Asmodee

Asmodee, the “us” to whom all your board game base belong, has announced that they will be distributing games from the Swiss company Helvetiq in the United States. There are innumerable small game companies around the globe, and Asmodee has made a significant effort in bringing these lesser known gems to the western shores.

“We are always looking for strong local partners that bring our brand to gamers and shops worldwide,” said Hadi Barkat, CEO & Founder of Helvetiq. “With Asmodee USA, we now have a U.S. distribution partner who shares our ambition and passion for the world of games. Their portfolio includes amazing titles, and we are honored to join with a line up that particularly suites casual gamers, families, and design aficionados. We are excited that, together, we will make our games accessible to an even wider audience.”

Helvetiq is the publisher of over 60 games, with their top rated games being Martin Nedergaard Andersen’s Bandido (2016) and Colorfox (2016). Visitors to GenCon earlier this month got the opportunity to try out Helvetiq’s new games  Misty and Kawaii, the latter of which caused quite a buzz with its undeniable cuteness.

Asmodee has pre-order information for one of their hottest games of GenCon 2019, Black Angel. Only the most dedicated line-sitters were able to nab one of the few copies of this spectacular game at the show, as it consistently sold out at the start of the convention each day.

“Humanity, through its irresponsible behavior, has rendered Earth uninhabitable. The greatest nations are forced to share their knowledge in order to create the largest spacecraft ever constructed: the Black Angel. Its mission: Transport the genetic heritage of Humanity to a new home planet.”

Black Angel is the loving brain child of Pearl Games designers Sébastien DujardinXavier Georges, and Alain Orban  – the creators of the cult dice drafting favorite Troyes (2010). In Black Angel, 1-4 players take on the roles of competing A.I. brains, guiding the eponymous unmanned starship on its thousand year mission to deliver mankind’s DNA to a distant world. The game is a dice drafting game, wherein the players have their own dice pool, used to drive action on and around the starship. However, other players’ dice are free game, and can be bought with resources. Dice come in 3 colors, defining the actions they can trigger, with the number of pips on the die being the strength of the triggered action. Actions allow the player to repair the ship, fight back the evil ravager attackers, gain new technological programs, or execute missions in the planets surrounding the traveling Black Angel. Exterior missions are accessed by beautiful robot meeples, which fly around space in small round saucers.  The player board holds a 3×3 grid of technology tiles, which can be activated in unique ways throughout the game. The Black Angel itself “flies” along a conveyer belt board of chevron shaped hex tiles; Strips behind the ship are removed, flipped, and placed in front, propelling Black Angel forward on its journey to a new home world. Mission cards previously played in the disappearing wake of the ship are left behind in space (discarded), giving benefits and scoring opportunities to their owners. All together, Black Angel is a heavy, dice drafting, engine building euro game, sure to be a hit seller once inventory can catch up with the overwhelming demand.

Black Angel comes with game board, 7 chevron space strips, 4 player boards, 64 robot figurines with 20 saucer ships, 18 custom dice, 60 technology tiles, 60 mission cards, 20 ravager cards, clear gem “resource” tokens, red “debris” tokens, scoring discs, and player aids. The game is enhanced by Ian O’Toole‘s fantastically colorful yet minimalistic sci-fi art. A solo mode is included, and the game should be available for purchase in 3rd quarter 2019. For more information, check out Pearl Games’ website on Black Angel here.

Asmodee USA recently announced Unexpected Games, a new studio headed by designer Corey Konieczka, which will be focused on “innovation and idea incubation.”

Konieczka, who joined Fantasy Flight Games in 2005 and has designed notable titles such as Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Star Wars: Rebellion, and Mansions of Madness: First Edition, has departed his role as VP of Research & Design at FFG to take the lead on this new project.

According to Konieczka, “Our goal is to create games that are novel, fun, and accessible. We hope to surprise people and create experiences that they’ve never had before.”

While the details about the first game to be released under the Unexpected Games brand are still relatively under wraps, it is expected to be released in 2020 and, according to Konieczka, it will be a “multilayered experience that tells a story in a unique way.”

You can find more information at Asmodee’s official page here.

Dice Tower News has previously announced the formation of Gamegenic Ingenious Supplies, a branch of Asmodee dedicated to creating board game accessories. Now, the proverbial elephant in the room has announced that the first project for Gamegenic will be accessories for the immensely popular collectible deck game Keyforge: Call of the Archons.

Keyforge, by designer and gaming demi-god Richard Garfield, hit the scene by storm in 2018, delivering on its unbelievable promise of a game based on completely unique card decks. Each and every pack of Keyforge has a one of a kind name, logo, and set of cards. The game itself is the next evolution of the one-on-one CCG card battle, with players summoning creatures, collecting Æmber, and creating the eponymous keys to win the game. The hook is that cards are based in one of 4 houses, and players can play as many cards as they like, as long as they all belong to the same house.

Gamegenic has announced they will be bringing official deck boxes, sleeves, and other accessories for Keyforge. CEO Adrian Alonso stated, “KeyForge has not only a unique game concept but also special requirements in terms of accessories, which we have incorporated into our product design. As we are all enthusiastic KeyForge players ourselves, we can promise that there will be some truly special products.” The new Keyforge products will be revealed at the traditional Fantasy Flight Inflight Report before Gencon 2019, and the official launch date is August 1. For more information, check out the press release from Asmodee here.

On May 22, 2019, Asmodee announced the launch of the Gamegenic studio, which has declared its mission to be delivering “amazing accessories that protect, support and enrich players’ experiences.” Gamegenic is going to be headed by Adrian Alonso, the man behind the Ultimate Guard products.

The Gamegenic studio is going to be responsible exclusively for gaming accessories such as the traditional sleeves, deck boxes, playmats and dice sets. The new studio also promises to “add new class to the market with accessories for various games and licensed products.”

For further information regarding Gamegenic studios, check out the News section of Asmodee’s website here.

For die-hard fans of Asmodee board games longing for further adventures from beloved characters such as Sparky the Stunt Dog or Blue the Monkey, your wishes have been fulfilled. Aconyte has announced that they will be publishing works of fiction based on the many fantastic worlds from Asmodee. Although details are scarce, from the web site it appears the properties deserving of literary expansion include Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Arkham Horror, Keyforge, Dead of Winter, and Legend of the Five Rings. Aconyte has stated that they are aiming for a monthly publication schedule starting in Summer 2020. Aconyte is being heralded by Marc Gascoigne, most recently publisher from Sci-Fi imprint Angry Robot Books, a property of Osprey Games. For more information, you can read the official press release from Aconyte here.

I know this news is about as surprising as hearing that the sky is blue, but Asmodee has acquired another company in their quest to be the biggest and best game company out there.  This time around they acquired the company Bezzerwizzer Nordic, publishers of their name-sake game Bezzerwizzer and the party game Hint.  Bezzerwizzer is a trivia style game with some added mechanics, and is a favorite of Eric Summerer, and Hint is a party game about getting others to guess what you are hinting at without saying the forbidden word.  Bezzerwizzer saw an English language release back in 2008 and Hint has not been released in English.  Also with Asmodee already distributing for Bezzerwizer Nordic, it will be a quick jump to distributing their games to all the other countries Asmodee is present in.  So a new edition of Bezzerwizzer and an English language version of Hint may be on the horizon.  See the press release below for more information.

 

BEZZERWIZZER NORDIC JOINS ASMODEE
Asmodee Group has announced today the acquisition of the game studio Bezzerwizzer Nordic.

Established in 2006 by Birgitte and Jesper Bülow, Bezzerwizzer is one of the leading game publishers in the Nordics with its main titles Bezzerwizzer and Hint. Asmodee already
distributes both games in Nordic countries.

“We are excited and proud to become part of Asmodee. Having built a strong Nordic position in trivia and party games, we are ready to bring our games to players in other parts of the world
as a member of the Asmodee family, who shares our dedication to high quality board games.” said Jesper Bülow, Bezzerwizzer Nordics CEO.

Bezzerwizzer becomes Asmodee’s 14th studio and brings its expertise in developing successful trivia games with creative developing & marketing teams to the Group.

Asmodee has offices in 18 countries: USA, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, Chile, Belgium, Brazil, Taiwan and
China. The company also relies on 14 publishing studios spread around the world and distributes products in over 50 countries.

“We are delighted to welcome Birgitte, Jesper and the Bezzerwizzer team into the Asmodee family. Thanks to our global distribution network we will bring the studio’s products to new players around the world.” said Stéphane Carville CEO of Asmodee Group.

Netflix meet Asmodee.  Now that the introductions are over, it looks like Asmodee will be publishing Black Mirror: NOSEDIVE, a game based on the show’s episode of the same name.  Not many details are available about the game itself, only that it is a social game which also integrates with a smartphone app.  NOSEDIVE supports 3 to 6 players, ages 13 and up.

“NOSEDIVE features light social and strategic gameplay that is engaging, interactive, and accessible for new players.”

NOSEDIVE will be available at Target stores starting on November 25th.  The press release only indicated that the game launches at Target stores and Target.com, so it is not clear if NOSEDIVE will only be available through Target, or if this is just a timed exclusive.

Fantasy Flight Games, the Darth Vader to Asmodee’s Palpatine, is getting ready for the launch of the Second Edition of their supremely popular Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game line on September 13. On their website, Fantasy Flight has given a list of retailers that will be having launch parties for the release, with 3 short fast paced events, prizes and more. These Launch Parties are just the beginning for a community supporting Organized Play events. In another article, Fantasy Flight talks further about the Scum and Villainy faction in X-Wing, the neutral third party alongside the Rebellion and the Empire. Lando’s Millenium Falcon, Slave I, and the Fang Fighter will all be available at launch, as well as the Scum and Villainy Conversion Kit for 1st edition miniatures. This article also focuses on the abilities of droid pilots IG-88, Guri and 4-LOM. Check out Fantasy Flight’s articles about the Second Edition Launch and the Scum And Villainy Additions on their website.

Even in today’s market where there are more and more games to choose from than ever before, Days of Wonder releases still feel exceptional. Their quality control to deliver sweet and beautiful family-weight games is second-to-none and they’re always bringing something new to the realm of “gateway” weight games. Their newest title, The River, follows this trend bringing an interesting blend of tile placement, resource management, and worker placement in a quick, clean, charming package. Designed by Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin, it plays 2 to 4 players and is expected to be available in time for Essen this October, later to hit retail in November. As described in Days of Wonder’s announcement:

     “In the game, you embody pioneers embarking down a river in search of a new lands to settle. As you explore the untouched frontier, you will have to work twice as hard to manage your workers as they start to settle down along the way. The player with the most impressive settlement will be declared the winner!”

I’m excited to see such a blend of mechanics enter at this gaming level, because I feel that there needs to be more gateway worker placement games than Stone Age that can do something a bit new with it. While resource management itself is nothing revolutionary, how that interacts with the tile placement here is unique since new tiles have to progress down the titular river and they cover up resources you’d been using up until that point. Deciding which tiles to pick at what time is just as important as where to place workers, and on top of that there are buildings that can be bought and reserved much like the cards in Splendor. There is a good mix here, and it’ll be a highlight of Essen to see how well it’s received. If you’re interested in learning more about The River, be sure to check out Days of Wonder’s news post and also their product page which features the full rules in 6 languages!