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

Wizama is a startup company founded in 2017 by Franck Botta, CEO and research engineer at Technicolor; Florent Guitton, operations director and former project manager at Thomson, and Damien Botta, CRO and former HR management consultant. The declared mission: to connect the board game world with that of video games. The result is the board game tablet "Square One", a new type of console that essentially functions as a digital game board.

Digital board game with haptic elements

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

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 board game and 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 nevertheless completely different. Instead of mini-games, Wizama's "game board" actually functions as such.

An advantage of "Square One": In contrast to purely online formats, players actually sit opposite each other at the table, interacting with each other in reality and physically. 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 Pharaoh and to offer them in a variety of ways. Both titles are among the internationally most successful family games from Ravensburger. Wizama has presented its innovative project at several shows and festivals such as International Games Festival (Cannes, France), UK Games Expo, Japan Expo, Gamescom (Cologne, Germany) and (Munich, Germany). The idea made it to the finals of the Electronica Awards 2018 and won multiple awards the following year, including the US Design Award and the award in the “Best Gaming Product” category at CES. Wizama is located in Brittany.

The board game console "Square One" is currently being crowdfunded via Kickstarter. There, the start-up has now exceeded the targeted financing amount of 50.000 euros. So far, more than 330 supporters have invested around 160.000 euros Wizama's Square One campaign underway but until December 15th.

The board game console is innovative, but not particularly cheap. Wizama calls around 500 euros as the standard pledge, which then includes ten games. If you also want additional equipment, such as special dice, you have to dig deeper into your pocket. By the way: Not only old board games find their way onto the new console. Also titles like Cthulhu Wars or Kosmos' Kennerspiel des Jahres The crew can be played on the "Square One".


Last updated on 27.01.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API