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Don’t Starve’s board game adaptation takes roguelike survival from the wilderness to the kitchen table

Better craft plenty of torches.

Don't Starve: The Board Game WIP component shot
Image credit: Glass Cannon Unplugged/Klei Entertainment

One of the most popular survival video games of the past decade, Don’t Starve, will get an official board game adaptation that centres exploration, crafting and collaborative survival in a randomly procedural world of shadows, monsters and the looming threat of night.

Don’t Starve: The Board is a joint project between original developer Klei Entertainment and the digital-to-cardboard alchemists over at Glass Cannon Unplugged - this Polish outfit previously adapted Frostpunk, Diablo and Apex Legends into board games, and its most recent project brought Dying Light into the fold.

Rafał Pieczyński, designer of Frostpunk: The Board Game, will lead design alongside Jakub Wiśniewski as narrative lead and Natanel Vo-Apfel. Just like its video game predecessor, this title throws one to four players into a “randomly generated” slice of the Constant, an ever changing expanse twisted by both magic and science. The players will need to collect resources, assemble the bare essentials for survival and find a safe place to hunker down once night claims the sky. And if they make it to Day 2, then we can talk about crafting.

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A press release said that Don’t Starve: The Board Game’s rules are built on a foundation of “player choice, dynamic combat, and open-world exploration in night and day conditions” and that the team strove for “unexplored levels of immersion” by “fully embracing the unique, whimsical art style” and ostensibly translating as much of the source materials tense and methodical game play as possible. From the press release and one available promotional shot (which is still a work-in-progress), we know most of the playable characters - and monsters - will make an appearance.

If you’ve never played Don’t Starve, it’s got all the telltale markers of what is now a massively popular and saturated video game genre. You start in the middle of nowhere with no resource and must scrounge the wilderness for grass, logs, rocks and other bits to eventually cobble together tools. It’s a bit like Minecraft with a 2-dimensional, gothic art style reminiscent of Edward Gorey and ‘90s Tim Burton.

Don’t Starve: The Board Game will launch a Kickstarter campaign in the back half of 2024 to fund a core board game, but Glass Cannon is already talking about “a wealth of content” in the form of “expansions, add-ons, and future retail releases”.

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In this article

Don't Starve

PS4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii U, PC, Mac

Awaiting cover image

Don't Starve: The Board Game

Tabletop Game

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About the Author
Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter

Contributor

Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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