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Story-driven Vietnam War board game Purple Haze lands on Gamefound next month

UBOOT creators’ next “immersive simulation” offers players a branching narrative as they command a squad of US Marines in 1967.

Purple Haze, the next co-op board game from the studio behind submarine sim UBOOT, will launch its crowdfunding campaign next month, Dicebreaker can exclusively reveal.

As revealed by Dicebreaker last month, Purple Haze is a story-driven board game set during the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968. Up to six players - or a lone player in a solo mode - control a squad of rookie US Marines as they make their way through jungles and villages of the war-torn country.

Image: Phalanx (prototype artwork subject to change)

Central to the 10 to 12-hour campaign are a series of branching story paths, which will see both “micro narratives” and the broader overarching plot change based on players’ decisions and the outcome of each 60 to 90-minute session. Each of the eight missions range from escort tasks and patrols to grander operations, with the finale of the campaign throwing players into the real-life Tet Offensive.

Marines can be wounded or permanently killed during missions, with lasting injuries and trauma impacting later scenarios. Characters who survive will be able to gain experience over multiple deployments, acquiring additional skills and specialisations to aid their squad’s performance.

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Purple Haze drops the real-time aspect of UBOOT’s app-assisted gameplay in favour of turn-based tactical combat, requiring players to carefully select the best equipment before each mission and use the various strategic options available to make their way towards the given objective. The squad will be able to utilise unique weapons, select different targets, call for air support and acquire additional equipment and ammo on the battlefield.

Encounters can include both combat and more narrative dilemmas, including both player decisions and skill tests more akin to a tabletop RPG. Tests are resolved by rolling dice based on the characters’ unique attributes; over 20 different marines are available for players to add to their squad during the game.

Image: Phalanx (prototype artwork subject to change)

Publisher Phalanx plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign for Purple Haze on Kickstarter rival Gamefound on January 25th. The crowdfunded edition will include an expansion and exclusive miniature. The game will be released in retail at a later date.

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.