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There is a chance the upcoming Terraria board game could be good

UK Expo-goers dug it

Dig deep, for both mental fortitude and coin, because yet another videogame is getting the cardboard treatment. Paper Fort Games are transmuting beloved mine and craft ‘em up Terraria into a 4 player co-op board game, albeit one that's on the distant horizon. A crowdfunder is coming and the devs “don’t expect” the game will ship this year, but a lucky few did get to try an early alpha prototype at the UK board games expo last weekend. Somewhat surprisingly, they seemed to like it.

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The official announcement speaks of “faithfully combining the digital game’s biome exploration, character progression, base building and epic combat with tabletop mechanisms - alongside a fresh new art style”. The unofficial details from UK expo-goers speak of NPCs that show up when you meet certain requirements, like in the vid gam, along with randomly-placed map tiles and victory conditions that players decide on at the start.

All of this could wind up changed or cut by the time the game emerges from its proto-form, of course, but it seems to primarily be a card playing affair, with photos from Redditor “HopmanUK” showing action cards that replicate generic and specific elements from Terraria. One card lets you jump, for instance, while another gives health regeneration to players who are within 6 squares of a campfire.

Board game adaptations of videogames usually wind up contorting ideas that work well in digi-form into fragmented and clunky systems that get bogged down by fiddly accounting and maintenance, but that’s not necessarily an inevitability. One Redditor reports that the main designer they meet seemed invested in avoiding anything that makes the game overly complex or overly long, with the Wall Of Flesh marking the game's endpoint rather than any of the properly hard ‘Endgame’ bosses.

I don’t believe it’s from the same developers, but Paper Fort Games previously published a well received and well-named game called Cosmoctopus. So that’s something.

Elsewhere in the video to paper pipeline, excellent roll and read’ em up Citizen Sleeper (star of this month’s RPS game club) is currently being turned into a tabletop RPG.

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