Lautapelit.fi (lautapelit is Finnish for board games), a new Finnish online game store opened it’s web site yesterday. It’s still bit unfinished, but it should work already. It’s run by the folks behind Safe Haven.
I think it’s pretty neat. Prices should be a bit lower than in Safe Haven (that’s not the case right now, I think, but it’s a goal) and the shipping costs are moderate. The web site has more functionality, there’s a possibility to rate and comment games and there’s more information about the games than before. There are also some game-related articles posted frequently (about weekly).
Those articles are the crux of the whole thing from my point of view — right now you should be able to guess who’s the author. In addition to the articles, I’ve been writing extended game descriptions. It’s fun, but takes a lot of work. It’s a different thing to produce a one-paragraph commercial blurb than a long description of the game and it’s components.
In the other hand, I have a permission to be honest now. The descriptions I’ve written earlier have been somewhat commercial, you know… Smooth. Now I can say out loud if the game sucks. We’ll see. I’ve tried to keep a positive attitude, find something good about every game whether I like it or not.
One thing’s for sure: it sure isn’t easy to write a full-length description of a game you’ve never seen or played. Fortunately BoardGameGeek is a good source of information and pictures. So, if you’ve written a good review of some game there, there’s a chance I’ll be using you as my source material…
Safe Haven is actively working to develop Lautapelit.fi as their board game brand name. The Finnish edition of Carcassonne was released under the name, for example, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last game.
As a side note, the Finnish game of the year competition is very interesting this year: both Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan are nominated for the best family game. If one of them won’t win, there will be no end to the ridicule!