Vlaada Chvátil is the professional name of Czech game designer Vladimír Chvátil. While he is not well known in the English speaking world, his games certainly are, as he is one of the more successful designers of board games and, to a lesser extent, computer games.

His computer games include Cervii, Fish Fillets, Original War, Family Farm, Galaxy Trucker, and Through the Ages. As I do not play computer games, I cannot comment.

His board games tend to be a mix of thematic games and euros. His biggest hit has been Codenames and the related spin-offs, but he also designed Galaxy Trucker, Space Alert, Dungeon Lords, Mage Knight (which was later used as the base system for Star Trek: Frontiers), Pictomania, Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, Prophecy, and Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization.

This list includes some big names, and he has won a number of awards in Europe and America. His games tend to cover a large range of styles; the differences between Codenames and Mage Knight are hard to overemphasize. However, he tends to produce slightly heavier games for people who are already into board games and ready to put a bit of effort into play. His games also tend not to rely much on their art and design, relying on the gameplay to win fans. It seems to be a trend for him to be a bit of a bellwether: for example, Dungeon Lords (2009) looks a lot like the later, and more popular, game Boss Monster (2013); Space Alert (2008) is eerily similar to The Captain is Dead! (2014); and Codenames (2015) helped pave the way for a wave of lighter word-based party games such as Just One (2018) and The Chameleon (2017).

Chvátil is still producing games, although the last few years he has been focusing on expanding existing games, with more versions of Codenames, a second edition of Pictomania, and advising on the porting of his rules system to Star Trek: Frontiers. He has hinted that he has some heavier, highly thematic game in the works, although he has not commented on the details.

Iron Noder