Nostalgia is a funny thing. Often, trying an old thing that you were once fond of can be a mistake, as the mind tends to gloss over the boring bits. Doom is seemingly immune to this effect. The space marine vs. demon first person shooter is as fun as it always has been, and subsequent updates of the game have simply added to the core game, keeping its simple violence as entertaining as always.
Doom: The Board Game has been blessed with a similar power. The original board game came out in in 2004 and though it was fun, it suffered from being a bit too, well, board-gamey. The latest version streamlines everything and keeps the essential Doom-ness of the game. Simple, violent fun.
The core game is as follows: You pick a space marine. They don’t really have names; Alpha, Beta, etc. What they have is different weapons, guns mostly. Each gun has its own set of cards, which allow you to blow away monsters in different and clever ways. The actions are worked out so you can do one big thing a round and lots of cooler small things too. Then you and your 4-person squad reads the mission brief and blows away demon monster things. The missions may involve picking stuff up as well, but mostly you’re rolling dice, making cool moves and blowing up horrors.
The game is designed for 2-5 players. Up to four of those players are marines. The other player controls all the horrors from the world of Doom. These are wonderfully crafted pieces that look really cool on the board. Everything from Cacodemons to The Baron of Hell and Cyberdemons come in the box, making it a really varied selection of shapes and sizes. The player in charge of the monsters has a host of options to stop the marines, and this mostly involves flooding the table with plastic creeps and unleashing hellfire on the hapless humans.
Like the videogame, features such as extra guns and health are available for the marines. They can also gain extra skills by doing enough damage to the monsters. These are called Glory Kills. This of course means that the marines are constantly trying to go for the coolest kills, which often gives the adversary enough time to recover.
The game itself is very easy to reconfigure. The board game be assembled in all sorts of ways, and the options available to the player are both simple and wide. It emulates the joy of the video game very closely, whilst keeping the friendliness and intimacy unique to board gaming. Doom: The Board Game is a much fun as Doom itself. We dare you to play it without getting a big grin on your face and making “pew pew” noises.
DOOM: THE BOARD GAME / DESIGNER: JONATHAN YING / ARTIST: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (WINTER 2016/2017 LAUNCH)