As we start to prepare shipments of the French versions of Tanto Cuore: Expanding the House; Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation; and Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest, we decided to go back and revisit the Meeple Monthly article from April 2015 when Oktoberfest was just a wee beermaid!
Taking you to Germany with Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest
My name is Eric Price, and I’m the Owner, President and Commander-In-Chief of Japanime Games. My history in the gaming industry dates all the way back to 1992 when I owned a comic book store. Due to the decline in popularity of comics soon after, I shifted my direction completely to focus on Magic: The Gathering, which eventually led to years of buying and selling Magic, Pokémon, and even Yu-Gi-Oh! cards throughout the US and Japan.
Years later, at a dinner meeting on one of my many trips to Japan, Mr. Fukomoto of Arclight Games asked me if I would be interested in producing an English language edition of his card game, Tanto Cuore. I had no plans at this time to publish games; it seemed like a lot of work to me.
When I got home I asked many of my friends what they thought about a card game about maids. The response was very mixed, to say the least. Luckily for me, I decided to produce it anyway. It turns out that we like Japanese maids; the theme is different, but most importantly, the game itself is really fun, well-designed and balanced, and the art is absolutely amazing.
All of this has led us to where we are today – Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest is finally coming to print! This game is very exciting for me, as it is the first game that we have produced that is ours and ours alone. All previous games that we have produced (Tanto Cuore, Lupin the 3rd, Kanzume Goddess, and Krosmaster Arena) have been initially printed in other languages, and then we created English language editions. Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest, or Tanto 4, is being printed in English exclusively by Japanime Games. We essentially commissioned the game to be produced by Arclight on our behalf. The idea for this came over lunch with Mr. Fukomoto at San Diego Comicon back in 2013. We were discussing how great Tanto Cuore had done for us, and how I wished they would continue to produce the game as I knew our fans would love it. So he proposed that if we helped design a game, they would create a whole new version of Tanto Cuore just for us! Needless to say, I loved the idea.
We discussed several ideas for the new theme and mechanic. Of course it still had to be designed around Maids, but what about making an undersea version of the game around Mer Maids? Or how about a mix of Maids and Butlers? After talking it over my German friend, Nadja, who was visiting the US to help promote Tanto Cuore that summer, she proposed the idea of German BarMaids! This was definitely a different look and theme than the maids that we had in previous editions of the game, and it sounded great to me. Besides, who doesn’t love St. Pauli Girl?
We talked it over quite a lot throughout 2013, and it was at Essen one night that we decided that The Oktoberfest Edition was the direction that we had to go. We chose several of our friends who were girls in Essen that have helped us out with promoting Tanto Cuore in the past, and designed cards to match their names and likeness. We sent photographs of the girls to the artists, and they worked on the art to make the cards look like them, which was a very fun process for us! We also created a card for our own Toni Darling, Professional Cosplayer and Japanime Games’ Community Manager. Toni will be the Confectionary Maid in this set, and she is ready to bring you sweets!
The art for this new edition of Tanto Cuore is amazing, and like previous editions of the game, there is a new game mechanic that is unique to this edition: Beer Cards! You need have certain maids in your deck, such as Nadja and her sister Gina, the Beer Maids, to gain beer cards.
In other exciting news, I’m happy to announce that Tanto 1-3 are finally coming back into print after having been out of print for the past year. We have also gone through and edited the cards and rulebooks for Tanto 1-3 to make sure that they are easier to read (our initial printing had very small text on the cards), and cleaned up some rules for clarification. You could say that this is a re-release of the game. Beyond that, we’ve also got 6 new Tanto Cuore playmats that we will be releasing soon, along with a special Collector’s Edition Big Box! This box will be very nice, will be limited to 2,000 pieces, and will have room to put all four games in it. It will also include a special edition randomizer card deck to be used for shuffling and randomizing the cards that you would play for every game.
We’re really excited about all the great things happening at Japanime Games, and we hope you love it all as much as we do!