Horde of New Games and Expansions Announced by Portal Games

January 27, 2020 - 2:27pm

Buckle up, ye lovers of story-driven board games! Portal Games, Polish publisher of hit board games such as Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game and Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, have announced a literal tidal wave of new standalone games and expansions for many of their popular lines to be released in 2020! New games announced include Vienna ConnectionDetective: Season One, and a new case for Detective, along with expansions for Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North, Imperial Settlers and Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island with a mobile version of Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write to boot!

Vienna Connection is a Cold War espionage-themed standalone game designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, Przemyslaw Rymer and Jakub Lapot that is inspired by Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game.  In Vienna Connection, players are CIA Agents sent to Europe in 1977 to investigate the death of an American citizen murdered in Vienna.  Players must manage resources (such as informants, bribes and information), decode reports (including secret messages and codes) and work to outsmart enemy spy agencies as they travel around Europe to unravel the international plot surrounding this mysterious death.  Although inspired by Detective: A Modern Crime Board GameVienna Connection features new rules and game mechanics that bring the international spy theme to life.

Speaking of detectives, Detective: Season One is yet another standalone board game coming from Portal that borrows from Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game.  Similar to its predecessor, Detective: Season One is a fully cooperative game for 1-5 players who take on the role of crime investigators.  However, Detective: Season One comes with a shorter playtime and is designed with simpler family-friendly rules.  This game comes with 3 stand-alone cases which can be played in around 90 minutes each.

And because the world definitely can't get enough of Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, Portal Games will also be releasing a new case for that game entitled Dig Deeper.  Dig Deeper is the first case in the 'Signature Series' to be released and is designed by Rob Daviau.  Set in a American town in the 70's, players will attempting to solve the death of a local politician.

Not to be ignored, Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North will also have two new expansions released - Roman Banners and Barbarian Hordes.  Both expansions introduce 2 new factions and their individual decks with unique abilities and game mechanics.  With these two new expansions plus those from previous expansions and the base game, the total number of playable factions in Empires of the North increases to 12 that players can choose from.

Not wanting to be outdone by its spinoff cousin, Imperial Settlers will also have a new expansion with Imperial Settlers: Rise of the Empire. Rather than simply adding new factions, this expansion adds a whole new layer to the game by introducing an open-world campaign where players' empires will advance from game to game while reaching new eras, technologies and discovieries.  More importantly, a set group of co-players is not needed to play the campaign, as each empire can develop individually and represent different stages of advancement.  Imperial Settlers: Rise of the Empire comes with 220 new cards and shortens the gameplay from 5 to 4 rounds.

On the subject of cousins, Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write App, the standalone game launched in 2019, will have a mobile app version.  The app will initially only support solo play, allowing players to develop their own civilization by gathering victory points and stars to later spend on better, different buildings to improve their engine.  However, multiplayer mode will be added in later updates.

Last but not least, venerable Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island will have brand new content coming to Kickstarter this year with Robinson Crusoe: The Book of Adventures. This expansion consists of brand new Robinson Crusoe scenarios that are ranked by their level of difficulty, complexity, and theme.  The Book of Adventures will offer scenarios that will appeal to all audiences, including children and families, along with heavy scenarios for experienced castaways. 

Portal Games has not announced specific dates or timelines for the release of any of these 2020 offerings.  More information can be found here.

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