It’s 2022 and we don’t believe in media being self-contained to a specific medium. Enter The Last of Us: Escape The Dark, an upcoming board game from UK-based tabletop game studio Themeborn. It’s currently on Kickstarter (as most pre-release board games are these days) and has now cleared its goal (and is still climbing).
The Last of Us: Escape the Dark was revealed last week, ahead of the Kickstarter which went live today. The game takes TLoU’s world and lore and molds it into the form of Themeborn’s Escape the Dark board games, previously seen in Escape the Dark: Dark Sector (no, that’s not based on the 2008 Digital Extremes game of the same name) and Escape the Dark Castle. TLoU’s board-game treatment includes solo and co-op play set on an “open world map” illustrated with some moody black-and-white art styles. Based on what’s previewed via the Kickstarter, the game will feature board game staples: cards, dice, tokens. The collector’s edition contains 3D tokens of Joel and Ellie, as well as many others expected to be revealed as the game clears its stretch goals.
In the Kickstarter video, Themeborn describes the TLoU board game adaptation as a “new evolution of the Escape the Dark engine.” The premise seems fitting for the franchise: You’ll take on the role of some survivors looking to, um, survive in the franchise’s dangerous, post-apocalyptic setting. The board game simulates an open world through dice and what looks like cards that indicate locations, items, and more.
The cordyceps infection seems to be a constant presence in the game as well, claiming various locations and complicating the path forward for players. “Puzzles, traps, and challenges” as well as crafting all seem to play a major role in the game. But that’s not all. The game is also simulating what they call “hang-ups,” various emotional forms of distress perfectly suited to the awful emotional states of the game’s characters.
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The estimated delivery of the game is slated for the end of 2023. So we’ll hopefully be through this pandemic in time to play pretend in another one.