The constantly-be-killed ’em up, Dark Souls, will be coming to a table near you early next year thanks to Steamforged’s successful Kickstarter. In fact, to just call it successful is a doing a huge disservice to Steamforged as over 31 thousand backers pledged over £3.5 million, making it one of the most backed Kickstarters in history. Fun fact – Steamforged actually raised 75 times more money than they initially set as their goal.
With the tidal wave on interest behind it, it’s fair to say that Dark Souls The Board Game is going to be huge. And with success like this, we might be seeing a few more video games make the leap from our screens to our tables.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the games we think would work as a board game.
5 – Starfox / Lylat Wars
This idea is out of the room, let alone thinking outside the box, but the Star Fox series, the Nintendo 64 Lylat Wars in particular, would be a cracking 1 v many miniatures board game. One player would play as Andross, controlling his grunts, end of level bosses and Star Wolf team, while the other players would make up the Star Fox team; Star Fox, Peppy, Slippy and Falco. We’d love to see the team progressing through the planets in the Lylat system, picking off the Andross controlled grunts and grabbing power ups to prepare for the end of level boss where they’ll all be trying to manoeuvre together to get clear hits on the boss’ weak spot – not to mention the cracking dogfighting as Star Fox’s team face off against Star Wolf.
As far as actually playing, we can imagine X-Wing style miniature models being steered through pre-built maps from a campaign book as the Andross player throws dozens of grunts at them to weaken them for each end of level boss. As with the N64 game planets could have branching paths if certain side objectives are met, so each time you play the campaign you can explore different planets in the fiarly short, but sweet campaign.
4 – Payday 2
At first it seems that Payday 2 isn’t really necessary on this list as the heist genre is growing in the board game market, but there is one thing that seems to be missing and we think Payday 2 holds the answer. Meticulous planning, stealthy break-ins and escapes are ten a penny if you’re looking at games like Burgle Bros. but one thing that we could see more of is the on the fly game change of a stealth heist going bad in Payday 2.
A heist you’d planned to be stealthy suddenly going loud flips Payday 2 on its head and would be a brilliant mechanic in a board game. When the alarm sounds your objectives suddenly change and go from get the loot and sneak out to find a place to hole up and survive the police assault. It seems like a lot of rules to fit into one game, but it is certainly doable. While it’s not top of our list, this is a game we’d love to see made.
3 – Left 4 Dead
A common theme in this list is the co-op nature, but Left 4 Dead offers more than just the co-op experience. Four players taking the roles of Bill, Louis, Francis and Zoey or Coach, Nick, Ellis and Rochelle would have the benefit that the original games have as each time you play a map you know what to expect for the next play, but there’d be enough changes to keep it fresh.
The Left 4 Dead brand has loads of maps to draw from and random dice rolls can shut off certain routes to stop you just powering through the same way each time. Another mechanic to keep each play different would be, like the game’s AI Director, different AI decks throwing special infected, hordes, guns, ammo and health kits at you depending on how well the team is doing – probably measured by the team’s total health and ammo. To keep you on your toes and to stop you knowing exactly what’s going to happen and when, these events would be spawned at a variety of points – like the original games.
As well as the co-op mode there’s also the opportunity for versus with teams of players, or one on one versus, fighting to either reach the next safehouse or to bring down the survivors as quickly as possible. With special infected having unique abilities this mode could be really great. This is a game we’d love to see on our tables.
Zombie games are huge at the minute, Zombicide and Dead of Winter both offer tense survival experiences, but a Left 4 Dead licensed game could be huge. Just imagine running low on ammo and flipping a card in the AI deck that throws a Tank at you just before the safe house door or a Smoker pulling one of you back into a horde just after you’ve all managed to break away from near-death. Every exciting moment you’ve experienced in the game you could experience again, made even better by being right next to the people you’re trying to survive with.
2 – Monster Hunter
It was a hard decision between which of these two games made the top spot. They swapped more than once, but Monster Hunter was pipped at the post and sits at the very top end of the number two position, edging a toe into the top slot of this list.
The Monster Hunter series has huge potential in a board game. Especially one with a campaign. As with the games, players – we reckon up to four, co-operatively – will choose a mission before heading out into the wilderness. Random dice rolls will decide what monsters from that particular mission’s bestiary will spawn in each area for you to hunt. Killing monsters would give you loot dependant on dice rolls and the specific monster you killed so when you finish a mission you can either sell the loot or craft it into better weapons and armour. As with the games players will end up running the same mission a few times to get certain loot to be able to craft a weapon or piece of armour they want.
All of this grinding and crafting would build up to the big encounters, Kingdom Death Monster style where all the players battle against big monsters for huge rewards. We think an added bonus of this game is that if one person couldn’t make a play session, there’s no reason the other players couldn’t grind out a mission or two to add a few bits of loot to the party inventory. To reiterate, there’s a huge potential here for a spectacular campaign lead board game.
1 – Team Fortress 2
Okay, maybe this is more of a skirmish war game, but building a small team from nine available classes is a great entry level war game. There are loads of people on the fringe of these games that just can’t follow all the different unit types, or will be overwhelmed with the amount of units they control. Whittling the pool down to nine different units to build a team opens up a type of game that can feel walled in with rule books out to people who frankly don’t have the time.
But there’s more than just having nine units to choose from that makes a TF2 skirmish game viable. Each of these mercenaries has a huge list of weapons to choose in a loadout and TF2 has a huge game mode and map list pool to draw from. Breaking away from deathmatch and objective activation TF2 could bring Payload to the table in an accessible way. Whack a defined time limit on the game and throw in respawn timers and you’ll bring out the all-action that TF2 is known for and pull away from the sometimes overthought play styles of most war games.