There are many board games with a Disney license in this country - but the selection is much larger elsewhere. In the United States for example. There, the publisher USAopoly – in short: The Op – is a big driver behind licensed board games. Three cool ideas have not yet made it to Germany.
In Germany too, board games based on major brands are no longer a rarity. On the contrary: the number of licensed titles is constantly increasing. Films, series, video games or entire universes serve as settings for analogue gaming pleasure - the range extends from the redesign of classics such as Monopoly, Risk or Carcassonne to the licensing of genuine innovations, such as the board game for Ubisoft's action shooter series Farcry, which recently started crowdfunding.
Undiscovered Disney potential
Disney board games are particularly popular with families, for obvious reasons: many of the themes appeal to children, motivating even the youngest to play with well-known stories - and often using characters that many adults already know from their childhood. In the United States, it is the publisher USAopoly, among others, that uses brands particularly offensively for its board games. In addition to game idea recycling, there are many interesting works in the "Th Op" portfolio, including games with a Disney license.
Toy Story Obstacles & Adventures is a cooperative deck builder aimed at two to five players, ages eight and up. In the card game based on the Pixar hit that debuted in 1995, fans slip into the roles of well-known characters. Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex and Co act together to play through the six adventures. In the course of the game, they improve their decks of cards with new adventure cards, avoid dangers and, at best, even win in the end.
The Disney board game is visually much more nostalgic Mickey and Friends - Food Fight!, which relies on illustrations from the early Mickey era. In the game for children aged six and over, three to five players have to get snacks and shakes onto the trays as quickly as possible.
The focus is on the simultaneous rolling of the dice to trigger the type, number and direction of the orders. In the short games with a playing time of 10 to 15 minutes, the main focus is obviously on quick fun and not complex game strategy. Visually, this dice game should definitely be one of the special ones among all Disney board games. At around 25 US dollars, the family game can be had comparatively cheaply - but so far only in the US shop of The Op.
A real novelty is Disney Sorcerers Arena: Epic Alliances, also from USAopoly. The strategic arena game is aimed at two or four players, ages 13 and up. The title by game designer Sean Fletcher (including Smash up: Marvel or Talisman: Star Wars) is not only based on the Disney license, but also on a mobile game in which Disney and Pixar characters fight each other in arena battles.
The board game follows the template accordingly: In the basic set, Mickey, Gaston, Maleficent, Aladdin, Ariel, Dr. Facilier, Demona and Sulley will be available. Each of the characters is equipped with individual skills - powerful alliances can also be formed together with other characters. The goal: get the most victory points.
On the game board, the characters are represented by standees, the rest of the gameplay is played with cards, tokens and an activation bar. Disney Sorcerer's Arena: Epic Alliances is not yet available in stores but is available for pre-order through USAopoly for around $50. The board game is scheduled for release on June 23, 2022.
The portfolio of board games based on popular licenses is large at USAopoly - and not every title has made it to Germany. However, there are now some localized Disney board games, such as Talisman: Star Wars in the publishing house Pegasus Spiele or Disney Villains - Assembly of Evil by Asmodee Germany. In the United States the selection is much larger – and sometimes “nerdier”. The Op has, among other things, released board games based on the action flick Die Hard, the video game Kingdom Hearts and Scooby Doo - some of which can even be obtained “shortly” in Germany.
Many of USAopoly's titles are now available online through Amazon, and some specialty retailers also sell the games. The only downside: these are the original English versions. If you want to play Disney board games or other licensed titles in German, you have to hope that the publishers will discover the existing potential and process the board games for the local market - if this can be implemented under license law at all.
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