Video games have been liberally borrowing from board games for years. Whether it's the reinterpretation of Dungeons & Dragons's combat in games like Baldur's Gate (and the recently released spiritual successor Pillars of Eternity) or video game designers propensity to lift gameplay ideas and put a twist on them; board gaming's DNA is all over videogaming.
And that's great. Who doesn't want more good ideas finding their way into board games and video games alike. But what happens when a big franchise crosses all the way over? Rules of Play has come up with a list of video game board games that dedicated fans need to seek out and play...
We'll start with a rather obvious one. With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC (really soon), there's no better time to take a look at CD Projekt RED's attempt to make The Witcher work as a board game.
It's all here, too. Geralt's adventures and deep RPG mechanics are perfectly suited to a board game and The Witcher Adventure Game is certainly a big undertaking. It's the sort of board game that needs an entire afternoon and a ready supply of snacks. A ton of fun, if you've already spent time exploring The Witcher's world, you'll have a good idea what to expect. For fans of the series this is a must play.
4. Street Fighter: Deck-Building Game
Street Fighter 4 punched its way back into gamers's lives in a big, big way. The classic Japanese fighting game proved that the competitive arcade spirit was alive and well, and not even dodgy internet connections could stop people from getting online and fighting.
Though you might think that Street Fighter would win the award for 'game least likely to ever feature as a board game', Street Fighter: Deck-Building Game proves you wrong (as long as you count card games as board games that is).
A card-based deck-building game, this version of Street Fighter puts the strategic elements of Capcom's brawler front and centre. For those players that know the difference between a basic Hadouken and a Super, can apply that knowledge in card form and it will surely raise a smile. With Street Fighter V on its way to a console near you soon, why not practice your fighting strategy with Street Fighter: Deck-Building Game and hone your skills. You know you need the practice.
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures isn't strictly a straight adaptation of a videogame, but for anyone old enough to remember LucasArts' X-Wing, Tie Fighter and X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter series will quickly realise exactly what's going on. LucasArts' fantastic dogfighting series brought Star Wars' iconic spaceships to life in new ways.
And now you can play them in miniatures form. Players of LucasArts' original game will immediately recognise the ships and their abilities. They'll instinctively know that little A-Wing is going to be the fastest Rebel ship on the board and cause no end of damage to the Imperial fleet.
Star Wars: X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter has essentially been brought back to life in X-Wing Miniatures and the encyclopedic knowledge players had for the game's ships translates perfectly to the tabletop board game. It's also just as fun as you can imagine.
2. Boss Monster
Boss Monster captures the spirit of videogaming in a way only a card game could. Full of referential humour and nods to the world of gaming, Boss Monster is a videogame fan's dream card game. Even the pixelated artwork will put a smile on your face, and just wait till you see the expansion pack box art. It looks just like the original GameBoy boxes!
Gamers of a certain age might appreciate some of Boss Monsters touches more than others, but if you've spent any time enjoying videogames and looking back at the wealth of older retro titles out there, Boss Monster's fun card-based gameplay, nostalgia and fantastic art is a must play. It might not be connected to one specific videogame, but it is connected to the culture of gaming and represents everything that makes it great. For that reason alone, every discerning gamer needs this adorning their coffee table.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown holds a very special place in gamers' hearts. Why? Well, it's through an intelligent blend of strategy, management, action and emotional attachment to your troops XCOM gets under your skin in a way few games can. Its slow turn-based style is already suited to board game design too, so the leap from screen to table isn't a big one.
What's impressive about XCOM: The Board game is how it manages to capture all of the same elements of the video game. You'll need to manage your base, research new weapons, take care of your troops and, once that call comes in, head out around the world and push back the alien threat. It's amazing how well XCOM works and to have it visually laid out before you on a table is a real treat. If you're a fan of XCOM, you really owe it to yourself to pick XCOM: The Board Game up.
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