Video Game/TableTop Hybrids
With tabletop games like Pandemic, Magic, Carcassonne, and more becoming more and more popular, it only makes sense that video games are beginning to dabble in their mechanics. The simplicity of a die roll or picking and using cards are too appealing for developers to ignore nowadays. As a result, these four games are great examples of how video games and tabletop games can merge and become something great!
Played out as a kind of animal based Game of Thrones, Armello is a wildly fun board/card/video game hybrid. While there is no real life board game counter-part to Armello, the game itself does seem to have the makings of a good one given the video game is so much fun. Either way, Armello beautifully merges RPG elements with easy to follow cards to represent spells, equipment, and other actions. Resolving battles with dice rolls and randomizing the locations on the hex based board also heightens the game’s replayability. Armello is easily one of the best games on the market in this genre.
Hand of Fate 2
Filled with randomization and the personality of weaving your own nameless hero’s story, Hand of Fate 2 literally has you playing a digital card game. This game, played with a mysterious mage who acts like a Dungeon Master, plays out as a tabletop RPG with choose your own adventure styled choices and results that are determined by pulling from a deck of cards or rolling a number of digital dice to match or beat a target roll. As you do so, your ‘hero’ manages health, food, coin, and prestige as they attempt to beat all of the given challenges. The game even plays out the combat with a simplistic hack n slash sequence that mixes things up quite a bit.
Children of Zodiarcs
When it comes to strategy games, Final Fantasy Tactics always seems to be the heart of most video game clones and Children of Zodiarcs is certainly in that boat. As a board game hybrid though, this game adds a deck building and dice building/crafting element that is original as well. The cards act as the actions and spells with bonuses and penalties that correspond to icons on the faces of the dice you roll. The characters that you move about the board in a Final Fantasy Tactics kind of way all improve RPG style and gain cards, hit points, and more dice as they grow. Children of Zodiarcs merges all of these game styles in a fun way that isn’t perfect but certainly deserves a spot on strategy fans’ roster.
Blood Bowl 2
The Warhammer world has a ton of lore and games to speak of but this one is the most curious of all to me. Built as a real life board game, Blood Bowl is a fantasy form of American Football reimagined with dwarves, elves, ogres, vampires, and other fantastical creatures. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses, this turn based strategy sports game plays out with a set number of turns per half where the goal is simply to score more points than your opponent. As you can imagine with all of the fantasy elements involved, doing so is where the challenge comes in. You must upgrade your players and team between matches as you KO blockers, runners, throwers, ogres, and so many other race-based positions. While this game has been known to have a high learning curve, the immense strategy will bring digital competitors back for more with tons of expansions and online leagues galore!
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