Do you remember that game you played as a kid? The most awesome game ever? The one game you would like to play again, but you can’t because the copy you played wasn’t yours? Or maybe it actually was your copy, but your parents threw it away while cleaning the attic, and now you have to pay an arm and a leg to get off ebay?
For me, that one game I had wanted to own was Warhammer Quest. I used to remember it fondly from my teens, but the copy I played was taken away by the tides of time – and I decided to re-buy the game some years back. I have since even played it a few times, and although it has been fun (and the game still looks incredibly cool on the table), it’s by far not the best game in my collection.
The truth is that getting Warhammer Quest back into my collection was due to one thing: nostalgia. A powerful illness of the mind (oh yes, I went there) that makes us perceive past experiences through a positive filter, aptly nicknamed “nostalgia goggles”, is responsible for retrogaming (and pixel art in board games), as well as for the reprints we’ve seen over the last five years.
Started with games such as Outpost from Stronghold, Merchant of Venus or Nexus Ops from Fantasy Flight Games, we’ve already seen many of the grail games reprinted – some of them simply appearing in publisher portfolios, and others – like the spectacularly successful Mare Nostrum – being funded via Kickstarter. And it seems we will see even more older games return – either officially, or unofficially (as “spiritual successors” harkening back to general styles or specific games).
In case of official reprints – or reimaginings – we usually get the game we used to know with what the current publishers believe to be improvements, both when it comes to value, and production quality, sometimes pushing it beyond conceivable limits, as evidenced by Blood Rage from Cool Mini or Not – which made Midgard (certainly not a looker) one of the most beautiful and most lavishly produced games of this century.
Thus, it seems reprints are here to stay. There are still many games people want to see on game store shelves – and there are some that have been out of print for only the last few years, but their comeback is already perceived as a big event (Runebound 3rd edition comes to mind). However, apart from reprints, we’ve also entered new territory, one which can be called… spinoffs?
If you don’t know what I have in mind, take a look at Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game by FFG. Using the same name, the same logo, and the same general idea (up to four heroes going into a dangerous dungeon in search of wealth and glory), the new Warhammer Quest is almost as far from the original game as possible.
We’ve seen this in cinema and on TV – well known characters making comebacks after being reimagined almost beyond the point of recognition. Old names being re-used to build new franchises (Battlestar Galactica a few years back, Star Trek more now-ish) seem rather common outside our hobby. Is Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game game the first step in the same direction for board games?
Oh, and before I leave you with the question hanging: are there still games you love, and would like to see reprinted, or are you fully satisfied with the reprint currently available? Tell us what you think!