A board game based on Dead Cells is doing really well on crowdfunding, racking up a smooth half-million dollars in the first five days of its Kickstarter campaign. Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board game is being developed with the official sign-on of developers Motion Twin and Evil Empire studios.
“We can tell that the designers had played Dead Cells and that they weren’t interested in simply doing a carbon copy,” said studio Motion Twin. Dead Cells was first released in 2017 and has been a perennial roguelite hit ever since, even attracting such high-profile crossovers as Castlevania.
The board game is designed by a pretty all-star cast in French studio Kaedama, made up of design quartet Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders), Corentin Lebrat (Draftosaurus), Ludovic Maublanc (Cyclades), and Théo Rivière (The Loop). They’re all people I’d trust to design it alone, let alone together. It’ll be published by Le Scorpion Masqué, which is also the publisher of the quite-popular Decrpypto and 2022’s Turing Machine.
Perhaps most promising is the language and marketing around this thing. It’s not a grasping pile of fancy miniatures and tacked-on expansions right out of the gate—as so many board game adaptations are: Clearly designed to be maximum value extractors upon your wallet. It’s just a clear base game, one miniature and fancy tokens included in a deluxe version, all card driven and ready to play.
Everyone’s got their action cards to use, their upgrades and mutations to buy, and that’s it. It’s also not promising to replicate Dead Cells on the tabletop, more to make a faithful adaptation based on what Dead Cells is. It at least sounds like the kind of functional and reserved core design I’d expect from this team.
A session of the board game will take around 45 minutes and play 1-4 people. You can actually play it now for free, including in solo mode, over on board game site Tabletopia.
In short? On the surface it at least looks like an all-star cast of designers are heading up a promising, no-gimmicks board game adaptation. You can find Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game on Kickstarter, and you can demo it for free on Tabletopia.