Praise the sun! The official Dark Souls Board Game, designed by miniature gaming company Steamforged Games, has officially launched their Kickstarter crowd funding campaign. The campaign will last for 26 days and has already been funded five minutes after going live.
The game is being developed with the help of Bandai Namco, the publisher of the Souls franchise, and aims to be the hardest board game to date, reflecting the brutal difficulty the series is well known for.
The base game will include the following:
3 Boss Models
5 Mini-Boss Models
4 Player Character Models
4 Large Grunt Models
12 Grunt Models
7 Double Sided Game Tiles
4 Player Character Boards
3 Boss Dials for Tracking Damage
60 Equipment Cards
40 Treasure Cards
26 Boss AI Cards
36 Encounter Cards
15 Coloured Dice
100+ Game Tokens
More models and content will be added to the game as the Kickstarter meets its various stretch goals, including new playable characters. The models come unpainted out of the box, but are packed with detail.
The game can be played alone or with up to four players. Each level begins at the iconic bonfire, where players begin to branch out with their party of miniatures and explore the randomized dungeon that gets built as they play. As players explore the dungeon they will encounter enemies, discover loot and feel stressed when they engage in combat with one of the infamous bosses across the franchise such as Ornstein and Smough or Dark Souls 3’s Dancer of the Boreal Valley.
There are four characters to choose from in the box, the knight, the warrior, the herald and the assassin. Each one has it’s own set of attacks and advantages in combat, keeping the gameplay feeling fresh and varied during multiple play sessions. An interesting mechanic the board game incorporates from the main series is the use of stamina. Your character starts off with a pool of points that counts both as hit points and stamina points. When the pool depletes to zero your character dies, loses all of the treasures it collected and is sent back to the bonfire. It’s a risk-reward system that makes the player think strategically about when they should attack an enemy and when they should retreat to use an estus flask and heal up.
Each boss comes with their own miniature and unique deck of cards to randomize their attacks, keeping players on their toes during a fight. There’s no feeling of safety when taking on a boss, they can get incredibly aggressive and each attack that lands can take off a lot of points off your character. Thankfully the combat has some defensive mechanics too, allowing you to either attempt to dodge or block the incoming attack. Each form of defense has its advantages and weaknesses but it’s up to the luck of the dice to see if the action succeeds.
There are only two pledge levels to choose from in the campaign, one for enthusiasts (80 or more GBP) and one for retailers (200 or more GBP). This is Steamforged Games’ second time managing a Kickstarter campaign after successfully funding their independent miniature game, GuildBall.