Three board game Kickstarters based on video games smash targets by up to 16x

A collection of three images from Dead Cells, Apex Legends, and Monster Hunter World Iceborne board game artwork
(Image credit: Scorpion Masque, Glass Cannon, Steamforged)

Board game adaptations of Apex Legends, Monster Hunter World Iceborne, and Dead Cells have launched Kickstarter campaigns within just a few days of each other, and they've all managed to smash their goal by an absurd amount.

These three board games hit the crowd-funding platform in as many days, but Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game arrived first on May 16. Since then, it's managed to outdo a target of $50K Canadian by around 16 times, coming to land at $798,829 in pledges as of publication. This was quickly followed by Monster Hunter World Iceborne from Steamforged (the team responsible for some of the best board games based on video games), which has outdone its £150,000 goal six times over - it currently has £957,642's worth in pledges. Finally, Apex Legends: The Board Game brought up the rear on May 18 and is sitting at £377,021 so far. That's roughly double its £195,429 goal. Clearly, there's an appetite for bringing the digital experience to your tabletop.

While each of these board games for adults are based on video game properties, they all take a slightly different approach in terms of adapting their source material. Rather than being a straight copy, Dead Cells leans hard into the 'die, level up, repeat' mentality of its inspiration with randomized board tiles that are different each time you tackle them, an emphasis on dying to level up your fighter, and alternate paths you won't be able to unlock until you've earned certain bonuses. It also introduces four new kinds of Beheaded as playable characters, each with their own unique abilities. You can check out the Kickstarter here.

Dead Cells board game board and token

(Image credit: Scorpion Masque)

Meanwhile, Iceborne throws in 'Turf Wars' (where rival monsters invade the board and cause chaos) to differentiate it from the previous Monster Hunter game. As I said in my preview, getting slapped about in Monster Hunter World Iceborne: The Board Game was the best thing I did all week - it's a fun new wrinkle to an already-good formula and genuinely shakes things up. You can see the campaign for yourself here.

Last but by no means least, Apex Legends tries to capture the team-based play of the video game with a "highly competitive, intensely tactical" system that's modular so can be upgraded through bonus terrain or characters. It's gone in for premium miniatures, too; each Legend comes with a diorama-based card holder that can also store the model and associated elements in a scene showcasing their powers. You can take a look at the Kickstarter page here.

Because all of these games are due to arrive in 2024 (between June and November), it's shaping up to be a bumper year for fans of tabletop gaming.

For recommendations, take a look at these cooperative board games, must-have board games for 2 players, and essential Star Wars board games.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.