Among the novelties of the publishing house Schmidt Spiele is a board game that works with the official film license from Jurassic World. They wanted to present the title in Nuremberg at the toy fair: "The return to Isla Nublar" is the name of the deck builder by game author Marco Teubner.
Jurassic World 3: A New Age by director Colin Trevorrow will continue the story of the popular prehistoric lizards. The film follows the events of the previous film. However, a lot more happened between the second and third parts of Jurassic World: The game designer Marco Teubner and the publisher Schmidt Spiele tell this story with their board game “The Return to Isla Nublar”. As soon as we have image material for Schmidt Spiele's new Jurassic World title, we'll add it to the post. So the cover photo is a placeholder.
A fictional story of its own
Isla Nublar is something of a bugbear for dinosaur fans. The first Jurassic Park was created on the fictional island off the coast of Costa Rica, and around 20 years later another attraction, Jurassic World. Fans of the films know how the stories ultimately ended. Despite all the abuse of the naysayer: Dr. Ian Malcolm was always right in the end.
Because people are known to be pretty stupid, they keep trying their luck with the revived giant lizards. The name of the new board game from Schmidt Spiele says it all, but the background story has not yet appeared in the required form.
“We developed our own “fictitious” story for the game, which has nothing to do directly with the story of the films, but hopefully doesn't contradict it either,” explains game designer Marco Teubner. The game is thematically scheduled between the second part and the third part coming in the summer.
"In the second part of the trilogy, people had to leave Isla Nublar with a few selected dinosaurs, which was rocked by a devastating volcanic eruption," says Teubner about the story of the Jurassic World board game. “A lot of research results remained on the island. After the volcano has calmed down a bit, we players dare to return to Isla Nublar to save what is still there. For this we set up camps on the island.” The dinosaurs are "very upset" because of the still active volcano, which makes the work much more difficult. “Again and again we have to leave camps or continue our work elsewhere”.
Competitive deck builder around dinos
The licensed board game has a story, but what idea can fans expect from a purely playful point of view? Teubner explains it this way: “Mechanically speaking, the game is a relatively simple, competitive deck builder. However, we act against each other on a game plan”. By schedule the author means Isla Nublar. As a result, it could “be quite confrontational”. Solitaire deck building is therefore not popular.
"Essentially, we're playing the explorers returning to the island," Teubner said of the board game's premise. “However, dinosaurs keep creeping into our deck, allowing us to control the dinosaurs' paths from time to time as well. In this case, of course, always in the direction of my teammate’s camp.”
The return to Isla Nublar can be played at different levels of difficulty, with which the author and publisher want to appeal to different types of players. Clever.
Marco Teubner explains: “We're trying to do a little balancing act with the game. On the one hand, of course, we want to reach dinosaur fans and fans of the film series.” It doesn't always have to be the ambitious players. "On the other hand, we also want to offer players a good Jurassic World game." The author wants to achieve this by dividing the game into two: There is a simpler basic game and two modules that can be added for a somewhat more demanding game. "The game is still in the family game," explains Teubner. According to the publisher, the playing time is around one hour. The board game “The Return to Isla Nublar” is aimed at 2 to 4 players aged around 9 and over.
Schmidt Spiele commissioned the title, and according to Teubner, it took around a year and a half to develop.
Movies and Merchandising: Trending
When the first cinema film about the computer-animated dinosaurs was released at the end of 1993, the film was so sensational for being frightening: the cinemas meticulously made sure that the age limit of 12 years was observed. From a purely cinematic point of view, the strip was already a masterpiece – it won Oscars for it. Despite this, not everyone likes the idea behind the films. What about the author who had to develop a board game for the license?
Teubner: “Jurassic Park or Jurassic World is good popcorn cinema. A bag tastes pretty good. If you eat too much, you will spoil your stomach." But since it was four years ago that the last part was shown and the third part of the Jurassic World series had to be postponed to summer 2022 because of Corona, I'm already looking forward to the film. And now that I've also been able to make a game for the license, the anticipation is all the greater."
Teubner is not a die-hard dinosaur fanatic: "I'm actually not a big dinosaur fan," says the author. "Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur and my kids would certainly say I act like a dinosaur more often." If he had to choose a favorite dinosaur - he didn't have one (!) - it would be the Ankylosaurus according to the game development. Not without reason: “In terms of popularity, he is always somewhat overshadowed and does not appear so imposing due to his somewhat stocky appearance. But let him swing the club..." The fact is therefore: In the deck builder "Return to Isla Nublar" at least the Ankylosaurus appears.
Whether you're a fan or not, you'll come across dinosaurs again and again in the board game world. "It's noticeable that the merchandising and thus also the releases of board games on the subject are increasing sharply with the films," says Marco Teubner when asked whether it's a trend or an evergreen: "In that respect I would say it is a trend! But thanks to Jurassic World's strong brand, a very consistent one."
The Franconian game designer was able to gain experience with licensed board games with his last two games: he is behind the two adaptations of two ideas by the bestselling author Sebastian Fitzek. In 2016, Teubner won the Children's Game of the Year award with Stone Age Junior.
Still, developing a board game based on a popular license is a challenge. Fans are often critical, often petty. Marco Teubner remains relaxed: "It doesn't matter whether I'm developing a game with or without a license - I want the game to be fun and to be played with."
"Of course it can be that a licensed game raises certain expectations and these cannot be fulfilled for everyone," he continues. Then pragmatically: "My suggestion would be: approach the game openly and curiously and have fun!".
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