When I was a kid, I preferred video games over board games, and I believe it is the same for children today. As we grow older, we have less time to spend having fun. The lack of time caused me to switch over to board games. This way, I get to combine playing games and spend time with my friends. The best thing is that I can play video game board games and relive experiences from my favorite video games.
The hardest thing about choosing a board game based on a video game is finding out which board games adapted the originals well. Sometimes the board game is brilliant on their own without being reminiscent of the video game. Board games based on video games share this problem with board game adaptations of books. In this article, I will cover some of the best adaptations. I will focus on adaptations that are both fun on their own and true to the theme of the video game.
Turning Video Games into Board Games - How do they do it?
There are several matching genres in board games and video games, this makes some video game adaptations straightforward. One such example is Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn. Strategy is a popular board game genre, so this is a natural adaptation that feels true to the video game. But what about third-person shooter games like Resident Evil? How did they make a Resident Evil remake that feels true to the original game?
Steamforged Games is a developer well known for video game adaptations. After taking a look at Resident Evil 2: The Board Game, it is clear Steamforged Games put a lot of effort into mechanics and components that will remind fans of the video game. Health packs and ammunition are scarce, keeping players on the edge throughout the game. Players who played Resident Evil video games will recognize some scenario layouts. Incorporating some mechanics from the video game into the board game adds to the thematic feel of the board game. An example of a mechanic that is present in both versions of a game is the pushback when a zombie bites a player.
A direct translation of mechanics coupled with miniatures that bring characters from the video game to your table makes the Resident Evil 4 remake one of the best board game adaptations of a video game. This is one of the best 2-player board game adaptations of a video game, so it is an excellent choice for couples who are fans of the franchise.
Board Games based on Open World Video Games
It is hard to represent an open world in board games, so many board games based on open-world video games take other elements of the game to keep the theme true to the original. They usually use characters and races from the video game and create a board based on the most iconic locations.
There are several World of Warcraft board games you can choose from if you are a fan of the franchise. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is generally considered the best of the bunch. It is a board game that utilizes a system similar to Pandemic to represent the perilous situation in Azeroth as Lich King grows in power. Fans of area majority games will enjoy Small World of Warcraft. The game is a crossover between Small World and World of Warcraft and puts you in control of races of Azeroth in a battle for dominance over the world. If you are wondering where to buy World of Warcraft board games, you can find both of the previously mentioned games in our store.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game is another Steamforged Games adaptation. In this game, the developers decided not to follow the storyline of the video game. Instead, the Horizon Dawn board game is based on hunters’ lodge quests. Each player is a unique hunter competing to earn the most glory through five hunts. Despite avoiding the original story, the game represents Horizon Zero Dawn well. If you are a fan of the video game, Horizon Zero Dawn miniatures will remind you of enemies from the video game, and the development of your hunter will feel familiar.
Board games based on Action Role-Playing Video Games
Action role-playing video games may be the hardest genre to translate into a board game. I am a huge fan of the genre and it is a struggle to find a good board game adaptation. I find the fluid movement and reflex-based combat in such video games the most enjoyable aspect of the genre. Unfortunately, translating those mechanics into a board game is impossible. Developers have to focus on other aspects of the game to stay true to the original, which is instantly noticeable in Dark Souls: The Board game.
Dark Souls is notorious for its difficulty and renowned for its fairness. The difficult part was translated into the Dark Souls board game well enough, but unfortunately, losing in the board game often doesn’t feel as if it happened because of insufficient skill. The depth of the Dark Souls video games will probably never be completely adapted to a different medium, so it is good that developers decided to focus on the dungeon crawling aspect. Although the board game is not a perfect representation, Dark Souls miniatures and brilliantly designed boss AI are reminiscent of many epic deaths you encounter in the video game.
Family-friendly Board Game adaptations of Video Games
Nowadays, many video games are gory. If they aren’t violent, they often come with other elements that make you reluctant to play them with your children. Even if the board game adaptation doesn’t include such elements, it is likely that the board game will incite your children to play the original video game. In a world where you can’t and shouldn’t stop your children from playing video games, choosing a good board game adaptation is a good way to steer them towards video games that are good for your children’s development.
Stardew Valley board game is the complete opposite of such violent games. It is a cooperative game of farming and friendship where you work together to complete Grandpa’s Goals by raising animals, watering crops, and traveling around the Valley. Stardew Valley can be mechanically complex for younger children. If you are looking for a gift for younger children, check out Minecraft board games.
The best Minecraft gift for young ones is Minecraft: Builders & Biomes. Unlike many other board games suitable for children, this one doesn’t oversimplify the gaming experience. This way, both parents and children can enjoy the game while playing together. The rules are intuitive and easy to learn, so the children have no problems understanding them. If you are looking for a good adaptation of a family-friendly video game, this is probably the best one out there. The Minecraft building theme is brilliantly executed, and the mechanics are suitable for both adults and children. You and your children will enjoy this game.
Author – Ante Radoš