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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Someday My Reprints will Come

  • Name some games that should be re-printed and why.
  • For each nominee would you change it or go with the original?
  • Why does that game deserve to be back on game store shelves?

There are two reasons I'd want to see some cool games back in print: (1) The game deserved a wider audience and (2) The game is only available now as an expensive collector’s item.

I’m not covering the reason, “If they published this now, they’d make a lot of money,” even though I hope any of these that saw a reprint would do well enough for the publisher.

I think the game didn’t get enough play the first time.
Foppen (Friedemann Friese) One of my favorite light games, works well with newcomers, evenly hands out screwage (if you are lowest in the trick you have to sit out the next trick.) It’s fun and fast, and the artwork (every card is different but suits are related tribes) is fun.

Icebergs (Tom Wham) A nice game published only as a TSR micro-game. Meaning little tiny print, a small paper fold-out board, and miniscule cardboard chits. I’d reprint it regular size. In fact, I made a full sized set once – used boats from Bermuda Triangle, icebergs from white wooden cylinders and printed a full size color board. Maneuver your ship through ice floes in the Bering Strait, while the ice moves as well.

Cartel (Phil Orbanes) For me, it’s a 10. Redone as Dallas (Maruca), which was good if you couldn’t get Cartel. Then redone as Priceless by Orbanes’ own Winning Moves, which I thought totally lost the spirit of the original game. I’d re-do it more like the original, with the hand-made company logos and art. Maybe clean up the bookkeeping a bit, but other than that it’s a great game.

Wildlife Adventure (Wolfgang Kramer) Yes, it got reprinted as Terra-X and later Expedition, with beautiful art but since it’s all in German there’ not much I can learn while playing, which is part of the coolness factor of this family game. It’s nice cards, a big board, some tokens for vouchers and a whole bunch of plastic arrows. I’d produce it pretty much the original way, since the animal cards carry pictures and stories about endangered species that you can look at while waiting for you next turn. I didn’t like the new rules added to Terra-X and Expedition, but maybe there’s a compromise that could be included.

We hate to pay collector’s prices, but there’s a decent game in there.
Full Métal Planète (Gerard Mathieu et al.) I’ve never played it. I won’t afford $200 for a game that might or might not be fun. I’d like to see a reasonable copy around $50, with color board but nice tokens, plastic models à la Twilight Imperium or wood cubes to replace the heavy pewter pieces that drive its price through the roof.

Big Boss (Wolfgang Kramer) A homage to Acquire, and frightfully expensive still. Could be remade less expensively since prices may have already fallen for the plastic parts needed, or there’s another clever (but beautiful) way to do it. But I just want to play the thing.

McMulti (James St. Laurent) I hadn’t played this until Christmas 2005, and it’s very good. Maybe not incredible, but quite good. Fix up a few mechanics to get away from luck being so much a factor if possible. Publish pretty much as is, since you could now do the little plastic cool things cheaper I suspect. Use cubes instead of barrels (they look less like barrels, but the barrels tend to roll all over creation.)

Success Stories
These games were reprinted because someone thought they’d make money, or people deserved to play them, or both. These are ones where I did pay collector’s prices, and they got re-printed at much lower prices. Oh well. =)

  • Frisch Fisch (Friedemann Friese), reprinted as Fresh Fish and again out of print. Another great 2F Spiel game.
  • Kohle Kie$ und Knete (Sid Sackson), reprinted as I’m the Boss. At least I can read all the game bits now!
  • Palmyra (Reiner Knizia), reprinted as Motley Fool’s Buy Low Sell High. I like the original a little better still.
  • The Great Dalmuti (Richard Garfield), hard to believe it was going for $40 on Ebay before the reprint. A fun party game, especially if everyone wears a different hat.

And last, please, someone bring back the original RISK with wooden cubes at a cheap price. Then when those new games go to Goodwill, I can get a good supply of wooden cubes in six colors for $2.99.!


  • At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Peer Sylvester said…

    Actually the problem with McMulti is, that the author cant be found. McMulti itself was released without permission, the royalties put onto an account, in case the author shows up. But that was a bit dodgy, so i doubt anybody would do it again. Only chance: The author shows up unexpectaly (like the one from Polarity). Or we wait until 70 years after his presumed Death...
    Ful Metal Planete wont happen until teh guys from Ludoliere will stop quarelling. From what ive heard - quite unlikely. Pity.

  • At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Hager said…

    Your Risk set with wooden blocks is in print as an exclusive at Target: http://tinyurl.com/9vxjc - It has a $20 price tag, a little more than your $3 price.

  • At 2:26 AM, Blogger mark aka pastor guy said…


    There is an English version of Expedition, called National Geographic Expedition (from Ravensburger). Weirdly enough, it was released in Europe but not here in the States last year.



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