Board games have a fairly intricate history with video gaming. Many of video game’s oldest genres come from board game roots. RPGs are steeped in D&D lore, for instance.
Strategy games, while starting with clear tabletop boardgame roots, have diverged wildly over the past couple of decades with the advent of Real Time Strategy. StarCraft 2 has about as much in common with Axis & Allies as it does with skydiving. Yet there’s still plenty of crossover.
Delve Deeper is a strategy game set in a mine, where you guide a team of 5 dwarven miners to mine precious gems and fight monsters. It’s strictly turn-based, and on each turn you can lay out an additional tunnel inside your mine. The mine is on a hex-grid, and each tunnel/hex you place has to line up with the other tunnels. Then you move your miners, and mine.
Complicating matters is the other teams of dwarves. Up to 4 different teams can be competing for a mine’s resources. Then at the end of all the dwarven turns, the monsters get a turn, spawning in unlit portions of the mine and making their way up to harass your team.
The boardgame influences here are worn on the game’s sleeve, with a hex-based method of exploring the map and a very card-like design to the game’s user interface. But the influences go deeper than that, you can see what’s going on in your opponents bases at all times. You can even lay tunnels down to herd monsters into your enemy’s mines and watch the carnage. It’s a very boardgame-like move. Screwing with your opponents is so much more fun when you can see their face, but it still works well when your opponents are computers.
Talking Points: Could Delve Deeper be done as a board game? What’s the difference between this and a cardboard version? What do you lose when you’re not face to face? In a computer strategy game, would you expect there to be fog of war over your opponents’ bases? Would that even work here?
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