The original Kemet first released in 2012 and had two to five players assembling armies of warriors to battle over territories. Each available tribe worshipped a different deity and had the ability to pray to their chosen god in order to summon powerful beasts to fight alongside them. Players could also draw divine intervention cards that would enable them to get an upper hand on their opponent.
Victory points were scored by winning battles, claiming pyramids and temples, performing sacrifices, and gaining access to certain magical powers. Once a player gathered between eight to ten victory points - depending on the total number of people playing - they were declared the winner.
In Kemet: Blood and Sand, players will still be moving miniatures across the board to engage in combat and conquer pyramids, but - according to its Kickstarter description - there have been a number of small changes to help make the upcoming board game play more intuitively than previous editions. Victory point requirements, the divine intervention deck and overall setup of the game have all been simplified. Players also start the upcoming board game with a free purchase and combat rules have been altered to make the experience more accessible for newcomers.
On top of the adjustments to gameplay, several changes have been made to update Kemet’s appearance, adding a new tile colour - onyx - alongside new illustrations and miniatures for each tribe and creature. Cities have been given a new coat of paint to reflect the god with which they’re associated.
Kemet was designed by Jacques Bariot - co-creator of party board game Give Me Five - and Guillaume Montiage. The two also worked together on the similarly Egyptian-themed game Nefertiti, which has players finding beautiful gifts to honour the queen and pharaoh’s wedding anniversary.
The publisher of Kemet and Kemet: Blood and Sand is Matagot, which has previously released titles such as co-op board game Captain Sonar, as well as the spiritual prequel and sequel to Kemet, Cyclades and Inis. Together, the three individual games form an unofficial ‘legendary’ trilogy.
Cyclades and Inis - which are themed around Greek and Celtic cultures - also involve players controlling different warring factions in order to obtain victory points. 2009’s Cyclades was designed by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, while Inis was created by Christian Martinez and released in 2016. Matagot is yet to announce whether either game will see a similarly revised new edition in the future.
Kemet: Blood and Sand is live on Kickstarter until June 16th. A pledge of $69/£62 gets a copy of the core game, due to arrive with backers in August 2021.