There’s nothing like a good board game, and digital adaptations make our favorite tabletop experiences more accessible than ever. In this edition of Keep An Eye On It, we’ll take a look at several games adapted from or inspired by their analog cousins. Nemesis Lockdown and Death Roads: Tournament bring some of the hottest new board games into the digital space, while Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate is a wonderfully irreverent take on chess.
Of course, there are plenty of other games to look forward to in the coming months, including several notable roguelikes. Sigil of the Magi, Tinyfolks, and Before The Last Hour all have the potential to be the latest obsession for any deck-building fan. As always, be sure to Wishlist the games you’re looking forward to since doing so helps the developers get noticed. Which games are you most excited to play? Be sure to tell us below!
Board game enthusiasts have likely heard of Nemesis already. Its a semi-cooperative game that evokes classic sci-fi horror like Alien. At the end of this month the digital version enters early access, bringing Nemesis‘ intense gameplay to a wider audience.
Players in Nemesis Lockdown must work together to explore an abandoned complex and achieve a group goal. Dangerous alien life-forms lurk throughout the building, making each room potentially lethal. If that weren’t enough, each player has secret objectives that may or may not include eliminating their companions. Lockdown promises stunning visuals and environments that bring the terrifying world of Nemesis to life as never before.
Death Roads: Tournament
Death Roads: Tournament is being developed alongside its tabletop counterpart, Death Roads: All Stars. Both games use deckbuilding mechanics that allow players to soup up their post-apocalyptic vehicle for deadly combat racing. The digital version takes a roguelike approach to the concept – each race brings players further along the highway in their quest to complete their cross-country journey first.
Mad Max-style vehicle combat offers a refreshing take on deckbuilding roguelikes, and the game’s animation and visuals make each battle feel dynamic. High-speed explosions and daring maneuvers are all part of the game. A release date is yet to be announced, but interested players can request playtest access through Death Roads‘ Steam page.
Immortal Tactics: War of the Eternals
If you often find yourself wishing that terrain and environmental effects were more of a factor in your tactical games, Kenisoft’s Immortal Tactics: War Of The Eternals is definitely a game you should check out. This roguelite’s hex-based battlefields are positively brimming with dangers to evade and exploit. Storms of arrows from offscreen armies and the grasping hands of the restless dead are just a few of the hazards you’ll face.
While the battles in Immortal Tactics are immediately reminiscent of those from the classic Heroes of Might and Magic games, aspiring generals will find that the combat ultimately plays very differently. Low hit point totals all around and a turn order divided into phases make this game require much more planning than its ancestors. See for yourself when Immortal Tactics launches on 15 July!
Games inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics often try to emulate the deep storyline and PvE battles of the War of the Lions. Tactic Legends, an upcoming title by solo developer Cameron Wills, takes a different approach. This free-to-play game allows you to challenge friends and strangers alike in PvP battles on a classic isometric grid.
With limited inventory space, skills enhanced by quick-time events, and no pay-to-win mechanics, Tactic Legends will test players’ abilities on multiple fronts. The game is scheduled to launch later this year, and you can try it without spending a cent!
The Inn Between: Prologue
The brainchild of delightfully-named developer No Rules Make Game is designed to serve as “Chapter Zero” of their upcoming series. Players will take on the role of Cryptor, one of several lost souls consigned to a world between life and death, as they explore a fresh new setting and engage in tactical battles.
The world of The Inn Between is immediately striking, with colorful environments and cartoonishly stylized characters. It’s a sign of good things to come from a unique new series, and it’s available to play right now.
Sigil of the Magi
When rumors of a powerful wizard’s tomb begin to circulate, heroes from across the world race to be the first to plunder its secrets. In Sigil of the Magi, you’ll choose a party of three adventurers and set out to claim the power of the first Magus. This colorful blend of roguelike deck builder and grid-based tactical game uses small maps and class-based combos to make every decision count.
The game’s pixelated graphics are somewhat reminiscent of Knights of Pen and Paper, although the gameplay is much different. Your choice of three heroes will have an enormous impact on the cards you have available, so each run will provide different challenges. A demo is currently available to try, and Sigil of the Magi is scheduled to enter early access in Q3 of 2022.
Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate
Anyone who says they’ve never lost a game of chess is either lying or has never played chess to begin with. Every loss in the world’s most balanced game comes with a litany of what-if scenarios that could have reversed the player’s fortunes. Chief among these, of course, is “what if my King had a shotgun?”
Shotgun King answers that question by taking away the player’s pieces but giving the King his very own royal boomstick. From there, each move is just like a game of normal chess, except your King can blow away pieces that draw too near. With cards to alter the board state further, this is the version of chess you never knew you wanted. Best of all, it releases on Steam very soon, on 12 May, and has a free demo available.
Fans of old-school DOS games will find a lot to love in Pierre Vandermaesen’s Tinyfolks. You can practically hear the whirring of a floppy disk drive as you lead tiny pixelated townsfolk on their journey to defeat the Sorcerer oppressing them. Of course, gameplay has advanced considerably since those days, and Tinyfolks allows all the upgrades, item crafting, classes, and strategy that you’d expect from a modern indie RPG.
Packing additional depth into a retro gaming experience is always fun, and Tinyfolks promises to lend plenty of charm to the endeavor. The game releases on 1 June, so it won’t be long before gamers can try it for themselves.
Deadzoned: A Credits Bounty
Colorful pixel graphics make the dangers of the Deadzone burst from the screen in this sci-fi dungeon crawler. Developer Anthony Case has created a perilous world of mutants, cultists, and psychics to explore. As a bounty hunter chasing quarry in the most dangerous regions of the world, you’ll travel through procedurally-generated environments in search of your quarry.
Deadzoned allows players to tailor each hunt to the kind of game they feel like playing at the time, from short missions with a limited pool of enemies to multi-floor odysseys where anything is possible. A demo is available to try right now while we eagerly await the full release later this year.
Before The Last Hour
Lunaris Iris’ Before The Last Hour inserts Slay The Spire-style gameplay into a unique post-apocalyptic world. In the final hour before the end of all things, time ceases to flow and an affliction called Oblivion begins to erode the minds of the survivors. As a lone adventurer, you’ll wander the remains of the world in search of answers.
Before The Last Hour boasts traditional 2D animation, making its visuals a grim delight. Of all the games entering early access this May, this is the one to play if you’re looking for familiar gameplay in a setting that’s different from anything else you’ve seen. Before The Last Hour‘s early access run begins on 13 May.