Publishing giant Ravensburger and the French start-up Wizama are working together to further merge analog and digital worlds. Two Ravensburger classics are now available on a new type of game console: Wizama has christened its interactive game mat, "Square One", on which board games can be played just like on a "real" game board. 

Wizama is a startup founded in 2017 by Franck Botta, CEO and research engineer at Technicolor; Florent Guitton, Operations Manager and former Project Manager at Thomson, and Damien Botta, CRO and former HR Management Consultant. The declared mission: to connect the world of board games with that of video games. The result is the “Square One” board game tablet, a new type of console that essentially functions as a digital game board.

Digital board game with haptic elements

The interactive tablet functions as a component of the board game experience and is not intended to completely take over the course of the game. So players continue to use physical components, such as cards or figures, then drag them across the “Square One” screen instead of a classic game board. Players have to choose one of the supported titles and first put a frame around the game board, in this way, for example, playing cards can then be scanned.

This is exactly where the Ravensburger publishing house comes into play, offering the classics Labyrinth and Pharaoh on Wizama's high-tech playing field. Ravensburger has signed a corresponding license agreement with the French start-up for this purpose.

The "Square One" combines a board game and a video game. Photo: Wizama

The “Square One” combines a board game and a video game. Photo: Wizama

Wizama adapts classic board games for the interactive screen in order to be able to offer players an immersive adventure in which the haptic experience of board games can be supplemented with other effects, such as sound. Basically, this board is also a kind Hybrid game, so how to get similar concepts from hybrid or Rudy Games knows - the orientation is completely different. Instead of mini-games, Wizama's “game board” actually functions as such.

One advantage of the “Square One”: In contrast to pure online formats, players actually sit opposite each other at the table, interacting in reality and physically with one another. With the board game console, Wizema has created an open system that currently contains 15 game titles and can be expanded.

For Thomas Zumbühl, International Category Director Games at Ravensburger, it is the perfect platform to further develop international product brands such as Labyrinth or Pharao and offer them in a variety of ways. Both titles are among the internationally most successful family games by Ravensburger. Wizama has presented its innovative project at several shows and festivals such as the International Games Festival (Cannes, France), the UK Games Expo, the Japan Expo, the Gamescom (Cologne, Germany) and (Munich, Germany). The idea made it to the final at the Electronica Award 2018 and won several awards in the following year, including the US Design Award and the award in the “Best Gaming Product” category at the CES. Wizama is based in Brittany.

The board game console “Square One” is currently crowdfunded via Kickstarter. There, the start-up has now exceeded the targeted funding amount of 50.000 euros. Over 330 supporters have invested around 160.000 euros so far Wizama's “Square One” campaign is ongoing but until December 15th.

The board game console is innovative, but not particularly cheap. Wizama calls up around 500 euros as a standard pledge, which then includes ten games. If you also want to have the appropriate equipment, such as special cubes, you have to dig deeper into your pocket. By the way: it's not just old board games that find their way onto the new type of console. Also titles like Cthulhu Wars or Kosmos' Kennerspiel des Jahres The crew can be played on the “Square One”.


Last updated on 27.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API