The Spanish game distributor and publisher Devir is entering the U.S. game market with five new game titles this year, including the comic-inspired minis game Fanhunter, cooperative/competitive race game Michael Strogoff, quick filler Fast Food Fear, worker-placement game Holmes:  Sherlock & Mycroft, and city-builder Barcelona: The Rose of Fire.

Devir was already a well-established game distributor when it began publishing licensed games in 2000.  Since then, publishing has become a major part of the company’s business, and now Devir is reversing its early efforts by producing English-language versions of its own game designs.  ICv2 had a chance to chat with Devir Americas’ Managing Partner and Co-founder Matt Hyland, who kindly revealed a bit of the company’s history and its plans for 2017.

“In Spain, we started publishing titles under license in 2000, and over the years we started growing our business little by little.  In Spain, it’s now a huge part of our business.  The board game market there has grown quite a bit.  At some point, we decided we should do some games in English.  Even though we were focused on Latin America at the time, we have a base in the U.S.  The category is still growing here in the States.  We have some good developers, good designers.  Why don’t we try to do some things in English, translate our Spanish products into English and see what happens?”

The company’s biggest release of the year is scheduled for Origins in June:  the miniatures-based board game Fanhunter:  Urban Warfare.  The game is based on a Spanish comic book from the 1990s by Cels Pinol that imagines a post-apocalyptic future where all forms of fandom have been banned, triggering a revolt by the fans of every kind of pop culture.  To put down the revolt, the ruler of Barna City and self-declared Pope Alejo sends out squads of “fanhunters” to eliminate every fan.

Fanhunter:  Urban Warfare was designed by David Esbri, who also sculpted the 35 minis included in the game.  Players can lead teams of fanhunters or take up arms on the side of the fans using whatever weapons they can find and fighting skirmishes on the game board.  The game is designed to follow the storyline of Pinol’s comic through the use of special “storyboards” that present the different scenarios while revealing the overall story.

According to Esbri, the intent of the design was to “give the players a possibility to design their own scenarios, to create their own squads, and to own the game,” while remaining true to the comic source material.

The product has not been finalized yet, but MSRP is expected to be around $74.99.

Devir plans to release two new games at Gen Con:

The first will be a medium-heavy board game inspired by one of Jules Verne’s lesser-known stories, titled Jules Verne’s Michael Strogoff, created by Alberto Corral (Castaways).  In this game, the players race each other to deliver a message to the brother of the Czar, while also trying to outrace the assassin sent to kill the Czar’s brother and the Tartar forces moving against Moscow.  The players must work together to thwart both of these threats, even as they compete to be the first to reach their goal.  Along the way, they must contend with wild animals, Tartars, meddlesome gypsies, and other obstacles.

MSRP has not yet been set, but is expected to be around $39.99.

The second Gen Con release will be a light filler game called Fast Food Fear.  In this timed cooperative game, the players try desperately to feed a parade of wacky monsters demanding their fast food fix.  If the players can satisfy all of the monstrous customers before the two-minute time limit runs out, they win.  Otherwise, they must hide in the walk-in freezer lest they become the monsters’ next meal.

MSRP for Fast Food Fear will be $24.99.

These summer releases follow two games Devir offered in January:

In Barcelona:  The Rose of Fire, created by Francesco Nepitello and Marco Maggi (two of the three designers of War of the Ring), players are the heads of the most affluent families in the city of Barcelona during its great building period of the late 1800s.  The players compete to earn fame by constructing the iconic opera houses, theaters, and mansions of the city, but they must also balance the needs of their workers, who will rise up if they feel mistreated, and the demands of the nobility’s overseas adventures.  Barcelona:  The Rose of Fire was designed for 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in about an hour-and-a-half.

Originally released last year but out of print for some months, Holmes:  Sherlock & Mycroft, was returned to print in January.  In this two-player game, Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft compete to prove who is the better sleuth by gathering clues from eight of the iconic characters from the Holmes canon.  This game combines set collection and worker placement mechanics with a randomly determined sequence of characters to maximize replayability.

Check out the gallery for images of the games taken at the GAMA Trade Show.