My name is Christophe Boelinger, and I create board games. To date, I’ve made more than 30, most of which are available in North America. My life is dedicated to games, so it goes without saying that I’ve always dreamt of having one of my board games turned into a video game.
When I designed the Dungeon Twister board game in 2003, I knew it was the perfect candidate for a videogame adaptation. Its modularity, its infinite gameplay, its never-ending renewal, the tremendous variety in strategies that can be deployed, and most of all its addictive nature. So when I met the guys from Hydravision at a board game convention, it was a revelation — and the beginning of Dungeon Twister as a video game. Dungeon Twist makes the jump to PSN this Tuesday, July 3rd.
So what is Dungeon Twister? It is a turn-based strategy game that some describe as a mix between chess and Dungeons & Dragons. The story is simple: A powerful character called the Arch-Mage has discovered immortality. But he’s bored to death, so he enlists dwarves and gnomes to build labyrinths equipped with mechanical rooms — the Dungeon Twisters — then populates them with hapless adventurers and creatures. The combatants must avoid traps, fend off attackers, and learn the secrets of the labyrinth in order to escape alive. All this occurs under the watchful eye of the Arch-Mage, who awards points when he’s satisfied!
To win a game, you have to score five Victory Points. There are several ways to earn points. Killing an opponent or guiding a character to the dungeon’s exit earns you one. That means that you can either be aggressive or stealthy and find success. During each turn, a player spends Action Points. One Action Point enables you to move a character, initiate combat, trigger a special power, or rotate a room. Speaking of rooms, the dungeon is composed of eight rooms split into four different colors. Each room contains insurmountable walls, closed gates, deadly pits and a rotation gear. The rotation gear rotates the room, but also enables you to remotely control other rooms of the same color — opening new paths to the exit, or preventing your opponent from progressing. These are the basic rules… but rules are made to be twisted!
The player controls a team of eight characters, each with a special power. The Wall-Walker can pass through walls, the Mekanork can rotate rooms in any direction, the Thief can open gates and safely navigate deadly pits, and the Troll can regenerate when wounded. You’ll also find powerful magic objects discarded throughout the dungeon, such as speed potions that grant more actions per turn, fireballs that instantly kill a foe, and ropes that let you bypass pits. You can probably imagine the possibilities for powerful combos.
Hydravision has created a training mode comprised of 20 scenarios to help you master the basics against the computer. Once you feel confident in your strategy, you’ll be ready to go online and confront any player connected worldwide. Hydravision has also preserved the social element of board games: using PlayStation Eye, you have the option to see and talk to your opponent. You can also filter games by language, to avoid any potential communication obstacles.
The Dungeon Twister board game already sports eight expansion packs that introduce new characters, new rooms, and new magical objects that open up still more strategic possibilities. If the videogame meets its audience, Hydravision and I may be able to implement this extra content into the digital version.
Dungeon Twist will be released next week on July 3rd, and will cost $9.99. Champions of the board game will be there, eager to compete against new players. I am also on PSN — my PSN ID is Chris_Boelinger. Don’t hesitate to challenge me!