It’s often a lot of fun when a movie, video game, or TV series is adapted into a tabletop game. It’s something that’s being seen more and more with the releases of games like The Goonies: Never Say Die, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Light Years From Home, Sonic the Hedgehog Crash Course, multiple Borderlands tabletop games, and even Horrified which features the Universal monsters. This trend allows fans to experience media they love in a way they haven’t before. Plus, they can serve as entry points into the world of tabletop gaming for these movie and video game fans.
With there being countless properties board game and card game developers could pull from, let’s take a look at which franchises could be made into fun tabletop games and how they could work. For the sake of this list, re-skinned versions of preexisting games like the Adventure Time Munchkin or Doctor Who Fluxx don’t count.
This is the most obvious option considering it already uses board game rules and mechanics within video games. Roll the dice, move that many spaces, and do what each space dictates just like in the video game series. There could even be multiple boards to choose from. What about the beloved minigames that Mario Party is known for? Well, there could be a couple of decks of cards or extra dice included that are each used for multiple quick side games to serve as those minigames. It’s actually quite surprising this hasn’t been attempted yet.
Alita: Battle Angel
The Battle Angel Alita manga and its movie adaptation Alita: Battle Angel feature people with robotic body parts, action-packed battles, and a unique sporting event known as Motorball. There’s plenty to pull from for an Alita game. Players could gather upgrade cards to modify characters’ bodies and compete in the Motorball stadium to earn points. Perhaps players can move their pieces around the Motorbal circuit, steal the ball from the player who has it by attacking them, and combat others who are in the spaces near them. The futuristic aesthetic always makes for cool elements in board games.
The Twisted Metal video game series offers extremely fun vehicle combat. There are plenty of creative ways combat has been executed in tabletop games, whether it be playing cards, rolling dice, or spending in-game currency. Any one of those could be used for a Twisted Metal board game or card game. Players could be able to select their character, whether it be Sweet Tooth, Dollface, Mr. Grimm, Axel, or one of the many other competitors, each of which could have their own unique abilities. Upgrades and weapon cards could be used to shake up the gameplay as well. Like the video games, the last player left in the match is the winner.
Horror board games provide their own twisted brand of fun. There will always be spooky board games to enjoy, so why not one based on one of the biggest slashers of all time? The game could have each of the players working together to complete some sort of task as they’re stalked by Michael Meyers. After each players’ turn, he moves a space closer to whoever’s nearest. If he catches them, they’re out of the game. Be careful, he could be around any corner.
If you’ve seen John Wick, then you know that Keanu Reeves’ character is a total badass. This action movie franchise could make for an exciting action-oriented board game. There are a couple of ways this one could go. Either players could all control their own John Wick piece as they navigate city streets engaging in combat with assassins trying to gun them down, or each player plays as their own assassin trying to take down the one, extremely overpowered John Wick. Either way, John Wick could make for an incredibly fun cooperative game.
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. is undoubtedly one of Nintendo’s most popular and successful video game series, so a board game based on it is sure to be a winner. The goal of the video games is to knock your opponents off the edge of the stage, so it makes sense that the goal of the board game would be to knock your opponents off the edge of the board. Each player can choose one of the many Super Smash Bros. characters with their own decks filled with cards unique to them that mimic their video game moveset. These moveset cards, along with item cards that can be acquired throughout the game, can focus on moving opponents’ character pieces toward the edge of the stage until they eventually are knocked off and are eliminated. Like the iconic video game series, the last one left is declared the winner.
If this trend of adapting existing franchises into tabletop games continues, it’s likely that we’ll see just about everything turned into a board game or a card game at some point. Hopefully this all leads to some incredible fun games being created.