The truly nerdy among you have probably noticed the recent renaissance of board game culture. Intensely complex tabletop board games have once again taken control of living rooms everywhere. With this resurgence of board games comes new inspirations and mechanics, making this a more exciting time than ever before to start rolling the dice. Additionally, this newfound popularity has digital entertainment returning to analog, as video games are trying to get in on the action.
Licensed board games are nothing new, with popular games based on franchises such as Game of Thrones finding much success. However, there aren’t nearly as many video game-to-board game adaptations as you might expect. The nuances of gameplay can be difficult to translate, so most companies decide not to bother. But imagine our surprise when we heard that Steamforged Games is working on developing a Dark Souls board game with a planned Kickstarter already receiving a fair amount of buzz of its own.
Board games moving to the more interactive world of video games isn’t terribly new, either. We’ve long seen some of the most popular IPs from the biggest board game manufacturers make the jump, often exploring entirely new methods of gameplay from their tabletop counterparts. Most notably, an online version of Monopoly offers a chance-based take on everyone’s favorite game of capitalism, as players attempt to test their luck with all of the properties and pieces from the classic board game in an entirely new setting. And yet, while board games often try their luck in the digital world, the opposite has rarely been tested, which is one of the reasons why we’re so curious about the Dark Souls board game.
The Souls series has long been lauded by hardcore gamers as one of the most difficult, and arguably pure, gaming experiences around. That’s why the concept of attempting to translate the core of the game (much less the difficulty) to a board game definitely raised some eyebrows upon its announcement. The title will be an exploration miniatures game for 1-4 players and is expected to offer a quick set-up for casual board gamers or those getting into the medium for the first time. At the same time, it will retain the the trademark challenge of the series. Steamforged has also promised to adhere closely to the art-style, with highly detailed figurines in addition to multiple boss and mini-boss battles. These battles will include fan favorites such as Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Execution Smough.
Interest in the much-vaunted adventure series has reached its peak in the wake of the release of the latest title, Dark Souls III, which has garnered rave reviews and shattered sales records. It had the most successful launch day in the history of Bandai-Namco as a games publisher.
Dark Souls III is currently available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and the Kickstarter for the board game is expected to begin April 19. We’re still working our way through the crushingly tough Dark Souls III but can’t wait for the opportunity to die at our dinner tables as well. That is, of course, if the Kickstarter can reach its goal.