In the board gaming world, it’s easy for older titles born before the recent golden age to fall into obscurity and rarity, even those with sound and unique design features. The market demand for new editions, reprints, and remakes remains high because of this, and there’s a certain nobility and appreciation to try and redeem lost or forgotten games with a new face-lift. It’s finally time for a publisher to use that demand to preserve those games and revitalize outstanding great ideas and fun. Today marks the arrival of Restoration Games whose goal is to do just that. As described via press release:
“Restoration Games is a new company, whose mission is to take games from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, fix them up, and bring them back for the modern gamer. The new games pay homage to the spirit of their predecessors but feature updated art and graphic design and improved rules and mechanisms.”
Formed by attorney and game designer Justin D. Jacobson in partnership with prominent designer Rob Daviau, Restoration Games is kicking off their debut with three titles slated for release for Gen Con 2017: Stop Thief!, Indulgence, and Downforce. From the descriptions to follow, it can be seen that Restoration Games is taking the task of remastering these titles with sincere quality in mind.
Stop Thief! is a family-style deduction game published in 1979 that used a small electronic device that would play a variety of noises representing the last traces of a criminal while they were escaping. Up to 4 players used those clues to deduce where the suspect was and hopefully where to find them. The 2017 remake will be replacing the “Electronic Crime Scanner” with a free mobile app which promises better sound quality and a dynamic range of functions. The level of commitment to bring a game like Stop Thief! up-to-speed by utilizing mobile technology is impressive by itself.
Indulgence will re-implement Dragonmaster, a trick-taking game for 3-4 players published in 1981. Dragonmaster itself comes from a long line of “trickier” trick-taking games, tracing back to Barbu from the 1930s. Indulgence will feature a re-theme of papal intrigue within the Italian Renaissance, with players using tricks to fulfill variable contracts. The newest iteration will feature beautiful art on par with it’s fantasy predecessor, produced by Chelsea Harper.
Downforce is the latest and most refined form of Wolfgang Kramer’s Top Race, originally published in 1996. Up to 6 players bid on racing contestants while simultaneously playing cards to manipulate the standings. Kramer’s original design had seen many versions with continuously improved rules, and Restoration Games has promised that Downforce will be the best to date with “component quality befitting it’s pedigree”.
This is all incredibly exciting news, to have a publisher willing to put such stern focus on older games for the betterment of the gaming community as well as gaming history. Admirable still is that Restoration Games is open to suggestions! Simply visit their website to suggest games for them to work on, or take a survey to essentially vote for what you’d like to see next. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for more announcements, and look forward to these great games and more at Gen Con 2017.