Ahead of the Dead Cells board game hitting Kickstarter tomorrow, Dicebreaker can exclusively reveal the first trailer for the upcoming video game adaptation.
Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game was revealed earlier this year as a tabletop adaptation of the acclaimed Metroidvania-roguelike platformer, which tasks its headless hero with making attempt after attempt to escape a dungeon full of punishing enemies.
The upcoming board game allows more players to join the fun as a co-op experience, with the group of Beheaded characters - the Flayed, Quartered, Immolated and Poisoned will form the core box’s roster - progressing through a series of biomes (the Prisoners’ Quarters, Toxic Sewers and Ramparts appear in the trailer) and interbiomes towards a final boss.
Each biome includes a series of branching paths connecting semi-randomised tokens, which are flipped as the group encounters them to reveal enemies, treasure, choices and other elements. Each roughly 45-minute run is made up of two separate biomes and a boss.
Combat with enemies and bosses is handled on a separate board, with the group - regardless of size - playing three combat cards in total from their hands during each of three rounds of combat. Each character’s deck can be customised between runs with unlocked combat cards, which can be used with any of the Beheaded.
Like the video game, the group’s progress is reset upon death, returning them to the starting area and dropping any collected equipment and gold. However, some cards - including equipment blueprints, mutations and runes - are retained between runs to unlock new cards and abilities, with collected cells able to be spent on other cards that remain in the group’s possession over multiple sessions.
Rune cards can also unlock access to new areas, providing ongoing progression across repeat playthroughs without the need for the same group of players or characters to have to play together every time.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Dead Cells board game will include a single miniature, used to represent the group’s location in each biome, along with what studio head Manuel Sanchez described as “little surprises” for fans of the video game due to be revealed during the crowdfunding run.
“Dead Cells is such a generous game - the fans named it ‘the game that keeps on giving’ - we wanted our base game to be as generous as that while having a structure able to easily support entire DLCs as expansion,” Sanchez told Dicebreaker.
Among the first surprises will be Serenade, the chatty sword from the video game’s second DLC Fatal Falls. In the board game, the sword will serve as a companion in its single-player mode, along with dedicated mechanics for gameplay.
However, Sanchez confirmed that the video game’s recent crossover with its inspiration Castlevania would not make it into the board game due to “licensing issues”, adding that biomes and bosses from “major DLC” would also skip the board game for now.
“We chose to focus on a very solid base box and to respect our delivery schedule rather than going berserk with tons of expansions and losing ourselves on the way. If the campaign is successful, we may include them later,” Sanchez explained.
“It will depend on the success of the current Kickstarter campaign and after that on the reaction of gamers when it will be released. If people like what we are proposing to them, it is easy to imagine how to make it grow in the future. We tried to build a solid base gameplay-wise and it has all been created keeping in mind that we must be able to plug more content in.
“For now, let's concentrate on delivering what we promise, and we will think about the future after that.”
Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game is due to launch on Kickstarter tomorrow, May 16th.