This tabletop version of Monster Hunter will look to replicate the open-ended nature of the wildly popular game, according to Steamforged Co-Founder Mat Hart. “You can play it forever and a day. And we know that in a board game, that’s not going to work. There’s no sense of peril, there’s no sense of threat. You need a timer or you need a threat to the kind of give a sense of value to the actions that you’re doing. Otherwise, it becomes a bit of a grind.”
To solve that conundrum, Hart and the team needed to impose those limitations. “You have a fixed number of campaign days. If you want to do an exploration mission to gain more information about the next creature, that’ll cost you a day. If you want to do some crafting, that’ll cost you a day. If you want to go on a hunt, depending on the complexity of the hunt, it might cost you two days or four days or five days. You’re kind of managing the time that you have available to you.”
Hart’s background in game development makes him and his team uniquely qualified to tackle the challenges of bringing such a tight game concept as Monster Hunter to a multi-person board game experience. The game’s approach will be that of a drop-in and out experience that allows players to continue growing a character or start fresh with each expedition, meaning you don’t have to feel bogged down by not being at the same level as your conspirators, while also giving everything a sense of continuity.
Character classes in the tabletop experience, much like the video game, will be dictated by the weapon. Each weapon type will have its own game deck and upgrade track, allowing players to slowly build their character; the aspects of the game are similar to any number of deck-building games that have grown in popularity over the past decade. And just like the video game, damage to the monsters is location-based, meaning you can break off parts to gather resources and upgrade your character.
The base game will include four monsters to fight in a single biome. Expansions are expected to add more monsters and biomes to the collection.
While the Monster Hunter: World board game Kickstarter project page is not live—scheduled to start at an unspecified date in 2021—the developer is aiming to get the entire base package to run around the $100 dollar range, in a similar fashion to other Steamforged offerings.