Game Buzz: The Classical Collection

I’ve just been cleared to make the following announcement – I’m about to become a published game designer!  It’s been a long time coming as I’ve playtested these games THOUSANDS of times over the last few years, and they’re finally about to be released.  The publisher wants to make an official announcement, and is supposed to do that later today, so I’m not going to let them.  But I’m cleared to give you, my loyal readers, a general idea of what’s coming up.  Over the next few months, before the first game comes out at Spiel 2016, I’ll be detailing the design process and giving previews of the gameplay, art, and components.  For now, here’s a brief teaser of the four games we’re calling THE CLASSICAL COLLECTION.

All four of the games are in the same universe, and follow a general storyline over the series.  The general idea is that, in the not-so-distant future, cloning technology has been perfected and is generally available to the public.  And so, some anonymous home brewer decided to clone a number of composers from the past.  Sixty of them, in fact.  They come from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods of music.  However, this person didn’t seem to know what to do with them once they had been created, and released them into the wild.   Game #1, being released at Spiel 2016, will pick up the story here.  The sixty composers have gotten together and decided that, in order to survive, they need to hire themselves out to compose new works.  You are an enterprising concert promoter who knows a good deal when he sees one – imagine YOUR orchestra being able to premiere a brand new, never before heard work by Beethoven, Wagner, Stravinsky, or any of the old masters.  Unfortunately, you’re not the only one with this idea, and so you must outbid your opponents.  On your turn, you’ll either contribute a bid or put on a concert, which is where you turn in composers for money.  There’s a cool stacking mechanism that modifies each composer’s value based on the other composers in the same concert.  However, money isn’t the point of the game.  You want to be earning points by fulfilling conditions met on special objective cards you have – four Baroque composers, one composer from each era, three composers from Germany, that sort of thing.  The name of these objective cards is the same as the name of the game, and comes from the punchline of the following joke: What do you need when you go to the classical music store?  A CHOPIN LISZT.

Game #2 is set a few years after Chopin Liszt, and is due to be released at Nürnberg next year.  The composers have fulfilled their commissions and have retired to various points all around the world.  Some have gone back to their home country, others have gone to exotic lands they’ve only heard about, and others have just vanished off the map entirely.  Public demand for more of their music has reached a fever pitch, and you and the other concert promoters have determined that you need to find the composers and convince them to come together for one final massive concert.  It’s a cooperative deduction game with all sixty composers located at different points of the map.  Through some unique movement mechanisms and logical thought processes, you’ll be trying to find them all before the date of the big concert.  This game is called HAYDN SEEK.

Game #3 is being targeted for an Origins release, and might just be my favorite of the series. It turns out that you were not the first to find the composers.  They have been recruited by an evil multinational corporation to become assassins.  And now that they’re all together again, they’ve banded together to take out anyone who knows their secret.  And, tough luck – that includes you.  What results is a cat and mouse game where players are trying to avoid the composer assassins, as well as to slowly take them all out.  You get points in the end for each composer you manage to kill before they kill you.  However, you’re also trying to manipulate them into going after your opponents (a la Fearsome Floors).  The game will feature the portrait of Johann Sebastian in sunglasses on the cover, and will be called I’LL BE BACH.

Game #4 is a GenCon 2017 release, and frankly, I just did this one because the publisher insisted that every good game series needs zombies at some point.  So, all of the composers are dead, but apparently their creator inserted a zombie gene somewhere into their code, and they’ve all come back to life, seeking their revenge on those who killed them.  What you get then is a survival game where music is your best weapon in the series finale, THE DECOMPOSERS.

I’m very excited about this series.  We’ve done a lot of research into the composers of each era, and have come up with some exciting ways to include them.  We’re also working on a companion app that will have samples of each composer’s music that you can listen to as you play.  There aren’t enough games with the theme of classical music in them, so I’m excited to try to launch what I hope will be a new genre.  Look forward to more previews in the coming months.  Thanks for reading!



  1. The first seems the most interesting thematically. The last two have some very strange themes considering the classical composer aspect… and I’m not sure how I feel about that. You also might be the last person I expected to make a zombie game. Sorry to sound so critical; I really am interested to hear more (player counts, approx. playtimes, etc).

    Please no hobbit-sized cards!

    • Really? I’d think that the auction game would be more of a surprise considering how much I tend to dislike auctions. But we decided to go with this arc for the release schedule, with the more Euro type games coming out in Germany and the more AT themed games coming out in the US.

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