31 January 2024
Announced at Nuremberg Toy Fair, games distributor Asmodee and LEGO group have confirmed a jointly created family board game named Monkey Palace, to the delight of fans who have long loved both.
Lego Board Game
Whilst there's been a number of forays into board games from LEGO in the past, these have mostly been tie ins with existing franchises, such as LEGO Legends of Chima in 2013, a brief foray into a trading card game, or the most recent LEGO What Am I? in 2016 (A Guess Who style game). Published directly by LEGO, the audience these were aimed at were the children who play with lego, rather than potential hobbyists. Eight years later, by joining forces with Asmodee, a more hobby centered game is on the horizon, with Monkey Palace.
In its announcement, it was confirmed that Monkey Palace would be designed by David Gordon and TAM (Tin Aung Myaing) as a jungle themed game that combines light strategy with collaborative and competitive elements. It will be for two to four players, and considered family friendly. The only image so far revealed is at the top of this article.
Its description reads: "Players must strategically work together to construct the Monkey Palace while competing for the highest brick income and points, all under the watchful gaze of the Monkey. The palace gradually takes form, resulting in an impressive construction using LEGO elements that players can proudly display at home. The iconic LEGO System in Play means that each time the board game is played, the building experience and final construction are totally unique and different."
Monkey Palace will be released on 3rd October 2024 at Essen, with wider release following.
LEGO System in Play
Monkey Palace will expand on the LEGO System in Play, which put simply is its ethos that all elements fit together, and so can be used in multiple ways and can be built together, to allow bricks bought at any time to be used in future play. Monkey Palace will combine this with the interactive nature of board games, for our enjoyment.
LEGO and Tabletop Gaming
LEGO has been moving more and more towards tabletop gamers in recent years, and whilst Monkey Palace is one such example, its embracing of Dungeons & Dragons 50th Anniversary in a competition to create an on sale set (won by Dragon's Keep) was a key lean into hobbyist gaming. This in turn is backed up by multiple LEGO Ideas (where fans create their own LEGO sets out of existing pieces that have the chance of being picked up and sold as actual sets in future) by the current existence of The Settlers of Catan: The Brick Built Board Game, and Ticket to Ride, showing a clear overlap in fans. new social experiences in play that transcend generations. Together, the LEGO Group and Asmodee aim to discover innovative ways to combine the beloved LEGO System in Play with the socially interactive nature of board games, delivering new and unique play experiences for families and LEGO fans.