We all know that games are not the work of one person, it takes a team of play-testers, developers, marketers and artists to get a game on a shelf. However, usually all we really see is the one name on the box. Today we look at some of the best partnerships out there.
Markus and Inka Brand
I first discovered this husband/wife team when we played Village. A worker placement game where you need to kill off your workers (yup, honestly!) However, they will be forever remembered in the village chronicles giving you end game points. Every action costs time and when you go round your board, you lose a worker, bringing a whole new meaning to time management!
Now, the first time I played Rajas of the Ganges from them I wasn’t sure about it. It felt like a race game that I’m not a fan of. However, multiple plays have left me loving this game. Over the course of the game, players receive fame and money through various actions on tracks that start different sides of the board. The first player to get their marker on these tracks to meet wins the game. This worker placement game has elements of set collecting, dice manipulation and tile placement.
Most recently they are known for the amazing EXIT games, we’ve now played through all of these and I can’t praise them enough! Ingenious puzzles, logistics and storylines.
Paulo Soledade and Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro
These guys are probably best known for Madiera. Though they also worked together on Panamax, Nippon, La Stanza and Arraial (though this is a bit of a departure for them!)
Great crunchy, midweight Euroes full of theme and beautifully presented. I cannot wait for Brasil from them (hopefully later this year)
They are also organisers for LeiraCon, a super interesting board game convention in Portugal that sees the like of Markus and Inka Brand, Mac Gerdts, Tony Boydell and many others visiting with prototypes, some of which end up to be huge hits and probably some that are never sen again! Really hoping to be there next year
Joroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga
Otherwise known as Splotter, these guys produce some of the best heavy games out there. Splotter is a small, boutique company that produces small runs. Food Chain Magnate in 2015 was a huge hit for them leading to multiple reprints and awareness of their previous catalogue. I was one of the many that discovered them when Food Chain was released but have since played quite a few of the others.. Indonesia, Antiquity and The Great Zimbabwe.
Be prepared for some great brain-melting action with any of their games! Generally economic in nature, they’re pretty unforgiving and the kind of game that will have you thinking ‘Ohhh…. I should have done that’ for days after, begging you for another play to try a different strategy, or just begging for another play now you have some idea of what you are doing!
Kramer and Kiesling
Both Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer have been creating games independently for many years. It is well known that Wolfgang Kramer one of the grand-daddys of modern boardgaming . This duo were collaborating together way before the internet developing games over the telephone and even fax machine in the 1990s. As a pairing they've have multiple nominations for the Spiel des Jahres, and the Kennerspiel des Jahres, but they won the Spiel des Jahres in 1999 and 2000 for Tikal and Torres respectively.
Their latest offering, Paris, has recently finished funding on Kickstarter but is still accepting late pledges.
Vital Lacerda and Ian O’Toole
A slight change from the other pairings here! Both had a plethora of work under their belt before coming together for The Gallerist in 2015 and now we all expect to see the two names together! The amazing big box, deluxe editions of Vital Lacerda'ss games are becoming essential for any heavy gamer and all of them look resplendent with Ian O’Tooles artwork. As well as the Gallerist, they have worked on Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance, Vinhos, Kanban EV, Lisboa and On Mars.
However, Ian O’Toole has also recently worked on Pipeline, Irish Gauge, Clinic deluxe and the upcoming Rococo deluxe edition, his name is becoming as synonymous with heavy games as Vital Lacreda is!