It’s been publicly in the works for a while but yesterday tabletop game creators Steamforged Games finally launched their Kickstarter campaign for Dark Souls: The Board Game. Promising to deliver a gaming experience “that captures the very essence of the original video games” Steamforged have clearly captured the imagination of tabletop and video gamers too because the campaign managed to smash through its £50,000 target in just 3 minutes. Since then the campaign has only continued to grow, and at time of writing 6,364 backers have pledged an incredible £521,099. They even had to add new stretch goals.
If you’re wondering how in the name of the First Flame the videogame could translate to a tabletop experience, here’s an idea of how it will work.
Steamforged Games state that Dark Souls: The Board Game will be a “strategically challenging, deeply immersive combat exploration” co-op experience for 1 to 4 players that will introduce “a number of innovative gameplay mechanics.”
To get started, players choose a character with a class based on those in the game (knight, warrior, herald or assassin), with each class having its own unique abilities that give it a distinct role to play in the game. Playing in solo or co-op mode, players must explore locations, defeat enemies from all three of the Dark Souls videogames, and discover or earn treasure and equipment before facing a final boss battle.
When it comes to combat, Steamforged have put together a demo so that backers can get an idea of just what they’re in for:
From what we can see from the above video, combat looks like it will be just as strategically challenging as it is in the videogame, with players having to focus not only on the enemy behaviours determined by the game’s “AI Cards” but also their position and their stamina, as well as contend with the limited slots for equipment, armour, and weapons. Steamforged say “death is usually swift to follow a poor decision in combat”, and you certainly don’t want that because in the event of your death you drop everything you’ve collected and reappear at the nearest bonfire. It’s a lot of gameplay to contend with but it’ll certainly ensure that each playthrough of the game will not only be challenging, but fresh and interesting too. Like the videogames, there will be a lot of replay value.
Opening the box will no doubt be a somewhat overwhelming experience considering the sheer number of pieces that appear to be included: three boss characters, five mini-bosses, 16 grunts, seven game tiles, 100 treasure and equipment cards, 26 Boss AI Cards, 36 Encounter Cards, 15 dice and over 100 game tokens.
If you’re interested in contributing to the Kickstarter and getting the game for yourself, a pledge of £80 plus £7 shipping will secure you it for an April 2017 delivery. As tabletop games go it’s certainly not cheap, but from what we can tell a lot of effort has gone into ensuring this game’s mechanics and appearance are faithful to the Dark Souls franchise and it looks like Steamforged have achieved something great with it. Plus, we’d really like to get our hands on those figurines.