Long ago, in a Slavic land far, far away a group of board game fans came together and decided to transform their hobby into a professional career. The result was Czech Games Edition, a company founded in 2007, which produces a lengthy list of titles, among which is Alchemists – the board game everyone loves playing.
Released back in 2014, the game quickly became a hit among players from all over the globe. Part of what makes Alchemists so successful is the fact that it has gorgeous, eye-catching, vivid artwork in all of its components, courtesy of designers Matúš Kotry and David Cochard.
The gameplay calls for solid strategy, moderate to little chance for luck, drawing deductions and conclusions and outrunning your competitors in the race for becoming the best alchemist in the world. The key to doing so is to “publish alchemy theories”, meaning vouching for the results you have discovered from your deductions by mixing ingredients and creating a total of 7 possible potions. It’s a digital hybrid game that requires a smartphone or tablet app, which always assigns new elements and makes the gameplay unique every time, but there is also a way to play it without an app via a designated gamemaster player.
Apart from mixing potions and inspecting ingredients the alchemists can carry out a vast variety of other tasks – from meeting travelers and selling their potions to collecting favors cards, purchasing powerful artefacts and even to disputing other players’ published theories regarding elements and ingredients. Packed with miniatures, cards, punchout tokens and kickass player screens, Alchemists doesn’t rely only on mechanics, but also on striking visuals.
Due to the fact that the gameplay is unique every single time, players get a unique experience, regardless of on how many occasions they’ve replayed it. They can develop a hunch on how to score better results with their desired strategy, but they still can’t cheat by gaining knowledge and secrets from previous plays.
The Czech team behind the game made a bold move by releasing a digital hybrid board game in 2014 – a tendency in board game mechanics, which wasn’t as popular back then as it is nowadays. By going off the beaten track and relying on a deduction-based game, Czech Games Edition created a groundbreaking game that quickly spread like wildfire among a vast variety of moguls in board game retail – from the Frenchies at Asmodee to the multinational IELLO.
Through the years Alchemists has been nominated and has won numerous worldwide prestigious awards and honors, such as the Golden Geek Board Game Of The Year for 2014, the Scelto dai Goblin for 2015 and the Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Expert Game for 2016 among many others.
After the game’s initial success, Czech Games Edition released the very first expansion in 2016 – Alchemists: The King’s Golem. It was received with positive reviews from game critics and hobbyist players alike and became nominated for the 2016 Golden Geek Best Board Game Expansion of the year.
Up to present day the Czech Republic based publisher has released a plethora of other high ranked board games and a handful of computerized digital ones, including Through The Ages, Codenames, Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, Pulsar 2849, Trapwords, Dungeon Petz, and so forth. All in all, the company has published more than 40 titles, mainly employing the works of Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian and American artists. The games have been translated into more than 30 languages and are being sold worldwide in their printed and digital versions.
Adding up to the current games’ success, the promising list of upcoming titles guarantees that Czech Games Edition could very well become one of the big fish in the industry.