Sometimes a movie has such a direct link to a board game mechanic or a unique theme, the idea jumps out at me immediately after watching it. Here’s 10 movies (in no particular order) that should be board games, and the reasons they inspire.
*SPOILER ALERT: I may talk about parts or concepts in these movies that might spoil them for anyone who hasn’t seen them. If you see a movie you haven’t seen listed, just move on to the next one.
First off, I think a simple character creation component would be essential here. There’s just too much you can do with that. As far as the game goes, player’s would run around trying to get the most screams out of children by going through different doors and using different combinations of scare tactics.
Okay, there is a board game of this, but with a BGG rating of 4.64 and a look at how it’s put together, I’m thinking it can be improved… a lot. First, make it cooperative. You’re all looking for the grail of course. Second, I just want someone to say “You died!” and I pull up a card that says “I’m not dad. I’m getting better”. The quotes back and forth alone would be enough to play the game, but throw in some quests like “fight the killer bunny” or “Castle Anthrax” and you could have some real fun.
I’ve given this some thought. At setup, there’s an alien going around a colony ship, and players are the security force that have to try and kill it. It won’t kill players (no player elimination) but it does kill non-player characters (NPC’s). At start up, all players get a secret infected card which even they don’t get to see. One of them is infected with an alien and it will burst soon. If the alien running around is able to kill an NPC, everyone reveal their cards. The one infected dies, and the player now plays a new alien that runs around trying to kill NPC’s as well. Now all humans get new cards and it goes again. Eventually either humans will win, or aliens. It’s a rough idea, but the fun to me is like in Betrayal at House on the Hill, no one knows who the traitor is until it’s revealed; not even the traitor.
Kraken Games is actually working on something like this; a cooperative game where you’re all thieves trying to steal something together. We’re about halfway through design… maybe more. It was put on hold for other projects, but it’s coming.
There’s so much you can do with this theme, but what I’d like to see is different stories for each character. You play the characters from Pulp Fiction, but the storylines are secret things you draw from set up. You have something like 4 or 5 goals you have to complete in order to fill out the story first and win (take boss-man’s wife “out”, or deliver the brief case to Marsellus Wallace, or the Bonnie Situation). Your stories might cross over each other, but more importantly, you can run these goals in any order. Just like the movie, the story doesn’t have to be told in order.
I’m not sure how this one would run, but I’d love to see a game told backwards.
I think I’m on a surprise ending kick here. I’d love to play a game where you’re given an outcome and you try your very best to not make it happen, at least in the way you thought. No idea on how to do that though. I just thought it would make for an interesting feel in a board game.
This is a worker placem…naahhhhhh…. traitor of course! Who IS Keyser Söze!
Yeah, seriously, there’s no Matrix board game. Remember when it came out and there were animations, PC and console games, etc.? They said they wanted to tell stories in all kinds of mediums. Someone forgot the board game medium.
With a theme as thick as this, I’d hate to see it go the way of just low mechanic and all fighting. Two world maintenance would be interesting. Have a real world board where you’re worried about the sentinels finding the ship and a matrix board where you have to deal with agents and programs.
I’d give major kudos to anyone who designs this game without a single punch. That’s a challenge. Half the movie was punching, but with so much philosophical conversation around the movie, I’d love to see a more cerebral game.
For the record I love what J.J. Abrams has done with Star Trek, but I choose the original version for the same reason that I’m ignoring the fact that there are many Star Trek board games.
The truth is, none of the games out now really capture what Star Trek is all about, exploration. At least none that I have played. The original series had stories in which you never knew what they’d find next. One day they’re hunting a pizza monster tunneling through mines, the next they’re talking to Abraham Lincoln in space. I mean Lincoln is in actual space… just floating there.
I’m picking some silly examples, but a game where you, as a crew, land on a planet and every game is different when you explore it is… fascinating (one eyebrow pops up). That’s what Star Trek is about. All this ship to ship battles and simulation stuff is okay, but it doesn’t cut to the theme of Star Trek. It’s like making a Star Wars game all about droid maintenance. Yeah, that’s in there, but it’s not what everything is about.
I may have cheated a little bit here talking about the series rather than the movie as this is an article about movies that should be board games.
Those are just off the top of my head really. Some of them I’ve been thinking about for a while, some I just hope can be done someday.
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