Naughty Dog has announced a brand-new tabletop board game is in the works based on their post-apocalyptic adventure series The Last of Us. The board game will be called The Last of Us: Escape the Dark, and the developers are partnering with board game company Themeborne to bring it to life. They have set up a Kickstarter to fund it, and the campaign will go live November 8.
The game will support 1-5 players, with each player choosing to play as either Joel, Ellie, Tess, Billy, Tommy, or Marlene. Based on that information, the story presumably takes place around the time of The Last of Us Part 1. Either that, or it is entirely its own thing, taking place in the world of The Last of Us but not following the story. The board game comes with player pieces for each character, as well as illustrated black-and-white chapter cards and dice.
According to Themeborne, “Gameplay involves players making choices about which route to take and resolving immersive ‘chapter cards’ at familiar locations from the video game, including the Suburbs, Sewers, and University. Survival will depend on using a tactical combination of item cards and custom dice to overcome iconic threats, such as Hunters and Infected.” They also stated that each player will be able to “weave their own story of survival and companionship” across their journey.
Each player will start the game with a “Hang-up” which must be overcome over a journey of “personal growth” in order to finish the game. Something that sounds like an interesting spin on a standard adventure formula. And if these “Hang-ups” are interchangeable, one which should greatly encourage replays.
We’re excited to announce The Last of Us: Escape the Dark, a new board game experience set within The Last of Us universe, created by our friends @Themeborne! The Kickstarter goes live Nov 8, so stay tuned for more soon.
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) November 1, 2022
Taking cues from the video games it’s based on, Themeborne promises, “A simple, satisfying crafting and weapon upgrade system also can be utilized to give players the edge in whatever strategy they choose to employ–from stealth to full-on combat.” So it sounds like a lot of strategy and careful resource management will be essential to complete a game of The Last of Us: Escape the Dark.
Artwork and prototypes of the board and pieces can be viewed on Themeborne’s Kickstarter page, but there’s no indication of when it might launch once the campaign has ended. That being said, Naughty Dog certainly has a lot of hope the company will deliver a fresh new vision of The Last of Us and its world and feels confident it shall reach its goal.
In other news, Elden Ring is also being turned into a tabletop board game, and you can read about that here.