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Massacre Effect: Chainsaw Warrior

There are three immediate things to note about Chainsaw Warrior:

1) Despite claims that they are violent, computerised games have managed to exist for ages without Chainsaw Warrior becoming a best-selling franchise. Gears of War doesn’t count.
2) The game is a digital adaptation of a 1987 Games Workshop boardgame for one player. I have never heard of that game but I did adapt Cluedo for solo play when I was a youngster. It was rubbish. If I had a time machine, I’d risk some sort of paradoxsplosion in order to introduce my younger self to Chainsaw Warrior.
3) Killing monsters with a chainsaw is a good thing to do.

We’ve established that I’d like to be a heroic lumberjack and had an odd childhood, but what is Chainsaw Warrior?

Here’s what Auroch Digital, the developers of the new version, have to say about the boardgame:

The original 80s game was a notable rarity in that it was a solo board game that pitted the player not against others but against the clock. The game saw New York balancing on the precipice of darkness as twisted forces from another reality attempted to rip the city from this world into theirs. Standing between them and the destruction of the city was a lone figure, the brutal and mysterious Chainsaw Warrior. As the eponymous hero, the player had to delve into a zombie infested New York tenement to locate the source of the evil spewing through the spatial rift and destroy it before he was destroyed.

I enjoy solo boardgames, so much so that I have been known to take up half of my apartment’s floorspace with my super-expanded Arkham Horror while people step around me attempting to continue with their daily routine. They haven’t been invited to play. It’s my game. I’m the one who’s going to lose, all on my own.

Tomas Rawlings, design and production director at Auroch, had this to say:

It’s a game I played as a kid and loved. I see it as the pre-cursor of First Person Shooters when video games technology could not really do the first person or the shooting. For me this is not only a great game, but a classic of board game design – a solo shooter that really challenges the player. When we spoke to Games Workshop about developing a game this was the top of my list. I loved the 80s style of the game and we’ve kept much of that in our design as well as faithfully translating the gameplay. Don’t expect to win the game easily. This was the Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy of its day. Players didn’t want to buy the game and run out of challenge at first play. The game has many ways to kill you and is unafraid to use them – which makes it all the sweeter when you finally win.

I don’t doubt Tomas’ love of Chainsaw Warrior but if this came higher on his list than Necromunda, I am willing to battle him in a chainsaw duel for the honour of House Delaque.

Chainsaw Warrior is coming to portable pokescreens at the end of summer, with desktop versions following shortly. Judging by the colour of the sky, the rising humidity and the gusts of winds assailing my face, I’d say summer will end about 7.12PM tonight.

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