Skip to main content

Read subliminal messages with special glasses in the upcoming board game adaptation of cult classic film They Live

Obey! Consume! Conform!

John Carpenter’s weird and wild They Live film - in which the powers that be, are in fact, skull-faced aliens - is getting its own movie board game, titled They Live: Assault on Cable 54.

A narrative driven game for four to six players, it will have hidden enemies like the ones seen in the film.

It also will feature a real-world pair of Hoffman Lenses - in the They Live film, these glasses reveal secret advertising messages and concealed aliens - which form an integral part of play, as they will unveil hidden images, messages and icons within the game components.

In They Live: Assault on Cable 54, you’ll be gathering assets to prepare you for a final fight with your hidden alien overlords. You can play either a human or an invader, helping or sabotaging the resistance respectively.

Each player has a unique story deck, the order of which is randomised - meaning you can replay the same character multiple times with different narratives. With eight characters in total, all have different endings depending on whether you’re a human or invader. While completing these arcs is optional, doing so will grant you unique character items and skills useful to your cause.

In the last part of the game, ‘Final Assault’ cards will add new elements to ramp things up for the finale.

Helmed in 1988 by horror film auteur John Carpenter, They Live follows a drifter (played by wrestler and actor “Rowdy” Roddy Piper) in LA who finds special sunglasses which reveal that earth is run by disguised aliens, who are committed to ensuring the population breeds, spends money and is compliant.

Donning the sunglasses, the drifter not only sees the horrifying true forms of the aliens, but also subliminal messaging in mass media depicting phrases like “Obey” and “consume”. A small success at the time of its release, They Live has gone on to become a cult classic and is considered a satire of political power structures and consumerism.

Fully licensed from They Live film production studio Studiocanal, Assault on Cable 54 comes from UK publisher Iconiq Studios.

Upcoming board game They Live: Assault on Cable 54 is coming to Kickstarter on March 31st.

Read this next