For a long time we have been struggling with finding the time to market The Art of Science in England, where we launched last spring. Nobody in the company lives there any longer, and some of us have got new obligations. So we are now very happy to have an agent in England called Terror Bull Games!
Björn and Claudia met them on a Christmas market in Cambridge last December, and mutual interest was awakened. They have created a controversial board game called “War on Terror”, I think this says a lot about it, haha: “It is probably the only game in history to have been seized by the police, exhibited in a major art gallery and used as a sitcom prop all in the space of the same year.” Terror Bull Games sell “satirical games and subversive oddities”, no kidding haha.
Andrew from Terror Bull Games and Björn
Björn and Andrews gaming friends
Andrew in an Acabo Games t-shirt, what is that grimace?
This year’s toy fair was again tremendously exciting and lots of new titles are waiting for board game fans. We recognised several running titles and best sellers, however, the funniest party game was seen at the boost of ”Identity Games” and it’s called ”boom boom baloon”. The game is about rolling the dice and tightening spikes into a balloon- thrilling, exciting …, and suddenly: boom! The same company produced hybrid games and combined classic board games with an iPad, so keep your eyes open for “game changer”.
The trend for mind-twisting games continues and we can highly recommend the classic Pentagon consisting of 5 quadratic play elements (it twists your brain!) or the new Swiss game “Caminos”, another strategic multidimensional game with the goal to build a connected line while your opponent tries to cut down your efforts.
The Art of Science and Guesstimaster (our new, bigger and better version of Guesstimates) were presented by Björn and Claudia only to selected companies. The games got particularly good feedback on their high social interaction moves and on their appealing graphic designs. It is certain that these games have a higher academic value than anything we saw on the fair, and that is the strong USP of our company.
1. Claudia found friends directly at the worlds biggest Toy Fair in Nürnberg
2. Identity Games shows the latest iPad-technology for board games to Björn
3. Björn showing The Art of Science inside the infinite fair
4. Claudia takes a pause in the board game café
5. Björn, Bier und Weisswurst – that’s the way to do it in Nürnberg
6. Caminos, a game from Switzerland on it´s way over the Alps
Every first weekend in December there is a big Christmas market at Mill Street in Cambridge. The Art of Science got amazingly much attention and every second person was in some way connected to science – lovely. “Oh, a science quiz game, that’s a really good idea” was the most common comment of the day. Many games sold, media attention (in radio and local papers) and bringing a lot of smiles to the market – arrangers were more than happy!
Next to us in the tent at the market stood the famous local board game firm that makes The War on Terror and afterwards we had a very nice beer with them at the great pub The Devonshire Arms. Very sympathic people. Who knows, we might end up in a collaboration after Christmas…
Evening ends up very nicely with beers with the creators of The War on Terror game
Claudia and Björn prepared for the last day in the UK for this time
Posters must be in plastic in Cambridge. I suspect it rains a lot here…
The Art of Science – most popular at the Mill Raod Winter Fair this year!
Björn getting lots of good tips from a Cambridge science professor
Björn donating the last games we had in the car to Oxfam as Charity
Claudia and Björn making cheers after a successful week. Skåål!!
Next prominent university city up was lovely Cambridge. One can really just notice on the street how focused people are here. And science is what everybody speaks about, which means a perfect fit for science games! The Chemistry department, Biochemistry department and Plant biology can look forward to get The Art of Science as a prize at their Christmas parties. Several colleges can enjoy our challenging science quiz in their common rooms. The Science museum now sell it and of course also England’s most famous bookstore for academics, Heffers.
Evening session – pub crawling as usual. Already quite a few pubs in town have The Art of Science and fans can play the game at “The Kings Arms”, “The Elm Tree” and “The Emperor”. Bar owners report about frequent game nights and that The Art of Science is very appreciated. Now also THE pub “The Eagle”, “where the DNA was “invented” has the game that we invented. Thank you Gamebridge!
It’s really been an adventurous and exciting road trip through academic England and we sincerely hope that we have brought some science game spirit to the British! Thank you for this time!
1. Obviously many have already played their way to knowledge at “The Kings Arms”
2. “The Elm Tree” is a very good pub for board game players
3. Poster promotion tour in “Gamebridge”
4. Claudia and The Art of Science are ahead of time!
5. Björn is running against time…(or is it a time jump???)
6. The Art of Science at the top of board games in pubs in Cambridge
Next up Brunel university in the outskirts of London (Uxbridge). First we had the opportunity to meet with the famous British engineer scientist Professor H S Wolff, who switched to fluent German when he heard Claudia’s German accent. We showed him the game and told him about the 2000 questions and gave him a free game for his department. However, he seems to be more interested in interactive games of one he developed himself: Prof. Heinz Wolff´s Gravity” http://gravity.deepsilver.com/. Indeed, it is a nice computer game, who knows, maybe we can transfer our questions into interactive games. Who wants to be the famous Professor this time?
At Brunel we were lucky due to the big strike. Students did’t have lectures so they just seemed to hang around at campus with lot’s of time talking to board game people like us. We took the opportunity to sponsor several Christmas parties on the student union with our game and as usual covered the campus with posters and flyers. So, if you want one for free, go there and participate in the competitions!
Tomorrow we arrive to the most famous university of the world: OXFORD, here we come!
(click on picture to view pictures larger and slideshow)
1. The Art of Sience at Brunel University
2. “The Art of Science”, Claudia and Björn at Burnel University without Prof. Heinz Wolff because they could not afford him
3. Brunel is now wallpapered with posters…
4. Lot’s of new contacts today
5. Björn working hard (between the pub visits)
Bristol pubs we like. They also seem to like The Art of Science. The Robin Hood, The White Bear, are the most famous, but also several more now hold our games. For those who happen to be in Bristol to try over a beer or two. We also had the opportunity to try their beers, and what can we say, drinking beer in England just IS so much more cultural then doing the same in Sweden…!
Tuesday morning, after a short visit to “@ Bristol” science museum, heading east again towards Reading. At first we found a really nice old English style university campus, but without students. After much walking and lots of guessing we learned that this campus actually was under construction. They had moved all students to another campus, their bastards. Off we went and there they were, hipes of them!
Blackwells in the student union building already sell the game so together we made a campaign giving out flyers to a huge amount of people and showing the game in the entrance of the shop. The campaign will continue there until Christmas for those who missed us. As a science student at Reading University I don’t think you can have missed that we exist though.
Got some tips for good board game pubs in Reading, so I should finish here for today…
1. Reading students happy to see the game
2. …more of them
3. Björn preparing the game at Blackwells
4. Fairly good exposed one must say…
5. Björn and Alex Hall at Blackwells in Reading
6. Some students really stayed for long to try the game
Acabo Games’ newly wed love couple Björn and Claudia is this week reporting from their road trip…
A storage hall full of Christmas presents! We can tell you that Santa Claus gets a lot of support from the people in Swindon. On this year’s list of Christmas gifts is definitely: The Art of Science!
Since today, Claudia and Björn tour through Southern England. They started in Bristol and the tour continues to Reading, Cambridge, and Oxford. In Bristol students are still busy with their lectures and exams and a lot is going on at the university. Claudia enjoys the fairly moderate temperatures after arriving from snowy Sweden. The last colourful leaves on the trees are soon to fall off. Only the Christmas decoration in the streets and our promotion code for The Art of Science on the posters reminds one that it is Christmas in four weeks. We met many students from the Math department, Biological sciences and Engineering, and several tell us enthusiastically about fun knowledge game evenings in the local pubs of Bristol. But whoever is lucky can win our game at the Student Union Christmas Party!
On the promotion tour through the bookstores and game stores the nicest contact of the day was Kerstin, a woman who comes originally from Gothenburg, Sweden at Playful.
Björn in the hall of Santa (Tristan, the distributor, that is)
The Art of Science in Bristol
Noone can miss us in Bristol anymore
An academic for academics: Claudia presenting The Art of Science in Bristol
Björn, busy, busy
Kerstin, a very nice Swede in Bristol