Saturday, December 9, 2023

Kill. Die. Mutate. Repeat.: Scorpion Masqué Brings ‘Dead Cells’ To The Tabletop

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Quebec board game studio Scorpion Masqué, publishers of Decrypto, and Turing Machine, and creators of Zombie Kidz Evolution announced yesterday the upcoming launch of their first Kickstarter, Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game, a game by Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière (aka Kaedama).
This board game was developed in close collaboration with the Motion Twin and Evil Empire studios, creators of the video game, now a cult classic.

Dead Cells: Rogue-Lite banner

The Dead Cells board game is a dungeon-crawler that offers a cooperative rogue-lite experience inspired by the Medroidvania genre, playable with 1-4 players, and with a gameplay of around 45 minutes. Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game promises to offer an experience faithful to the video game. Players will explore the constantly-evolving island of Dead Cells, and will have to carefully choose the right path through the biomes, teeming with enemies contaminated by the Malaise… A lovely place for a holiday. As in the video game, after every death players will lose all their equipment and gold, but will be able to spend the Cells they collected to buy permanent mutations in order to come back to life stronger and stronger every time. Explore. Kill. Die. Mutate. Repeat.

“Ever since its release, we’ve received a ton of offers for board game adaptations of Dead Cells, and to be honest, we doubted that conveying the feeling of a solo video game through the board game medium was relevant, or even possible,” said Bérenger Dupré, Brand Manager at Evil Empire. “We didn’t want to do it just because it would be cool to see our indy game end up represented in a pile of derivative products. But when Scorpion Masqué and Kaedama approached us with their prototype, we were amazed to see, 1. That they were real fans of Dead Cells, 2. That they had really captured the spirit of the game and succeeded in conveying the energy and speed of Dead Cells in a board game, and 3. That the game was super fun! We gave them carte blanche to make the game with our total confidence, and we have no regrets!”

Dead Cells gameplay
Dead Cells has become a cult classic in the retro scene for its smooth “Metroidvania” style gameplay

Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game is a project that I have a very personal connection with,” said Manuel Sanchez, Head of Studio at Scorpion Masqué. “As a matter of fact, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of doing a board game adaptation of rogue-Lite and Metroidvania video game concepts since 2016. When I played Dead Cells years later, it was a revelation to me: everything I’d been looking for was there, in a crazy and hilarious universe. No Scorpion Masqué project has ever been as crazy as this. A platform like Kickstarter allows us to offer this game the way we imagined it. So it is with high hopes that we press the button this spring to offer you the fruit of 7 years of rumination and collaboration. 2023 is the most exciting year in the history of Dead Cells, and we are proud of our contribution to making it a reality!”

The Quebec publisher is joined by a group of decorated, veteran designers —Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders), Corentin Lebrat (Draftosaurus), Ludovic Maublanc (Cyclades), and Théo Rivière (The Loop), under the name Kaedama— who bring their vast experience to bear on the design of the first official Dead Cells board game.

To ensure the success of this campaign from a logistical standpoint, Scorpion Masqué has also associated themselves with experienced French publisher La Boite de Jeu (It’s a Wonderful World…), well known for their multiple successful Kickstarters.

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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