Monster Hunter World board game feels just as complex as the video game

I’ve been relatively important of Steamforged Games’ items in the past. Numerous years ago the designer’s analysis of the Dark Souls universe let me down due to its difficult, repeated design of play. Later on, Local Evil 2: The Parlor Game had lots of intriguing principles, however simply as lots of concerns with construct quality. With Beast Hunter: World – The Parlor Game, nevertheless, the U.K.-based designer appears to be shooting on all cylinders.

I invested the weekend with an early, insufficient model of the video game. After a couple of hours reducing a Fantastic Jagras and an Anjanath, I discovered this to be a remarkably nuanced tactical minis video game. Beast Hunter handles to prevent a few of the mistakes and errors of video games in the exact same category. It includes intricacy, however without making things feel frustrating.

It likewise doesn’t injure that the minis — a minimum of these 3D-printed mock-ups — are amazing.

A group shot of the Jagrath, Anjanath, and four hunters.

Image: Charlie Hall/Polygon

In Beast Hunter: World – The Parlor Game, gamers handle the function of proficient warriors interacting the remove enormous animals. Each animal is managed by a deck of cards, which are mixed prior to every hunt. Just by discovering their subtle relocations and propensities can gamers want to beat beasts in a prompt style and complete the project.

As a parlor game, Beast Hunter most carefully looks like Kingdom Death: Beast, another tactical minis video game with AI-controlled beasts. Kingdom Death is understood for its high-stakes permadeath mechanic that can stop a weeks-long project in its tracks. Steamforged’s technique, on the other hand, is a lot more flexible: Run out of life, and characters merely faint. Faint 3 times throughout a hunt and the beast runs, sending you and your pals house empty-handed, however otherwise all set to eliminate another day.

A set of five cards showing weird icons common in the video game, remixed here.

Model cards for Beast Hunter: World – The Parlor Game. Left wing are AI cards utilized to manage the Great Jagras. On the right are gamer weapon cards. Both have actually seen a great deal of action throughout playtesting.
Image: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Where the subtlety is available in is with the animal AI. In the image above you can see those AI cards left wing, with titles such as Head Slam or Forward Roll. Utilizing iconography typical to the Beast Hunter: World computer game, each card informs gamers where to move the animals and how to attack with them. With Head Slam, for example, the Jagras moves on 2 areas prior to assaulting the location straight in front of it. On the other hand, with Forward Roll, it assaults initially for 7 damage, then moves on. Each lunge puts it out of position, allowing players two chances to attack it.

But the cards also have a type symbol on the back, meaning that players can read the monster’s moves in advance and predict — at least in part — what they’ll do next. It’s a simple innovation, but one that can give savvy players an edge in future fights.

I wonder, though, how easy it is to read these cards in practice. Kingdom Death: Monster simply writes the creature moves out with words on much larger cards. The result is a kind of checklist that groups can follow, top to bottom, to make sure they’re getting things right. Steamforged’s reliance on clever iconography might make it more appealing to fans of the video game franchise, but it could also mean certain features of each card get skipped or overlooked from time to time.

That could change, however. Like the miniatures, everything you’re seeing in this article is a work in progress.

A t rex-like face roars, its tongue long and spiny.

A close up of the Anjanath’s face. The miniature stands on a 100 mm base.
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Another innovation is Monster Hunter’s player attack system, which is tracked using a sideboard. Players make assaults by placing cards from their hand onto the sideboard one at a time. Those cards have lots of information on them, including whether or not they stun the monster or cause portions of its body to break off with repeated blows. There’s a stamina system baked in as well, which means gamers will have to shepherd their resources wisely.

It’s a much richer system than I’ve seen in previous games in the genre, and gives players lots of reasons to upgrade their weapons later in the campaign. However, it’s the campaign portion itself that’s still mostly a mystery to me.

According to the instructions, players can take on different and more difficult monsters over time. The more challenging the creature, the more lucrative the rewards, which can then be turned into new weapons and armor. The base game, which will be available for $70 via Kickstarter, boasts a 30-hour campaign, according to Steamforged. That set includes four monsters (Rathalos, Great Jagras, Anjanath, and Tobi-Kadachi), four hunters, and some 600 cards (including weapon and armor upgrades). With multiple variations of each monster, that seems like plenty of gameplay for the money.

The next most expensive version of the game costs $140. That version of Monster Hunter comes with five more monsters and four more hunters to mess around with. Add in another 600 cards, and Steamforged says that bundle adds up to a 60-hour campaign.

Finally, the highest pledge level costs $279 and includes even more cards for a total of 1,800. It will likewise add a Kushala Daora monster to fight. That miniature will stand more than 12 inches.

Pre-orders for Monster Hunter: World – The Board Game come to Kickstarter on April 20. The final game will accommodate from one to four gamers. You can find out more at the main site.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.