2020 is over, thankfully, and with its departure, lessons about being locked up in close quarters with friends and family left a valuable lesson. Thank god for board games. These tabletop adventure nights showed us a forgotten sense of bonding and the joy or saltiness depending on players that come from simply sitting around and enjoying each other’s company. As the new year rolls by and the games played last year now sit on the shelf awaiting their next turn to unfold, it might be the right moment to take a look at the upcoming games that might catch your eye in 2021.
5. Critical Role Adventures:
Mathew Mercer and crew are launching their own set of adventures, and you can join them. This tabletop game from Darrington Press will place players in the Vox Machine’s roles and throw them into the world of Exandria. The players get to face danger and overcome complex challenges. The considerable game box features a storybook for guidance, instructions on combat and character levels. Van Norman has mentioned that “the focus will be on exploring and new stories, instead of just playing through Campaign” Expect the game to drop in the 2Q of 2021. Happy adventuring.
4. Darkest Dungeon: The Board Game
This real-world expansion of the phenomenal video game brings the world of the Darkest Dungeon to your kitchen table. Players dungeon crawl their way through a miasma of demons, monsters, and unnamable horrors right out of a Lovecraftian nightmare. The stress mechanic and all the goodies from the original game are still here to ensure the party does not have an easy time engaging and just dramatically diving into the darkness. Published by Mythic Games, the characters will first have to engage in 3 levels of combat even to qualify to enter the dreaded dungeon and hopefully save the land. The game is expected to start shipping somewhere around November 2021
3. Hero Quest:
The '80s had rad and totally tubular, goings-on mi amigo. Things were excellent, and for us lucky few who still have our parachute pants, it was a moment to choose. Either Advanced Dungeons and Dragons or Hero Quest. While both were action RPGs, Hero Quest felt much more like a traditional board game. The game box contained only four main characters, and the one stand-out dungeon just made it feel like a smaller game option. DnD had a more comprehensive array of game options, but many modules did not figure miniatures or maps unless the Advanced D & D box was purchased. Those that tried Hero Quest, though, speak nothing but its praises. The new relaunch of the 80’s classic feels more like an updated version of the original Hasbro game published in the 1980s. The Four main classes are still Conan like Barbarian, a mighty ax-wielding dwarf, a powerful and gallant elf, and a mysterious and dangerous wizard. They are even tackling the same perilous dungeon, although with new mechanics and slightly altered gameplay. The latest version should be hitting the store shelves sometime around 2021. Set up your board, pick a class, and enter the dungeon to take on the evil that lurks inside.
Frosthaven is the sequel to the renowned Gloomhaven. Those who could not get enough of the original dungeon crawl like ambiance and heroes facing off against evil forces can get their feel here. The euro-inspired game sees players take on new roles as the heroes of Frosthaven and face off against new enemy hordes. As a sequel and campaign, characters from Gloomhaven are fully playable in the unique setting. Those awaiting their new adventures for their old heroes will find the new scenario challenging and quite fun. Find your campaign needs to be fulfilled around March 2021.
In the far, far future, the corporations have the run of everything. It is up to the player and his crew of 3 to take on the mantle of liberators and infiltrate to fulfill their mission of taking down the evil human-run AI subjugating the robot population. Yes, in this dystopian sci-fi future, you get to play robots facing evil human greed. The players infiltrate the headquarters and during their turn, aka Burncycle. Each player will randomly draw for a set of programming directives that allow their robots to take a physical, digital, and command action. The players can choose not to take a step, but it costs one dice. The game is fast entertaining and a fresh take on the dystopian nightmare scenario.
So keep an eye out for these as they hit the shelves. These games will make a fun adventure for any group seeking to spend time together fighting either against each other or against the world. Let yourself get lost in the hype and have fun. At the end of the day, it is about spending time together, sharing, and finding an opportunity to laugh, smile, and quality time.