We have talked about Latvian products in previous posts, especially products that are being exported. At the same time, we analyse the company behind the product and their story and markets. This time we are going to talk about one of the Latvian companies that is exporting a very unusual product that everybody has used and played with, but nobody has asked themselves where it actually comes from or what company produces it. The product is a board game and the company is Brain Games. There is also another company that produces games and board games that focus on Latvian culture that is called Kokmaizites and produces games that allow you to learn words commonly used by Latgalians.
Some people may think that board games do not allow many innovations and changes. They are wrong. Brain Games is a company that has been in the market 12 years now and exports its games to more than 30 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and North America. Here is their story and a brief introduction to some of their products.
In the year 2004, a handful of board game enthusiasts established Brain Games. The idea was to introduce the popular game “Settlers of Catan” to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. After doing so, they continued with the company and devoted their time, efforts and money to establish and consolidate a strong board gaming culture in the Baltic region. After years of localizing and distributing board games, Brain Games has now become the largest board game distributor in the Baltic countries with three specialized board game stores in Riga, Tartu and Tallinn, which take active part in promoting the board game hobby and supporting the community, and with game exports all the way to Canada, United States and even the middle east.
In the year 2011 the idea of taking the company to the next level came to life. They created a division that would be in charge of the development and publishing of their own games. Brain Games Publishing was started and later was well established with clients all over the world, concentrating on publishing new original games for the family every year.
Their games are aimed at uniting the family and have strange themes that are attractive to everyone. Let’s take a look at some of their games.
Logic cards: Logic Cards is a set of logic, geometry, and mathematical tasks that will wake your brain up. It comes with an app that shows you animated solutions for the challenge.
Game of trains: Each player “owns” a train that consists of a locomotive and 7 railcars that are arranged in descending, numerical order. The aim of the game is to arrange your train railcars in ascending, numerical order. The first player to have a train with railcars arranged in ascending, numerical order is the winner
Sly Dice: it is a dice game in which you try to get points by making various dice combinations or bluff to get some bonus points. However, if your poker style actions are discovered you do not get any points. In the words of a happy customer “this game is all about bluffing, playing your opponents, rolling dice and taking chances. A game you’ll want to play again at least two times in a row and with the same opponents just to prove you can read their minds”.
Voilà: this is a fast-paced game that will challenge your agility and prove how fast your fingers are. There is a sand clock that acts as a timer; the timekeeper turns the sand timer over, and doesn’t allow the other player to see how much time is left. The active player takes a random stone out of the bag and, depending on the stone’s colour, he performs an action which can also include drawing one or two more cards and perform the task shown on the card. The player tries to do everything before the time finishes.
Dig mars: Dig Mars is an easy tactic game: you explore a canyon on Mars; you look for hidden treasures underground, find them and then carry them away in order to gain fortune points. The points are used to get better equipment to find the treasures in an easier way. Your aim is to be the first to get a certain amount of points on mars.
Brain Games has shaped the board game culture in Latvia. Nowadays, dice and moving backwards and forwards across a board do not appeal that much to children and teenagers when they want to play. “To stand out internationally, you have to be as original as possible; you must have an original idea. With every game, we are reinforcing our reputation for quality and originality” says Egils Grasmanis, Brain Games Managing Director. More info at www.brain-games.com