Rudi Hoffman died yesterday at the age of 83. Many English-speakers gamers don’t know Hoffman’s name, but they probably know his work: he designed top European games such as Café International, Maestro, Tally Ho!, Crocodile Pool Party, and Up the Creek.
Hoffman’s designs have been copycatted so many times in the last thirty years that is hard to appreciate the subtle and innovative tricks of his trade. But his legacy can be seen in the timelessness of his creations. For instance, the innovative Crocodile Pool Party was first designed in 1968 and can still be found on shelves all over the world.
What makes Hoffman’s legacy even more amazing is that he did not even begin designing commercial board games until his mid 40s. He will be missed!