanding our gaming horizons beyond playing Campaign or Risk with family and friends.

After a break of thirteen years, Games & Puzzles is back. Paul Lamford, the British Backgammon Champion and International Chess and Bridge player has bought the rights to the title and the first issue was in the newsagents last week.

Paul Lamford has taken a conscious decision to model the new magazine on its predecessor. That means a concentration on serious (ie difficult) puzzles, and a wide range of articles of board and card games, covering the classics and new games alike.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the scope of the new magazine is simply to list the contents of the first issue. On the gaming side, there are articles by David Parlett on Card Games, James Plaskett on Chess, Francis Roads on Go, Richard Pask on Draughts and Alan Hiron on Bridge. There is an article by Nicky Palmer on Postal Gaming (though focusing entirely on the professional end of things), an introduction to role playing by Liz Holliday, and a piece by Mike Siggins on strategic computer games (we are told that the 'zap-em' genre will not have a place in G&P). There is feature on Edmund Hoyle (the original 18th century author of Hoyle's Games), a piece on a traditional Turkish game: Okey, and the rules for a new card game devised by Reiner Knizia, the prolific German inventor whose titles include Quo Vadis, Modern Art and Res Publica. We are promised a new game from Reiner every month.

Newsworthy events are not forgotten either: there are features on the Essen Games Show and the rash of new board games clubs which are springing up in London. And new games are reviewed: issue one covers Backpacks & Blisters, Pin Point, La Trel and the Word Cup Tournament Football Game. Ten of the forty eight pages are given over to puzzles of various kinds including crosswords, "mensa" style puzzles and various prize competitions. Finally, issue one rounds off with an extensive list of games clubs and forthcoming conventions and tournaments.

This first issue shows great promise. Although experienced gamers may find some of the features a little superficial, the breadth of coverage is impressive, the contributors are well known experts in their respective fields, and the magazine has a tone of authority that should appeal to a wide readership. Hopefully, the articles will shake off their introductory flavour as the magazine finds its feet.

Games & Puzzles is available either by subscription (details below) or from the major newsagents, including W H Smith and John Menzies, at 1.95 an issue. On the strength of the first issue it is well worth buying. Indeed, I would go further. A successful magazine on the Games & Puzzles model would be the biggest shot in the arm for the UK board games scene for many years. But experience has shown that magazines of this kind are difficult to finance because of the narrow range of potential advertisers. Games & Puzzles deserves our support to build a viable readership. Go out and buy it!

((Games & Puzzles. Issue 1, April 1994, 1.95. Available from good newsagents or on subscription from Games & Puzzles Ltd, 8 Arbor Court, London, N16 0QU. Subscription prices (annual - 12 issues): UK 19.95; Europe 24.95; USA & Canada $39.95; Rest of World (airmail) 29.95; Rest of World (surface) 24.95.))

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell