Looking for a fun, strategic board games to enjoy with friends and family, while still partaking in the ambiance of fan-favorite video games? Look no further than the following tabletop games listed in this article, which recreate feel of classic video games like Portal and Fallout using clever rules and on-point visual design.
At first, the notion of tie-in board games adapted from bestselling video games sounds a little counter-intuitive. Why would gamers fiddle with tokens, cards, and cardboard tiles when they could play the actual Bloodborne or X-COM video games? However, there’s all sort of reasons why gamers might want to play a tabletop version of their favorite game, such as engaging in multiplayer antics that a single-player game might lack, sharing their favorite settings and stories with family and friends, and to interact more directly with loved ones away from the LCD screen.
There are lots of tie-in board games on the market, but the following tabletop game adaptations stand out for multiple reasons. First, their rules encourage fun strategic thinking while clever mimicking the gameplay of their sources of origin. Second, these tabletop games capture the atmosphere of their parent video games through clever graphic design and art displayed on the boards, tokens, tiles, and playing cards.
In original Portal game, the player navigated through the hostile and soul-crushingly sterile testing chambers of the Aperture Science facility, with only one the promise of moist, delicious cake to keep them going. Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game takes this concept and runs with it, having players shunt Test Subjects around a modular title-based map by laying down Portal tokens while collecting as many slices of cake as they can. The icons for the tokens and cards match the banal corporate graphics of Portal and Portal 2, while the language of the rules and the box art photos of dead-eyed players in 1980s clothing meshes perfectly with the dark humor iconic to the franchise.
The card, token, and player aid designs of Bloodborne: The Card Game expertly match the gothic-horror atmosphere of the original Bloodborne RPG: old-fashioned, grimy, and desperately tattered. The gameplay of Bloodborne: The Card Game, which recreates the procedurally generated Chalice Dungeon levels of Bloodborne, also expertly adapts the original game’s blend of desperate competition and cooperation. Each player, taking on the role of an underground dungeon-exploring Hunter, cooperates with one other to defeat monster cards, while also competing over who can escape to the surface with the most Blood Tokens after the final boss battle .
As a turn-based tactical game, XCOM 2 and other games in the XCOM franchise are well-suited for adaptation to a tabletop format. In a novel twist, XCOM: the Board Game, designed for 1-4 players, uses a board, cards, tokens, and a free-to-download companion app to recreate the infrastructure building and fireteam deployment of the main XCOM series. Teamwork and clever tactics will improve player’s odds against the randomized alien threats, but even the smoothest of milk runs can turn against them if the dice don’t roll their way (just like in the XCOM video games!).
Before Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76, combat in the Fallout franchise used a similar system to X-COM and other turn-based tactical games, making it just as conducive to tabletop adaption. Fallout: The Board Game recreates the gameplay of Fallout 1 and 2 with rules that blur the line between board game and roleplaying game: wealth tokens take the form of Nuka-Cola bottlecaps, character attributes are marked using a player aid similar in shape to the Pip Boy, and combat against enemies is resolved with dice-rolling rules that emulate the V.A.T.S. targeting system. The core box of Fallout: The Board Game contains a series of story scenarios which encourage players to align with Wasteland Factions and compete over different Quest objectives, while upgrade packs like Atomic Bonds encourage more cooperative play.
Next: Must-Play Tabletop RPGs Adapted From Other Franchises