If you want to adapt a video game known for challenging players with intense, methodical difficulty into a board game, what do you do? You make it super hard, of course.
That’s the plan with the board game adaptation of medieval fantasy game Dark Souls being made by developer Steamforged Games. “Designed from the ground up, the Dark Souls board game is a brutally hard exploration miniatures game for 1-4 players,” the game’s website declares. “Prepare to die. Because this will be the hardest board game you have ever played.”
A lot of what’s going into Dark Souls on your table is borrowed from Dark Souls on your TV in order to make the two feel like similar, but different, experiences. Steamforged hasn’t dumped too many details, but its website describes a “stamina” mechanic for the board game that’ll dictate how much you can do and how often. That same idea is a major part of the Dark Souls video game experience—you have a set amount of stamina that dictates how many times you can swing your sword, roll away from danger or block incoming attacks with your shield. When it runs out, you’re suddenly too tired to do anything, and have a (usually fatal) couple of seconds of vulnerability while it recharges.
Dark Souls is, of course, known for its boss fights, and that’ll be the big focus of the board game adaptation too. Steamforged’s game will include a bunch of bosses and mini bosses (all rendered in those cool miniatures), and according to the website, the developer has a “behavior mechanic” in mind that’ll dictate how the bosses act when you fight them on the board. The idea is that that mechanic will interact with players in such a way that no two boss fights—even those against the same boss—will ever be the same. Oh, and the game will include those two guys above, known to be some of the toughest bosses in the series: Ornstein and Smough.
All of that sounds like a pretty tall order for a game played by taking turns and moving little statues around the board, but ambition can be good, especially in adapting a video game that’s beloved by many and feared by most.
The Dark Souls board game is starting a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on April 19. There’s more info on Steamforged’s website. In the meantime, get your Dark Souls fix with the monster-filled, fairly spoiler-ific launch trailer for the latest Dark Souls you play on your TV, Dark Souls III.