One of the things we like to do here at the Malted Meeple is give some extra attention to our favorite board game publishers and designers. In our monthly Publisher’s Spotlight we provide a bit of background on the publisher, discuss a few of their games, and may even announce a visit to The Meeple by some of the publisher’s representatives!
This month, as summer is finally in full swing, we shine our Publisher’s Spotlight on our friends from Passport Game Studios. Their award-winning flagship game Tokaido is a Malted Meeple favorite, which not only sees play often, but has even been featured as our Game of the Month!
In addition to Tokaido, Passport Game Studios publishes several games in North America including: Warehouse 51, Samurai Spirit, Trajan, Kingsport Festival, and Hansa Teutonica. Their mission statement is “To provide the best tabletop games in the world, to the gamers who love to play them.” Their strategic partnerships around the world allow them to bring amazing games from international partners to North America and beyond for all gamers to experience and enjoy!
The company began in October of 2011 when founder Rob Merickel attended his first Essen Game Fair, one of the largest board game conventions in the world, held in Essen, Germany. It was at this very convention that his dream of creating a game publishing company was born. Since his first trip to Essen was also his first trip to Europe, Rob took a few extra days to himself to travel. On the train ride from Essen to Amsterdam, he had a few hours to think of what the name of the company would be. He scribbled a few names in his notebook along with a few ideas for logos. Inspired by his trip to Essen and Amsterdam, many of the logos had to do with travel, train tickets, or old-timey suitcases covered in stickers from around the world. None of the logos seemed to stick, but the feeling of travel inspired the name Passport Game Studios, and in 2012 the company was created with the goal of bringing Europe-released hobby games to North America.
All of the games published by Passport Game Studios feature high quality components, visually appealing artwork, and topnotch gameplay. Their catalogue includes heavier European style games such as Trajan. They also publish immersive games with rich themes such as the Lovecraftian ‘cult-classic’ Kingsport Festival, where you actually play as a cultist! Finally, rounding out their catalogue, Passport Game Studios publishes light, easy to learn games such as fan-favorite Tokaido. They even have a collector’s edition of Tokaido that includes miniatures, metal coins, a giant board, and a soundtrack! Talk about an immersive experience!
The next time you visit the Malted Meeple, be sure to ask your Game Master for their favorite game from Passport Game Studios!
Karington Hess is a lifelong gamer whose passions for hospitality and all things game-related led him to Ravenwood Castle, where he served as an Innkeeper before joining The Malted Meeple. When not pouring beers, crafting milkshakes, or teaching boardgames, Karington can be found behind the DM’s screen, weaving intricate stories for his fellow gamers.