After a gap of two years, the fun and games in Cannes were back. The town was buzzing with crowds not seen for a while, all excited to enjoy the International Games Festival “le Festival International des Jeux”. And what could be more fun than a festival dedicated to games, of all sorts, for all ages and interests?
Fun and games in Cannes
The International Games Festival is pretty self-explanatory, it’s a festival all about games. With more than 300 exhibitors from all over the world showcasing games of all types, professionals and amateurs gather to discover the latest releases alongside classic oldies.
As well as being huge fun for the public it is also an industry competition with prestigious awards for the best games in several different categories given out.
The fun and games in Cannes began in 1988 and the festival is now the biggest games fair in France. It takes place over 3 days at the end of February. In 2023 the exhibition space has been enlargened by 2 floors and outside spaces, including the beach.
Discover thousands of games
The festival is organized into themed zones such as children, family, all ages, expert, traditional, new talents, construction, simulations, fantasy, role-play, video, virtual reality, figurines, escape games etc. There really is something for everyone.
The idea is to actually play games. You can test new games pre-release and in prototype form as well as play old classics such as Chess, Bridge, Mah-jong, Scrabble, Cluedo, Monopoly etc. You’ll find arts and crafts and toys too.
There can be queues for popular games but there’s nearly always something available if you look around and don’t mind what you play.
We played a fun game called Micro Macro Crime City (above) and bought one called [Kosmopoli:t]. The creator dedicated the box with a personalised illustration.
Among the games that caught my eye was Giant Pass The Pigs. I adore Pass The Pigs and have travelled with it all over the world but I’m not sure how practical it would be to play the giant version!
Exhibitions, competitions, conferences and workshops
Exhibitions, competitions and tournaments take place throughout the festival and there are conferences that are free to attend too.
Among the exhibitors are developers and illustrators on hand to explain, hold workshops, sign/dedicate their games and generally discuss strategy, plans and ideas.
I’ve enjoyed the fun and games in Cannes with my family a few times over the years. My boys love it!
The photo of the giant Playmobil characters on the famous red carpet at the Palais des Festivals, more commonly associated with filmstars, was actually taken a few years ago. It was such an amusing display, with nothing so eye-catching this year. All photos without masks were also taken in previous years.
Whether you’re a gaming geek, a collector, you enjoy playing the occasional board game or are simply curious and looking for something different to do, a visit to the International Games Festival is great fun!
Practical information for the International Festival of Games in Cannes
Le Festival International des Jeux takes place every year at the end of February in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.
It is open from 10.00 – 19.00 Friday, Saturday and Sunday
A 3 day pass costs 27€ or 1 day entry is 10€ (prices correct in 2023). Free for under 16. Under 13 must be accompanied by and adult.
Check the website for up-to-date information and to book your tickets online.
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