Readers of this blog who know me personally know that I am a big fan of “euro” style boardgames. You may have heard of Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Dominion . . . there are thousands more like these, and the euro boardgaming hobby has a web-based leviathan: a highly active and detailed database and social website: www.boardgamegeek.com.
Today I encountered, through boardgamegeek, a game called “Battle for Souls.” The designers describe it like this: “Battle For Souls is an epic medieval card and dice game for 1 to 4 people ages 13 and up. The game allows players to choose the side of heaven or hell in a fight over the immortal souls of humankind.” You can read all about it and see a couple of short videos including an overview and a game-play example using prototype components at its Kickstarter page here (more concise and accessible) or its boardgamegeek page here (more detailed and with comments from different folks who have encountered it–note also that by the nature of these things, the ranking indicated on this page is almost meaningless, as it is based on very few votes and on incomplete components/rules).
This still-in-development game scratches several itches for me: it is medieval-themed (OK, just like thousands of other euro-style boardgames); it uses wonderful medieval art (e.g. Hieronymus Bosch); it riffs off of the seven deadly sins and seven cardinal virtues traditions. For these and other reasons I find it an interesting game concept and would like to play it despite (1) its morally/spiritually questionable mechanism of allowing one player to play the Forces of Darkness trying to tempt people to various deadly sins and drag their souls to hell (I will just have to overcome the “temptation” to take that seriously in the context of the game!), and (2) its similarity to an existing (and well-reviewed) game now for sale, called “Road to Canterbury.” This other game also riffs on the seven deadlies/seven cardinal tradition, also has great art, and was also kickstarter-funded. You can look at it here. I’ve already ordered it; can’t wait to give it a whirl.
As an experiment in inserting html code into a post, below is a live mini-chart tracking this game’s progress toward its $25K kickstarter goal. If you haven’t encountered Kickstarter or the crowd-funding model for new enterprises, they are described here. I think I’m going to throw a pledge its way; I invite you to do likewise if the game interests you.
Disclaimer: I do not know the designer; I have no personal, financial, or other tie to the game in any way; and I am not benefiting from this publicity in any way except that if this gets funded and produced, I’ll get to play it.