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In 2023, Ravensburger Has a New Quest for El Dorado

by W. Eric Martin

To follow up an earlier post about KOSMOS and AMIGO, German publisher Ravensburger has started to make its early 2023 game line-up public. More specifically, while nothing has yet been announced on Ravensburger’s website, listings of upcoming games have started to appear on German retail sites — and the most surprising title among the batch is a new edition of Reiner Knizia‘s Wettlauf nach El Dorado.

The Quest for El Dorado debuted in 2017 with editions in German, English, and French, and the game was nominated for the 2017 Spiel des Jahres, losing out to Kingdomino. The game later appeared from Ravensburger in an Italian/Spanish edition, with the Heroes & Hexes expansion appearing in a German/English edition in 2018 and the standalone sequel The Golden Temples being announced, again only in German and English, in early 2019.

Knizia had hoped that Ravensburger would license The Quest for El Dorado around the world, but that didn’t happen, so Knizia took matters into his own hands. As he told me in 2019, “Ravensburger did not want to cover the other territories, which meant that I had all the other territories to cover myself. This game is too close to my heart, and if they didn’t want to cover it, then I wanted to do it myself.”

As I explained in this 2019 article, Knizia commissioned artwork and graphic design from Vincent Dutrait, then contacted publishers in countries not covered by Ravensburger, then worked with Dutch publisher 999 Games to oversee production of the base game, the Heroes & Hexes expansion, two new promotional packs of cards (Telegram and Letter of Recommendation), and a second expansion — Dangers & Muisca — that debuted in 2022 in Dutch and Scandinavian editions.

Katrin Seemann, PR Manager at Ravensburger Verlag, has confirmed that the company will release a new version of The Quest for El Dorado base game in January 2023 with the Vincent Dutrait artwork and graphic design. Says Seemann, “Of course we are also planning extensions, but we first have to wait and see how the relaunch is received. The first expansion would then be Heroes & Hexes and the second one Dangers & Muisca. But there are no concrete launch dates for the expansions yet.” This new Ravensburger edition will feature larger cards than the original base game to match the 999 Games production.

I’m still awaiting a response from Ravensburger North America as to whether this new version will appear in English.

As I wrote in my 2019 article, announcements like this one can be frustrating since you don’t necessarily want to buy a game a second time or feel like you’re forced to buy in to increase the chances of the expansions being released. That said, I can understand Ravensburger’s hesitancy to charge ahead with the expansions at the same time as the base game. Indeed, as I noted three years ago, Ravensburger initially had no plans to release expansions for the game, primarily because it just wasn’t a company that released expansions (outside of its alea brand). I would not have anticipated this development, however, so I’m curious to see what will come next.

Aside from Wettlauf nach El Dorado, I have minimal info about other titles coming from Ravensburger in early 2023:

Scotland Yard: 40 Jahre Jubiläumsedition, with this anniversary edition featuring a “cult retro design” and an adventure book in which the reader decides how the story continues. It’s not clear whether new game elements are included, but Michael Schacht is credited as a designer along with the original Projekt Team III designers. (Schacht designed 2014’s Scotland Yard Junior, while being a co-designer of 2013’s Scotland Yard Master.)

— In Sakura Heroes from Michael, Emma, and Maja Kallauch, 2-4 players roll dice at the same time to complete tasks and collect flowers and lucky charms that will help them keep moving to the top of a magic mountain.

Twins from Rosie Roberson appears to have Spot it!-style gameplay, with 2-5 players trying to find matches on their card with a central card.

Escape the Temple from Johannes Schiller seems to be an escape room-style game.

That’s Not a Hat is a “white elephant” card game from Kasper Lapp for 3-8 players in which you try to end up with the ideal selection of gifts.

Dumm gelaufen! from Hajo Bücken and Dirk Hanneforth; Elfer raus!; and Elfer raus! Extra from Wolfgang Kramer are all new editions of mainstay games in the Ravensburger catalog.

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