Vintage Board Games Are Getting a Modern Revival

Many millennials feel that the tabletop scene existed from 1996 to 1996. Settlers of Catan arrived in America in 1996. In that year, lunch halls and dorm rooms across the country were flooded with Klaus Teuber's amazing invention.
Catan is still the most popular boutique board game in human history. Its tight network of roads, resources and thoughtful decisions has effectively overtaken the Monopolies and Candylands, which used to be unrivalled within the public consciousness. Restoration Games believes modernity has its limits. The distant past still contains some treasures, no matter how large the tabletop industry becomes.

In this instance, the "distant past", however, refers to the darkened, mysterious era prior 1996.

Restoration Games was created by Justin Jacobson, an avid board gamer and Rob Daviau, a legendary designer. Jacobson was a pro bono lawyer for small tabletop companies. This led to a conversation between Daviau and Jacobson about Star Wars: Queen's Gambit, one of his forgotten classics. Queen's Gambit, a classic white whale in the board gaming community, is a well-crafted war game based upon The Phantom Menace. Unfortunately, it has been out of print for eons. You can buy it on Ebay for $500 if you wish to play it. Jacobson suggested the idea of rereleasing Queen's Gambit with no Star Wars theme. He resisted some of the Disney-poisoned legal waters to allow the public to enjoy the design again. Daviau demurred. Daviau was not interested in opening Queen's Gambit once more, but he did take a moment to think about all the great tabletop games that were never released.

Jacobson says, "We started talking to each other about the games we used as children and the ones we would like to see returned." I was becoming very unhappy practicing law. Since I started, my firm had changed a lot. So I met up with high school friends for lunch, and they suggested that I quit my legal career to pursue board games. Rob [Daviau] accepted my offer and we began to think about the games we would like to revive.

Restoration Games was officially launched in 2017 and the catalog speaks for itself. Jacobson and Daviau resuscitated Stop Thief in 1979, a Parker Brothers heirloom that had been abandoned for many years. It was packaged with an electronic device that would be used to track down criminals on the streets. This gimmick was retrofitted with a smartphone application by restoration. Downforce is a great game of bidding and bluffing on a sun-drenched track. It has been published by many different publishers over the past 40 years. The only 21st century relic in inventory is Unmatched. It's a two-player tactical module that was based on the 2002 Daviau game Star Wars: Epic Duels. Restoration Games has removed all prequel characters and replaced them with public-access heroes. You might not be able play as Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi or Robin Hood but King Arthur and Robin Hood fit the bill perfectly.