Ascending Empires' 2011 original game.
Image Source: Z-Man Games

Publisher WizK!ds has announced a revamped version of the popular 4X board game “Ascending Empires.” In the overhauled game aptly called “Ascending Empires: Zenith” designers Ian Cooper and Jan M. Gonzalez will attempt to improve the original design, give it a nice polish and release it in in 2023.

The Original Team Is Back to Set up the Game  

The new game will be illustrated by Sergi Marcet, with the original crew coming together to work on the next chapter in “Ascending Empires.” The space-themed game appeared at a time when both “Twilight” and “Eclipse” were attempting to establish themselves on top of the pecking order in the 4X genre. The game also comes with a dexterity element to the gameplay, although the studio assures it’s not a dexterity game as such.

Speaking to Dice Tower during their Mega Summer Announcement, WizK!ds Director of Board Games Zev Shlasinger explained why the game needed a facelift:

“We have worked on a lot of games at WizK!ds and one of the most recent games we redid was Clash of Culture. That game and the idea of it was very successful, so we were thinking what else out there was worth doing. Ascending Empires was a go-to pick because of the positive reception the game had enjoyed at the time.”

WizK!ds Director of Board Games Zev Shlasinger

Shlasinger is also the former owner of Z-Man Games where “Ascending Empires was originally published.” In this version of the game, you will be the last surviving members of the human race, forced to scatter across the stars to save our species while an unstoppable enemy has been wreaking havoc in the known cosmos. But the biggest threat to the survival of the human players is the other players.

The game will quickly have you assume control over a sprawling colony which is racing against time to collect, establish new outposts and scavenge anything for the survival of the human race. Your ships will cross the galaxy and lock lasers with opposing fleets who are just as greedy for resources.

Versatility and Quality-of-Life Changes to Original Gameplay

Instead of reuniting under the same banner, the surviving humans have diverged into individual powerhouses with allegiance to their own kin. This sets the conflict in the game, where players will combat to push back invaders and defend their colonies. Gameplay has also been touched up, Shlasinger said.

There are more technologies now with an A and B-sided technology boards and players can choose which one they want to try.  The game is also introducing more specialty ships and also choosing from a base version of play but also modules that can be tucked on to the basic mode of play so as to introduce more variety. These modules could be missions or components.

In the latest edition of “Ascending Empires,” players can expect to find high-quality plastic components, modular board, better neoprene mat as the playing surface, and so much more. The game is set to play for 60-90 time per session, it’s designed for 2-4 players and is designated for 14+ audiences. The speed of play here and the successful gameplay will be what draws players in here, Shlasinger concluded.

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.