Battle royale games are so popular that even board games are getting in on the fun.
Last One Standing is a battle royale board game currently in development. Up to eight players find loot and shoot each other on a shrinking map, fighting to be, well, the last one standing. Obviously, this game is inspired by the latest trend in video games, but Brandon McCaskill, lead designer on Last One Standing, said that he came up with the idea to solve a problem he’d been having with his board gaming friends.
“I had a larger group of friends over one weekend last year and we had intended to play some board games that were a bit more strategy intensive but we had around 6-8 people,” he said. “There are not many games except party games (like Codenames, Bang, etc) that fit that many people. And as much as I love party games I wanted something a bit more!”
That night, he remembered that he’d recently tried PUBG, and that video game inspired him to design a board game similar to it, one that accomodate his larger group of players. “I knew that player elimination would be something to streamline but I had already been toying with a hex based movement game,” he said, “so the foundations to have a modular island which shrinks as the game progresses was already there.”
Last One Standing follows the conventions of the battle royale genre. On the first phase of each turn, there’s either a loot drop or players have to remove one part of the modular map. During the next phase players can move eight tiles in any direction, pick up and equip loot via single-use cards, and attack other players, which will force them to discard the card they have equipped as a weapon. Having to be in the same room, gathered around a board game, changes the nature of battle royale. “Just like in the video games the battle royale genre creates unexpected moments but now they are shared in your community of friends,” McCaskill said.
Last One Standing is coming to Kickstarter on May 1st. If you want to get updates on the game, you can sign up for a mailing list on their website.