GameCentral looks forward to a new year of tabletop releases, including a board game version of Skyrim and Fortnite in Magic: The Gathering.
Last year board games got hit hard by supply chain issues brought about by the pandemic but everyone’s hoping that 2022 will see a return to something close to normality, with the Gen Con live event set to return and an accelerated release schedule for games that were held back due to production and distribution issues.
As is increasingly the case, many of this year’s most exciting releases will begin their life on Kickstarter, even for big licensed games like Blade Runner and the adaptations of Skyrim and Dark Souls. So it pays to keep an eye on the tabletop section of the website if you want to get in first with a new project.
More new games will also be revealed at Gen Con at the end of the month, with the industry keen to make sure it doesn’t lose any of the new fans that got into tabletop gaming because of the pandemic.
CY_BORG and Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game
While everyone’s looking forward to Bethesda’s Starfield video game later this year, there’s plenty of tabletop sci-fi games on the way, starting with the day-glo gutterpunks of doomsday role-player CY_BORG. Based on the black metal Mörk Borg role-playing system, it’s got a fantastically glitchy aesthetic and is perfect for playing alongside a suitably industrial sounding soundtrack. Fighting capitalist overlords as consumer culture implodes in on itself never looked so sexy… or felt so relevant.
For something more familiar, the official Blade Runner role-playing game takes players back to the streets of future Los Angeles. You get a chance to do more than just retire replicants though, as each character gets unique memories and specialties which develop into a game of moral conflict and existential drama across the course of promised future expansions. As such, you’re encouraged to explore the meaning of humanity while taking part in some sci-fi shoot ‘em-up action with your party.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – The Adventure Game and Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game
These two are the big hitters that will dominate the conversation about video game tabletop adaptations this year and while there’s very little information in the public realm about Dark Souls don’t expect the feel-good Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons and instead get ready for a rigorous live-die-repeat rinse cycle.
If you’re more of a branching quests kind of person and are looking for a deep dive into Tamriel’s past The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – The Adventure Game is a more traditional mix of fantasy character building and questing over six chapters and two campaigns, that spans 25 years of the Tamriel timeline. Work solo or co-op as a surviving member of the Blades (former protectors of the Emperors of Tamriel) to thwart a Machiavellian plot that threatens the whole of Skyrim.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and Dominaria United – Magic: The Gathering
There’s a huge roster of releases planned from Magic: The Gathering this year, including an intriguing Warhammer 40,000 crossover that we can’t wait to get our hands on. There’s also a promise of Secret Lair drops, for small collectable card expansions, including Fortnite and Street Fighter themes – so there’s something for every kind of gamer this year.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is due out next month and is Magic: The Gathering’s first science fiction plane, packed with high-tech heroics blended with traditional organic magic – so keep an eye out for cyberpunk samurai and ninja. 15 years after introducing Kamigawa, an expansion inspired by Japanese Shinto mythology, Neon Dynasty fast-forwards 2,000 years to a florescent future filled with techno mages.
Dominaria United will be the 93rd expansion for Magic: The Gathering and contains lots of familiar faces and greatest hits showcase just in time for the 30th anniversary. Dominaria was the first plane visited in the original series and is home to some of the game’s most recognisable characters, such as Urza, Nicol Bolas, and Liliana Vess. This plane is a focal point for the Magic Multiverse and the eye of the storm for many world-spanning events and Planeswalker storylines.
Pokémon: Trading Card Game – Brilliant Stars
Unlike Logan Paul, you won’t have to pay $3.5 million a box for this new expansion (or only end up with G.I. Joe cards). Brilliant Stars is out in February and features the new VSTAR mechanic. VSTAR pokémon have high HP and high-damage attacks and evolve from Pokémon V cards, which were first introduced in the Sword & Shield expansion.
Each Pokémon VSTAR has a specific VSTAR power ability or attack, that includes an extremely powerful effect that can change the course of your trainer battle. Players can use only one VSTAR power per game, so it’s a high risk/high reward option that can instantly turn the tide of battle. If you win though, the victor get two prize cards for their efforts.
Dungeons & Dragons: Monsters of the Multiverse and Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn
There’s a special treat in store for role-playing fans who have any space left on their shelves, with a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign scheduled for 2022. The Dungeons & Dungeons Rules Expansion Gift Set contains new printings of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and a new volume entitled Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse – which collects and revises most of the magical content released since the launch of the fifth edition.
Did we just mention Monsters of the Multiverse? There’s already plenty of hype around the book, which is also being sold separately, since it contains over 30 updated player character races. Goblins are getting a well-earned update and we’re especially keen to play as a Sea Elf or a Tortle (exactly what it sounds like, assuming you think it sounds like a humanoid tortoise). Monsters of the Multiverse wouldn’t be living up to its title if it didn’t also include a massive bestiary, with over 250 redesigned monsters that your party can use in any campaign.
If you haven’t had enough time to commit to actually playing a tabletop role-playing game yet, and instead spend your spare time watching web series Critical Role, now you can jump into their world using Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. This is the definitive sourcebook for bringing the locations, people, creatures, and character options of Critical Role‘s Tal’Dorei continent to your gaming table. Join the famous adventure company the Vox Machina and quest to save the realm of Exandria from dark magical forces.
Adventures & Academia: First Class and Epic Encounters: Tower of the Lich Empress
Playing a tabletop role-player alongside your pets was a ton of fun in the previous Animal Adventures: Dungeons & Doggies and Cats & Catacombs, and this looks like being a fun follow-up. It allows you to create a collection of magical college characters that can supplement your 5e role-playing games, no matter the setting.
The Adventures & Academia: First Class comes with impressive pre-made character sheets presented as deluxe fold-out folios and comes across as very Harry Potter. This Kickstarter includes a one-shot adventure for your party, set in The Grand Academy, where things start getting fishy for you and your friends as you encounter a slippery baby kraken.
Epic Encounters always present a more serious and sinister alternative to Animal Adventures and work as a supplement to your role-playing adventures, since they’re also 5e rules compatible. This campaign sees your characters climb an endless tower to confront an ancient evil in the form of the Lich Empress. This ancient creature was once a renowned spell caster but has been reformed by dark magic into an unnatural vessel for evil, its shrivelled anatomy held intact by forbidden lore of ancient civilisations. Perfect for a play through on Blue Monday.
Masters of the Universe: The Board Game – Clash For Eternia
It’s been hard to resist buying each new miniature for this, as it’s released, with the stench of 80s cartoon nostalgia strong in the air, as players strive to control Castle Grayskull. In this co-op game you can play as the heroic He-Man and Man-At-Arms or evil warriors Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, using unique, upgradable skills and abilities. You must rally and recruit troops to take on quests that will hand out ancient and powerful artefacts.
The She-Ra expansion is even more enticing and many a fan will be looking forward to painting her rainbow-coloured side kick Kowl, when they’re finally released.
For some reason I’m loathe to admit, I play a bard in my Dungeons & Dragons party, forever trying to woo wolves to sleep mid-attack and comforting my friends with convoluted cacophonies of our exploits. Steamforged have seen fit to dedicate an entire dungeon crawler to the always unappreciated bard and combines them in a game that can be played solo or cooperatively with up to five players.
There’s plenty of fearsome creatures to face and if you survive you get to sing songs of your exploits, filling (or emptying) taverns and throne rooms with your performance. You can create a dungeon with the provided tiles for short standalone sessions or take time to create an epic narrative campaign that lasts as long as you like.
By Lucy Orr
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.