There are plenty of reasons games go out of print: publishers want to move on to the newest hotness; game rights are lost between publishers and designers; the game never made it across the pond. Whatever the reason, we appreciate when a publisher takes the time to breath new life into a previously hidden gem or forgotten favorite. Even better, from time to time publishers will not only reprint the game, but spruce up the reprint in a variety of ways. Here are our nominees for Best Reprint of 2018.
Originally published in 2008, Container is an economic simulation about running the best shipping company. The gameplay focuses on producing, storing, and collecting the containers that are most valuable to you. What separates Container from so many other simulation style games is the play and interaction between the competitors is entirely emergent from the actions of the players around the table. With no randomness and a streamlined rules set, the complexity and depth of gameplay is created by maneuvering and pivoting around the decisions of your opponents.
Container is one of my favorite games and it absolutely deserved a reprint. A large part of the gameplay was collecting containers on your ships transporting them to their destination. Mercury Games took the opportunity to make this reprint a “Jumbo” edition of the game, significantly increasing every aspect of the game. Though I don’t personally find the jumbo edition necessary, it sure is a sight to see on the table. Mercury also developed a new expansion module for the game to fix some of the potential issues with the player driven economy.
Publisher: Mercury Games
Designer(s): Franz-Benno Delonge, Thomas Ewert, Kevin Nesbitt
Artist(s): Michael Christopher, Paola Tuazon, Andrew White
Bid and build, it really is as simple as that in The Estates, a reprint of the 2007 game Neue Heimat. Capstone Games brought this one across the pond as the second title in their Simply Complex line of games and it has immediately become a hit amongst our tables. The new edition features improved artwork and a more thematic story for what was originally a fairly abstract game. If you are interested in filler games with decent depth, this one is a must have for your collection.
Publisher: Capstone Games
Designer(s): Klaus Zoch
Artist(s): Daan van Paridon, Thijs van Paridon
One of the biggest surprises of the year (for me at least) was the extreme success of the Brass: Lancashire reprint. The original edition of the game formerly known as “Brass” took a heavy, economic game with minimal artwork and reimagined it with a steampunk aesthetic. The gameplay is still just as heavy and interactive as the original, but the improved look and the Iron Clay currency have attracted a new crop of gamers to this gem. So far, it has gotten rave reviews from backers.
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small – Big Box
The two player edition of Agricola, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small (ACBAS), holds a beloved place in many gamers hearts, taking the pleasing farming world of its big brother and removing the challenge of feeding your family. ACBAS has been largely out of print, along with its two “must have” expansions, aptly named More Buildings Big and Small and Even More Buildings Big and Small (no creative muscles were harmed in the naming of those). The new edition contains the base game and the contents of both expansions. If you like two player games and you’re a fan of Uwe Rosenberg then I highly recommend picking up this reprint.
What do you get when you dress a war game up as a euro? Dominant Species is a high conflict worker placement game about species competing to be the ruler of the land. This is the fifth time GMT Games has printed the game and it doesn’t have any changes from the past two printings but needless to say, this gem holds a special place on the tables of people who believe chaos is a ladder.
Publisher: GMT Games
Designer(s): Chad Jensen
Artist(s): Chad Jensen, Rodger B. MacGowan, Chechu Nieto, Eric Williams
Calling the Restoration Games edition of Fireball Island a reprint is a bit of an understatement. The new edition of the 1980s classic game features spruced up gameplay, new components, and a new generation of fans.
Publisher: Restoration Games
Designer(s): Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt, Justin D. Jacobson, Chuck Kennedy, Bruce Lund
Artist(s): Noah Adelman, Víctor Pérez Corbella, George Doutsiopoulos, David Kegg, Jason Taylor
What were your favorite reprints for 2018? Vote in our poll!