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Nemesis creator’s next release, Knockdown, is inspired by fighting video games

Cardboard combos.

Go head-to-head in Knockdown, an upcoming title based on fighting video games designed by Nemesis creator Adam Kwapiński.

Taking cues from one-on-one fighting games, Knockdown is a two-player board game set in the world of SiegeStorm, where ambitious combatants do battle in the Great Tournament.

With a roster of three different fighters - Verota, Xin’go and Driana - Knockdown presents players a 3D area for their characters to fight on, with the game’s box serving as its board. Player’s characters begin at opposite ends of the stage, before gradually advancing on one another, much like in video game series such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

Knockdown begins with players receiving a skill card, which grants their character with a unique ability for them to use throughout the game. Players then take a hand of starting attack cards, discarding one of their choice to determine who goes first - with the highest-value card winning the player the initiative.

There are four possible actions players can perform in the game: resting, moving, drawing and carrying out a combo. Moving shifts the player character one space to the left or right of the arena, with certain attack moves requiring characters to be a particular distance from their opponent. Should a player want to attack, they will need to draw an attack card and perform the sequence shown on the card. Alternatively, players can choose to place an attack card in their hand for later.

Players can also choose to use one of their character’s special abilities to enact a combo, requiring the player to discard a number of cards and granting them the chance to inflict additional effects on their opponent. Characters who are being attacked have a chance at blocking, as long as they can discard enough of the right cards. However, should an opponent take too many wounds, they must pass a knockdown test - which sees the defending player having to build a tower of cubes containing the wounds they have received before 10 seconds have passed.

Knockdown board game layout

Defending players that succeed the knockdown test can stand their character up to continue the fight. Should a player fail the knockdown test, their character is out of the game and their opponent wins. Alternatively, should the attack deck run out, then the game ends and whoever has the least wounds is named the victor.

Aside from horror game Nemesis, Kwapiński created asymmetric game Lords of Hellas, which sees players embodying heroes determined to gain the favour of the Greek gods.

Awaken Realms Lite is the publisher behind Knockdown, as well as dexterity game Flick of Faith, and is a label focused on lighter games than parent studio Awaken Realms, the publisher responsible for Nemesis and Lords of Hellas.

The Kickstarter campaign for Knockdown is live until November 1st, with a pledge of €25 (£23) getting backers a copy of the core game set to be released July 2021.


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.