Five Great Board Games Based On Video Games

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There’s a surprising amount of board games that are devoted to video games, and not just Donkey Kong Jenga or the highly collectible Zelda Monopoly. But there’s a big difference between board games that are branded with video game licenses, and games that actually take the essence of said games and make them their own experience. Luckily, we’ve found five such games that make for some truly great dice-rolling.

Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia by Plaid Hat Games

Image source: Plaid Hat Games

Based on the awesome first person shooter, The Siege of Columbia closely follows the events that unfolded from that adventure. Players choose between either the Founders or the Vox Populi as they attempt to gain control of the city of Columbia. Along the way, they’ll have to deal with certain objectives around the city, such as assassinating leaders, destroying strongholds and completing objectives that can immediately have an effect on the other team.

The goal of the game is to get to ten points first, but that’s not always easy. Not only do you have your enemies working against you, but random events occur as well, mainly with video game’s lead characters Booker and Elizabeth causing havoc. Plus, you never know when the Songbird is going to show up.

Made for players age 13 and up and supporting between two to four players (though recommended for two), Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia is a fun continuation of the series. And you don’t have to worry about catching anything Elizabeth throws at you.

Gears of War: The Board Game by  Fantasy Flight Games

Image source: Fantasy Flight Games

Gears of War: The Board Game follows the events from the video game series, as the Coalition of Organized Governments (COG) and its soldiers go to battle with the invading Locust Horde.

Built over the course of seven randomized missions (so that it’s different each time you play), Gears of War recreates many memorable moments from the video games, but in board game form. This includes working alongside fellow soldiers to fend off incoming attacks by any means necessary, whether it’s from afar with blind fire, or up-close-and-personal with your Lancer chainsaw blade. The tactics can change up quite a bit in the game, so it helps to be on the same page of your team. It’s for survival, after all.

With consistently changing scenarios based on card draws and intense battles (not to mention the savvy design of Corey Konieczka) Gears of War is a must for those looking to keep their battle wits about them while awaiting the arrival of next year’s Gears 4. It supports between one to four players, but in this scenario, the more the merrier.

Sid Meier’s Civilization by  Fantasy Flight Games

Image source: Fantasy Flight Games

This board game follows most of the principles brought forward by the game series. Your job is to start out from humble beginnings–a single city, an army figure, and a scout to guide you–and work your way up to a powerful empire. You’ll guide your established civilization through various ages, grasping onto resources along the way to guide them, choosing from technology, economy, culture, and military. Be warned, however–no matter what you choose, you’ll find obstacles ahead, including opposing players who are trying to create their own civilization in the process.

There are numerous roles to fill as you play through a good two to three hour-long session of this game, including partaking in epic battles to keep your people alive, creating cities and buildings for your culture to thrive, exploring new technology to become more advanced in battle, and advancing your own strategies to lead your group to greatness. You’ll also run across various historical characters in the game, including Cleopatra and Abraham Lincoln, on your way to greatness.

Although its strategy levels may not be for everyone, Civilization is a must for those who have played Sid Meier’s previous offerings. It’s a great time for up to four players, ages 14 and up.



by  Fantasy Flight Games

Image source: Fantasy Flight Games

Based on the popular series of the same name, XCOM: The Board Game utilizes similar strategies, as you use a special military team to battle against a horde of enemies. Unlike most board games, however, this one revolves around the use of a free digital application, which helps you track your turns, as the order you and your friends play in can change up each time. This can allow UFO’s and aliens to pop up unexpectedly, forcing you to change strategy on the fly.

The goal of the game is to launch Interceptors at these UFO’s, while keeping soldiers assigned to key missions in order to avoid an enemy takeover. Along with that, however, you’ll research alien technology and adapt it to your own strategy so that you can defend your base when it comes under attack. Just remember to defend the rest of the world while you’re at it, otherwise, you could be the only thing left standing.

With excellent turn-based tactics and innovative use of the coordinating app, X-COM definitely stands out from other games of this type. Plus, its battles are second-to-none–but any fan of the series could easily tell you that.

The Witcher Adventure Game by Fantasy Flight Games

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Image source: Fantasy Flight Games

Finally, for those who are devoted fans to CD Projekt Red’s epic adventure series–as well as its accompanying Gwent card game–The Witcher Adventure Game is for you. This two-to-four player adventure puts you in the shoes of different characters from the games, including the powerful Geralt of Rivia, sorceress Triss Merigold, dwarf warrior Yarpen Zigrin, and the bard Dandelion as you tackle a variety of quests, which range from hunting down dangerous monsters to making alliances with unique characters.

As you play, you’ll gather a number of development cards which changes the variety of ways that your character can mature each time you play. This includes enhancing how you utilize Witcher Signs, or perhaps even learning something new about combat by mixing together powerful elixirs. The choice is yours, and it provides abundant replay value, so you learn something new each time. In addition, some characters can also call upon allies, such as Yarpen’s army of fellow dwarf warriors.

Most people may feel that playing Geralt in a game based on The Witcher may be the way to go, since he’s the main star and all, but the truth is that each character has something spectacular to offer during the adventure, and it never hurts to see what each one can accomplish. With a play time of about two hours, The Witcher Adventure Game is a splendid way to pass the time. Well, when you’re not playing The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, that is.

Cover image source: CD Projekt Red

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