Board games based on books

book-to-board-game

Some books are turned into movies but did you know that some books are used as an inspiration for board games too?

Here are some books turned into board games. I apologize for the long list but I got a bit carried away… If you click on the title of the game it will take you to the site ‘Boardgamegeek’ where you’ll be able to find out everything about the game, how to play, ratings and even links to Amazon if you want to purchase the game.

Check these out and tell me if you’ve come across a favourite one in the comments if you like.

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork 

Terry Pratchett discworld

Martin Wallace and Treefrog Games present Ankh-Morpork, set in the largest city-state in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Lord Vetinari has disappeared and different factions are trying to take control of the city. Each player has a secret personality with specific victory conditions, which means that you’re not sure exactly what the other players need to do in order to win.

The action takes place on a map of Ankh-Morpork, with players trying to place minions and buildings through card play. Each of the 132 cards is unique, and “the cards bring the game to life as they include most of the famous characters that have appeared in the various books.

A team of artists have recreated the city and its residents for the cards, game board and box, with Bernard Pearson coordinating that team. Ankh-Morpork has been sublicensed to Mayfair Games for the North American market and Kosmos for the German market.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced a character named Sherlock Holmes in his novels.

You can capture the mystery and excitement of Holmes’ London in this challenging and informative game. You, the player, will match your deductive abilities against your opponents and the master sleuth himself, Sherlock Holmes.

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you are presented with a mystery to solve, and it is then up to you to trace the threads of evidence through the byways and mansions of nineteenth century London. You will interview suspects, search the newspapers for clues, and put together the facts to reach a solution.

This is not a board game: No dice, no luck, but a challenge to your mental ability. The game has been thoroughly researched for Holmesian and Victorian accuracy so as to capture a feeling of that bygone era.

Tales of the Arabian Nights

Tales of the Arabian Nights is actually several games in one.

In the standard game, the players are characters living in the 1001 Nights universe, wandering about the map and having adventures. These adventures are designed in a sort of paragraph system, with the player to your left reading what happens to you and exposing the choices you have – choices that then lead to other paragraphs or outcomes. The characters evolve during their adventures, acquiring skills of various degrees of advancement to open up new options and various “statuses” (such as married, despondent, cursed, etc) which also affect play. The object is to become rich and come back to Baghdad.

Dune

Set thousands of years in the future, Dune the board game is based on the Frank Herbert novels about an arid planet at the heart of the human space empire’s political machinations.

Designed by the creators at Eon of ‘Cosmic Encounter fame, some contend that the game can best be described as Cosmic Encounter set within the Dune universe, but the two games bear little in common in the actual mechanisms or goals; they’re just both set in space. Like Cosmic Encounter, it is a game that generates player interaction through negotiation and bluffing.

Players each take the role of one of the factions attempting to control Dune. Each faction has special powers that overlook certain rules in the game. Each turn players move about the map attempting to pick up valuable spice while dealing with giant sandworms, deadly storms, and other players’ military forces. A delicate political balance is formed amongst the factions to prevent any one side from becoming too strong. When a challenge is made in a territory, combat takes the form of hidden bids with additional treachery cards to further the uncertainty.

The game concludes when one faction (or two allied factions) is able to control a certain number of strongholds on the planet.

Marrying Mr. Darcy

Marrying Mr. Darcy is a role-playing game where players are one of the female characters from Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. Players work to improve themselves and become more desirable as potential wives for the available Suitors. The ladies do this by attending Events and improving their Characters, but advantage can be gained by the use of Cunning. All of their efforts are in hopes of securing the husband that will make them the most satisfied character at the end of the game.

Game play is divided into two stages: the initial Courtship Stage and the concluding Proposal Stage.

The Courtship Stage is when players try to improve their Heroine’s chances of happiness by earning points playing Character Cards, and acquiring or playing Cunning Cards. The Proposal Stage begins when Event Cards have been played. In this stage, players will roll to see which Suitor proposes to them, decide if they will marry them, and calculate their final score.

A Game of Thrones (first book of the series)

War and chaos are engulfing the lands of Westeros. The great Houses are vying for control of the Iron Throne using the old tools of intrigue and war. Yet while the war for Westeros rages, grave dangers gather in the cold North, and an ancient enemy is gaining momentum in the distant East.

In A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, inspired by the book by George R.R. Martin players take control of one of the great Houses of Westeros. Via resource management, diplomacy, and cunning, they seek to win dominance over the land. Players must give orders to armies, control important characters, gather resources for the coming winter, and survive the onslaught of their enemies. A unique phase mechanic, battle resolution, and special ordering system make for an engaging game in which all players are actively involved at all times.

Dante’s Inferno

This is a fairly complex strategy game featuring resource management and trading. The objective is to move one of your player tokens to the 9th circle and defeat Lucifer.

The Shining

“The Shining” is a game based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. One player controls the evil and sentient Overlook hotel, the other the Torrence family, winter caretakers of the haunted estate. Using ambient hedge animals, terrifying phantoms and possibly human possession, the hotel tried to claim young, psychically gifted Danny as it’s own – by killing him. But Danny and his family will not go gentle into the dark night.

This game was designed with the knowledge and assistance of Stephen King, who was one of the first play-testers. It is available for free download at http://micro.brainiac.com/contest-games.html.

Sophie’s World

Loosely based on the book by Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World can best be described as a specialized game of Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition aimed at the Philosophical and Hellenistic crowd.

Dr. Jekell & Mr. Hyde

The Gothic novel Dr. Jekell & Mr. Hyde was written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The game is still rummy at heart, with multiple suits of 5 cards each, with the twist being that the suits are designated J for Jekyll, H for Hyde, or J/H for suits that count as both Jekyll and Hyde. The unique mechanism in this version of MR is that there is a two sided card (the ‘identity card’) on the table next to the draw deck, which has Jekyll on one side, and Hyde on the other. At the start of the game, Dr. Jekyll is showing, but this can change if a “potion” card is played.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is based on the popular Metro 2033 universe created by Russian writer and journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky.

Tak

Tak

Tak is a two-player abstract strategy game dreamed up by Pat Rothfuss in the novel “The Wise Man’s Fear” and made reality by James Ernest. In Tak, players attempt to make a road of their pieces connecting two opposite sides of the board.

Witness

Witness

Witness is set in the world of Blake and Mortimer, a Belgian comic series started in the 1940s by writer/artist Edgar P. Jacobs. In the game, which is playable strictly by four players, you each represent one of four characters and your goal is to solve mysteries or crimes by sharing information with one another — but you are quite restricted in how you can share information!

Witness includes 64 cases for you to solve, and each case starts with an explanatory scene or image or both that someone reads or shows to the group. Each player then looks in his personal casebook to find information available only to his character. Players randomly decide who shares information first and in which direction, e.g., player A might whisper information to player B while player C talks to player D. Next, B will share both his information and A’s information to C while D talks to A.

After two more rounds of the most inefficient crime-solving system ever created, players read the conclusion of the case, which might offer additional information or another visual, then they each individually answer three questions about the case, with the group scoring one point for each correct answer for a final score ranging from 0 to 12.

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Did you know about these games? See anything you like? I knew there was a Lord of the Rings game and it doesn’t surprise me there’s a Game of Thrones boardgame but I had no idea there were so many others. I like the sound of Sherlock Holmes and the game Witness most of all… anyone want to play?

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59 thoughts on “Board games based on books

  1. Dune sounds cool! I read that Marrying Mr Darcy isn’t too great, but I loved Jane Austen’s Matchmaker! So much fun. I don’t love the GoT game, but my boyfriend really does and we’ll give it another try later on.

    There’s also a Lord of the Rings game, which I really really love! It’s called War of the Ring.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I totally understand, and LotR is definitely very strategy-based! To be fair, I pretended to be interested in those boardgames in the beginning because my bf was super into them, and ended up really liking them! Hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha well it’s a it difficult if you don’t know Discworld at all, but the rules are quite simple, although I don’t know for sure since I’m comparing them to the most other played games at home, which are Scythe, Mice&Mystics, Zombicide and such 😂 I love the little details about The Disc that they put in though!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit I have been living under a rock because who’da thought there are board games based on books? And then again, of course there are board games based on books 😀 hahaha… brilliant list. I wouldn’t mind giving all of them a go if I ever happened to have the chance- board games are cool!

    Liked by 1 person

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