The Tales from the Loop board game is set in the same universe as the Tales from the Loop tabletop RPG, which started life as an art book by Swedish illustrator Stålenhag. The art book, tabletop RPG and board game - as well as the other art books and games set in Stålenhag’s universe, such as sequel Things from the Flood - all combine the sweeping landscapes of rural Sweden with futuristic technology, unusual happenings and a mysterious, unsettling atmosphere. (Tales from the Loop’s upcoming Amazon Prime Video series, based on the first two books in the series, relocates the action to the midwest US.)
Free League Publishing CEO and co-founder Tomas Härenstam told Dicebreaker that, much like the tabletop RPG, the co-op board game casts the players as teenagers in search of answers to mysteries surrounding the Loop. In the tabletop RPG, character types included tropes such as the Weirdo, Bookworm and Popular Kid, drawing from 1980s films such as E.T., Stand By Me and The Goonies.
A central part of Tales from the Loop lore, the Loop is a vast underground scientific facility - not unlike that seen in Netflix show Stranger Things - that houses a particle accelerator similar to the real-life Large Hadron Collider.
The Loop is responsible for many of Tales from the Loop’s otherworldly goings-on, ranging from strange creatures and futuristic machines to other dangers roaming the previously pastoral Swedish countryside of the late 1980s.
Much like the main campaign setting of the Tales from the Loop tabletop RPG, which was inspired by the Mälaröarna archipelago near Stockholm, the co-op board game will involve several different scenarios tied to the central mystery of the Loop. (The RPG’s core rulebook also included an alternative setting based on Nevada in the US; there’s no confirmation of the US setting appearing in the board game.)
The players will work together to investigate rumours, with the ability to hack into robots roaming the board and deal with various other encounters and challenges along the way.
The first images of the upcoming board game’s prototype show both cardboard standees for the player characters and pre-painted miniatures depicting some of the threats spawned by the Loop, including dinosaurs and robots. The miniatures have been created by Dust Studio, the publisher of alt-history tabletop wargame Dust 1974 founded by Italian designer and illustrator Paolo Parente.
The Tales from the Loop board game is planned for release in early 2021, following a Kickstarter campaign that launches on April 7th.
Disclaimer: The components pictured above are from the game’s current prototype and may not reflect the final release.