The Fog - Escape from Paradise is a board game that the independent author Robert Müller-Reinwarth wants to bring to the market via his label Xollox Games. It's about an escape from a paradise island, whose inhabitants have to flee from a smoke screen. What sounds like a board game based on a familiar template does not have its roots where one would initially assume.


The artwork is far from final, but the independent author Robert Müller-Reinwarth has already had the mechanics extensively tested. And the feedback from the players is positive, the author even says it is “great”. Most of the test players would stay as fans afterwards, sometimes they don't want to give the prototypes of The Fog - Escape from Paradise made available to them at all, but at least want to keep them longer than originally planned. “As a game developer, that makes you happy, of course,” says a happy Robert Müller-Reinwarth, who wants to finance his project in the coming year via crowdfunding via Kickstarter and thus realize it.

The Fog: A board game about a “fog of horror”

The Fog - Escape from Paradise is a board game that makes use of one, but not the fog of horror. The game by Robert Müller-Reinwarth has nothing to do with the popular film template, but the setting is not chosen entirely by chance. The author dares to approach the topic from the other side: Instead of starting with a good story, Müller-Reinwarth has chosen his mechanics and determined which topic fits the planned “island escape”. The result was a dangerous smoke screen: "I simply saw The Fog as a meaningful and mysterious reason why people had to flee from this island," explains the author of his board game.

Players push their islanders towards the rescue boats. Photo: Xollo Games

Players push their islanders towards the rescue boats. Photo: Xollo Games

The idea - and that fits the rock solid mystery theme - came to him in two nights. Actually, he had originally developed another game, which is now mostly ready in the closet. First of all, The Fog is to be realized, for which Müller-Reinwarth wants to go through a “swarm financing”. The campaign is expected to start in spring 2021, "if there are no delays in the illustration," he says. The planning is already underway, as are discussions with manufacturers and logisticians - this will ultimately determine the as yet unknown target amount for the crowdfunding campaign.

The Fog is at its core a competitive board game: everyone and their inhabitants flee from the island, in front of the neighboring one, onto the rescue boats. There are points for this and, ideally, you are better off than your opponents when you flee. There are also semi-cooperative ideas based on team variants, the balancing is probably not yet in place: in the test matches there was simply not enough semi-cooperative play. However, the joint rescue operation is not off the table: "If I find a good and exciting solution for a cooperative variant, I am happy to add it," says the author. "So far, this has not been my focus, as there are already a great many variants." The Fog lasts between 40 and 90 minutes per game and is aimed at up to six players. There is also a solo mode.

Nobody could explain the rules of The Fog better than the author himself:

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Having a passion for board games is an important motivator for a writer. This is also the case for Müller-Reinwarth, who has been “a passionate board player since early childhood” and particularly appreciates the “laughing together, the silence with one another, the 'cracking' of heads while thinking” about the analog game. For him, board games are also a way of relaxing. In addition to passion, persistence and probably also frustration tolerance are important if you want to convert an idea into a board game that is not just there, but also comes to the players, or better yet, in the trade. The combined role as author and self-publisher is particularly demanding, according to Robert Müller-Reinwarth “very difficult”: You have to be clear beforehand that self-publisher and author are two completely different things. Developing a game largely ends when it is 'sold' to the publisher. As a self-publisher, the development of the publishing house only starts during and after the game development. "

It doesn't take long before you realize that there isn't much time left for game development. “But I made a conscious decision to do it this way and I'm sure that the other games that are in the pipeline will also be finished. But I can also clearly say that it is a lot and very exhausting - but also a unique and great adventure. " From the beginning, his plan was to found his own publishing house and then not only publish The Fog, but also other games.

The greatest challenge for the author was to start over from scratch. He had to start from scratch without having had any contact with the “greats of the board game”, without being familiar with social media - and even being noticed by the players, that was also a hurdle. “Every single interested party is a success and balm for the soul,” says Robert Müller-Reinwarth happily, who has gradually learned what is important. He benefited from the fact that “luckily there are always some players who are looking for the outsider games and prototypes”. In this way, he has already made great acquaintances - and also driven his board game project by the way. Based on the test games, he has already identified some of the strengths of The Fog - Escape from Paradise: Players like the variable structure and the accessible set of rules, the tactical depth and the puzzle and annoyance factor. Müller-Reinwarth is quite self-critical and aware that the look of his board game still depends heavily on the prototype status. He wants to tackle precisely these construction sites with professional support.

The Fog is to be realized in the coming year via crowdfunding. Photo: Xollox Games

The Fog is to be realized in the coming year via crowdfunding. Photo: Xollox Games

The first public appearance at SPIEL19 last year was a first aha experience - one with a wow factor. “Unbelievable” is how he feels about it. And he started like many independent writers do: “. As a newcomer, I had a stand in the far corner of a niche facing the wall. My expectations were low. And yet all four tables were occupied at the same time more than 50 percent of the time. In the past two days, several people have already come on recommendation. It was much better than anything I expected. " Not everything went smoothly: “But I also made mistakes with the flyers or in making sure to somehow retain interested parties. Some wanted to buy the game right away and I don't know if they'll hear from The Fog at all today. "

Now Robert Müller-Reinwarth is again represented at the international match days with The Fog - Escape from Paradise, this time not in the farthest corner of a niche facing the wall, but online at SPIEL.digital, but with the hope of support with it his game is also noticed among the 1.400 new products. A plus point: You will be able to try out The Fog via tabletopia, and there will even be a solo tournament via live board games.

“I just hope that there are players who are interested in trying something new and let themselves be convinced by The Fog by trying it out,” says the author, “and who then also cheer to see which of their islanders will make it into a rescue boat . ” Further information about the board game is also available at: xollox.com/de/fog.


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