Food Chain Magnate is considered by many one of the greatest modern board games. A deep, complex simulation of restaurant franchise management, it’s a game that’s as richly strategic and competitive as it is unforgiving: with no elements of luck, one wrong move and you can find yourself lagging behind for the rest of the game.
It’s also a game that is typically considered far more beautiful in design than appearance, with its original mid-century illustrations and corporate-beige colour palette typically dividing opinion as to whether they perfectly capture its satirical depiction of restauranteering or, well, simply look a bit bland.
Even so, Food Chain Magnate’s acclaim and indie roots - emerging out of tiny two-person Dutch studio Splotter Spellen - have meant that it’s been extremely difficult to find since its initial release back in 2015, returning in limited-run reprints that quickly sell out, leaving many players having to seek out pricy second-hand copies.
Food Chain Magnate may soon find a wider audience and win over detractors of its original look thanks to an incoming Special Edition due to hit crowdfunding platform Gamefound later this year.
Food Chain Magnate: Special Edition comes out of a partnership between Splotter and Lucky Duck Games, known for its app-powered detective game Chronicles of Crime and last year’s well-loved Flamecraft, among others.
“Food Chain Magnate is one of those ‘grail games’ that so many people strive to play because of the incredible strategic tabletop experience it offers,” said Lucky Duck’s chief of online channels Az Drummond.
“We are exceptionally excited to be able to publish a new edition of the game that stays true to the original mechanics while introducing a fresh new visual style and components to enhance the presence on player’s tables”.
The Special Edition vows to keep Food Chain Magnate’s rules just as they were, with players needing to manage the staff of their restaurants while also juggling sales and marketing of their foodstuffs, while overhauling its visuals and components - including the addition of miniatures and a new milestone tracker, stored in a revised box inlay.
The Special Edition will also bundle in the game’s 2019 expansion, The Ketchup Mechanism & Other Ideas, comprised of a series of optional modules that introduce coffee shops, new foods such as sushi and noodles, and additional districts, among other gameplay elements, to the game, while also expanding its player count to a maximum of six. The expansion’s contents will see a similar makeover to the base game.
Lucky Duck confirmed that Food Chain Magnate’s Special Edition would be limited to the Gamefound campaign launching on November 14th, with no plans for a future retail release or additional printings. Alongside the announcement of the Special Edition, which is due to release towards the end of 2024, Splotter has also re-opened orders for another print run of the original game expected to arrive earlier next year.