10 Tabletop Games That Deserve Video Game Adaptations | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The world of tabletop gaming is bigger than ever before, and growing every day, with video games a perfect way to lure in new fans.
Tabletop roleplaying games have long been an inspiration for their digital counterparts, with the likes of Baldur’s Gate, Cyberpunk 2077, and the Shadowrun series having their origins in tabletop systems. Making the jump to digital is an opportunity to explore a game’s original themes in a new way, and to see the game’s world through another medium.
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The world of tabletop gaming is bigger than ever before, and growing every day. With countless independent publishers making games in all genres and styles, there has never been a wider pool to choose from.  Whether it’s a premise rarely seen in video games or unique mechanics that could translate easily to digital play, these games would make great additions to the pantheon of tabletop-to-video game adaptations.
Masks is a game about teenage superheroes and takes inspiration from shows like Young Justice and Teen Titans. Its playbook system has each character taking on an archetype common to the genre; the kid balancing heroics with real life, the apprentice learning from an established hero, or the experiment gone awry. A Masks video game could follow in the footsteps of the PlayStation Spider-Man and Miles Morales games, with short campaigns following a variety of different teens as they navigate the world of heroism and high school.
Beam Saber finds its roots in mecha anime and is a game about a squad of mech pilots fighting for their lives in a war of impossibly large scale. Whether as a turn-based tactical game, a character shooter, or even a visual novel, awesome giant robots are an easy pitch.
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Beam Saber‘s relationship mechanics lend themselves well to character-driven narrative sections, while its combat and vehicle mechanics ensure there’s no shortage of pulse-pounding mecha action.
A game of modern supernatural mythic mystery with an irresistible style, City of Mist has a rich setting full of potential. Ordinary people can become “Rifts” of creatures or concepts from myth and folklore, granting them unique powers and weaving them into an underworld of magic crime and good old-fashioned corruption. City of Mist has equal potential as an open-world game or a more focussed mystery game. With thousands of years of folklore to draw from, this game could go just about anywhere.
Scum and Villainy, by Stras Acimovic and John LeBoeuf-Little, is a sci-fi game that wears its influences on its sleeve. The game draws heavily on sci-fi stories like Star Wars, but with its own unique style and flair.
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The default setting is complete with mystics proficient in the use of “The Way,” long-abandoned remains of a civilization known as “The Precursors,” and an entire sector to explore, the Procyon Sector. Scum and Villainy lends itself naturally to dozens of genres, from first-person RPGs to economics-based strategy games.
Written by Adam Vass and Will Jobst, This Discord Has Ghosts In It won Most Innovative at the 2021 Indie Groundbreaker Awards. This Discord Has Ghosts In It is a storytelling game that has players taking on the role of ghosts and investigators using a Discord server to simulate a haunted house. It’s a wonderful use of technology to adapt to a time when remote play has become the most common mode for RPGs. This is what gives TDHGII such potential as a video game. Pushing the core idea even further and replacing the Discord with a customizable virtual haunted house could make for an even more immersive experience.
In this Powered-by-the-Apocalypse game, giant magical robots known as Astirs clash struggle against a tyrannical authority with magic and might. Armour Astir: Advent has two types of characters for players to choose from, either Channelers or Supports. Channelers are able to pilot the giants, while Supports fulfill various ground roles like The Captain or The Scout. This division has the potential for a video game with multiple storylines or even a multiplayer game with asymmetrical gameplay.
Drawing on superhero stories like the X-Men, Mutants in the Night pits a group of super-powered individuals against an authoritative and oppressive state. Anyone showing mutant characteristics is relegated to living in so-called Mutant Safe Zones, slum areas designed to keep them separate from the rest of humanity.
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Players work to advance their community by meeting its needs and striking back at the forces that seek to keep them down. This kind of persistent effect on the world would be incredibly satisfying to see in a video game.
This Ennie Award-winning game by Tuesday Knight Games has its players setting out to explore ruined space hulks while dodging or blasting aliens along the way. Mothership on paper is easy to play and run, and this ease-of-access could be translated to a video game with no problem. First-person survival horror has a strong history, but a team or squad-based experience would also be exciting. Mothership‘s quick but gritty combat system could make for a game that is challenging, punishing, and oh so satisfying.
A turn-based tactical game with a superb amount of lore, In The Time Of Monsters does a great job combining the mechanical with the flavorful. With such incredible character choices as “The God’s Usurper,” “The Traitor Valkyrie,” and “The Apocalypse Seer,” In The Time Of Monsters is full of evocative and exciting opportunities. A digital adaptation has the potential to lose some of what makes the original great but could preserve the creativity by allowing players to heavily customize their characters.
Reading the Lancer rulebook is almost like reading a novel. It has an absolute wealth of history and information about its setting, with thousands of years and eras all meticulously recorded. This alone makes the game perfect for an adaptation, but its gameplay is equally compelling.
Player characters are all Lancers, experienced mech pilots able to customize their machines. The tight ruleset makes custom building mechs half the fun, with players mixing and matching models to find and create effective machines. Being able to build custom mecha could be a dream come true.
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Declan is a writer for Comic Book Resources and an independent game designer. They’ve been playing video and tabletop games since childhood and continue that love today. With a background in the performing arts, Declan is interested in how games approach their audiences as both passive consumers and active participants. Digital preservation and gaming history also occupy probably too much of their thoughts. Check them out on Twitter here


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