Battle Chasers: Nightwar tackles the tedium of traditional JRPG turn-based combat by turning every fight into a tense interplay of meaningful tactics. Despite some frustrating elements and balancing issues, Nightwar provides some of the most satisfying RPG battles I’ve experienced all year—and looks nice doing it.
In the last few years board games have become the new darlings of Kickstarter, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. A growing subsection are board games based on video games, with the latest, Jagged Alliance: The Board Game, hitting Kickstarter today.
The board game is being developed by German game developer Underground Games who are partnering with games publisher THQ Nordic.
“Making Jagged Alliance into a board game experience has been an ambition of ours since we first played the series over two decades ago,” says Jan Wagner, Co-founder of Underground Games. “To finally bring JA to board games and add to its great legacy, is a unique opportunity for us! We aim to make a game that is as challenging and varied as the digital version, keeping players on the edge as they make life and death decisions by the minute.”
Jagged Alliance: The Board Game is a cooperative 1-4 player tactical game featuring minis, modular maps, and multiple campaign books. Underground Games promises over 1000 hours of content through the replayable campaign and scenarios.
The scenarios and campaign books let you choose to play either a quick 45-minute skirmish map or a succession of missions in a full campaign.
The Kickstarter campaign is seeking 50,000 euros (about $59,000 USD). The cheapest pledge that nets you the game costs 59 euros (about $69 USD). If you want to shell out the big bucks you could become a lieutenant or even the other dictator boss in the game.
As always with Kickstarter games shipping is charged separately, with expectations ranging from $10 to $20.
The estimated delivery date is November 2018.
From glancing at the campaign I’m getting strong vibes of XCOM: The Board Game with the soldier minis and different missions. The Sector Maps looks to provide actual tactical combat that the XCOM game sorely lacked.
Despite loving the tactical strategy genre I never really got into Jagged Alliance, always preferring sci-fi or fantasy to modern military. But Jagged Alliance: The Board Game looks like a really solid, high quality effort to translate the video game into a very meaty tabletop production.
THQ’s demise in 2013 left a number of game developers displaced, including Vigil Games, creators of the Darksiders series. Two studios spun out of the ashes of Vigil Games: Gunfire Games, who are making Darksiders 3, and Airship Syndicate, whose first game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, launched last week. It’s a combination dungeon crawler and JRPG, featuring turn-based combat, randomized dungeons, and a striking art style based on a late ’90s comic series.
Over Skype I spoke with Joe Madureira, Airship Syndicate’s creative director and CEO (as well as writer and penciller of the Battle Chasers comic), and Steve Madureira, the lead designer and animator for Battle Chasers: Nightwar—two brothers who have been making comics and games since they were teenagers.
Many of my favorite games stick with me over the years not because of finely-honed combat systems or impressive visual effects. Often it’s the story and characters that remain the most memorable aspects of the those cherished gaming experiences.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows has one of the best stories I’ve experienced in years. It’s an epic tale about heroic sacrifice, forbidden love, political betrayal, and self discovery set within a richly realized world of urban renaissance and ancient mystery. Masquerada’s tactical combat is serviceable, but it’s the story and characters that demand you experience this unique RPG.
Since the halcyon days of Double Fine Adventure just a few years ago, Kickstarter has faded as a legitimate source of revenue for video game companies. While some veteran developers and spiritual sequels can still find success on Kickstarter, it’s the last place one would expect to find a multi-million dollar MMORPG by a brand new studio.
Intrepid Studios has discovered an audience who is hungry for their upcoming title Ashes of Creation, an ambitious MMORPG that promises an impressive degree of player involvement within the politics, economy, and history of the world. The Kickstarter campaign surged to over $1 million after 36 hours. The campaign wrapped up last week with nearly 20,000 backers pledging over $3.2 million.
We’re supposed to “reach for the moon” in our goals. That way if we fall short we’ll still land among the stars. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that the nearest star is several light-years farther away than our moon. But the point is sound.
Zeboyd Games’ moon is represented by classic, beloved 90s Japanese RPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Suikoden, and Phantasy Star. It’s a big reason I backed the game on Kickstarter several years ago. To take on some of the best RPGs in gaming with an indie budget and two-person development team is a daunting challenge. While Cosmic Star Heroine falls short in some ways, it still lands among the stars as one of the best games I’ve played this year.
Nearly every hugely successful Kickstarter game plays on the nostalgia of gaming yesteryear. Pillars of Eternity and Baldur’s Gate. Torment: Tides of Numenera and Planescape: Torment. Yooka-Laylee and Banjo-Kazooie.
Thimbleweed Park’s campaign aimed its sights at a very distinct game style: classic LucasArts Adventures. The finished product not only succeeds at capturing the humor, gameplay, and essence from the era of Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island, but also stands tall with adventure gaming classics as a great game in its own right.