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Boss Monster board game Overlord escapes its video game-inspired dungeons into the overworld

Pixel of the bunch.

Retro video game-inspired card game Boss Monster is stepping out of the dungeon and into the wider overworld with upcoming board game spin-off Overlord.

Boss Monster sees two to four players competing to control the most deadly dungeon in the kingdom. Players assume the role of villainous creatures attempting to lure hapless heroes into their treasure-filled lairs and defeat them for points. Heroes can be vanquished in a number of different ways - from getting lost in a maze patrolled by minotaurs to being crushed by rolling boulder traps - but players must be able to deal with whatever heroes they play or risk being defeated themselves.

Heroes aren’t the only threat that players have to worry about in Boss Monster, as their opponents are able to cast spells designed to disrupt other players’ plans and embolden the heroes in their dungeon. Whichever player successfully collects ten hero souls first is named the winner, whilst any player that takes five wounds is defeated.

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In Overlord, the players’ monsters find themselves venturing out of their dungeons and into the setting’s overworld for the first time. Whereas the goal of Boss Monster was to dispatch as many heroes as possible by building a dungeon, Overlord tasks players with gathering the most points by carefully crafting the layout of an overworld reminiscent of classic video games such as The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy.

Players have access to various different tiles with which they can construct their overworld. These tiles can be environments - such as caves or graveyards - fearsome monsters and mini-bosses, or magical areas that can help the player to improve their final score at the end of the game. Players take turns to draft a tile from the market into an open space on their individual board and place any tokens indicated.

Each player collects points by placing these different tiles in certain patterns - for example, scoring additional points by laying a swamp next to another swamp or watery tile. Players can also lay down portal tiles in order to move their various monster and mini-boss tokens across the overworld to maximise their score.

Overlord board game card

The design team behind Overlord includes Kevin Russ - the creator of family board game Calico and upcoming board game Tumble Town - and Aaron Mesburne. The game shares Boss Monster’s retro-inspired pixel art style.

Overlord is being published by Brotherwise Games, the company behind Boss Monster that has also released titles such as beginner board game Unearth and the Call to Adventure system, which will see a spin-off based on the fantasy book series The Stormlight Archives released next month.

The Kickstarter campaign for Overlord is live until July 10th. A pledge of $40/£32 gets a copy of the core game, set to release sometime in October 2020.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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