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Here's how Dark Souls is going to work as a board game

Dark Souls: The Board Game raises more than $250,000 in first few hours

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

As promised, tabletop game maker Steamforged Games launched its Kickstarter campaign for Dark Souls: The Board Game today, promising a tabletop experience that's faithful to FromSoftware's action-RPG franchise. Steamforged quickly met its fundraising goal; in fact, it took just three minutes for the campaign to reach the campaign's £50,000 target.

More than 2,500 backers have since contributed to the campaign, blowing past Steamforged's list of stretch goals.

So how is Dark Souls going to work as a board game?

At a high-level, Dark Souls: The Board Game will be a cooperative game for 1-4 players and will focus on "strategically challenging, deeply immersive combat exploration," according to Steamforged. Players will assume the role of one of four characters based on starting classes from the games, and fight monsters, seek treasure and battle bosses.

Steamforged's take on Dark Souls will include enemies from all three Dark Souls games. The core game will ship with two boss encounters: Ornstein and Smough from Dark Souls and Dancer of the Boreal Valley from Dark Souls 3. In a video posted to YouTube, Steamforged explains, in great detail, how those card-based battles play out.

As seen in the video above, boss characters will have "AI cards" which govern their movement and attacks. And since players will only have to contend with a handful of card-controlled commands during a boss fight, they'll be able to learn how those encounters unfold, adapt their strategy and, hopefully, succeed in taking down that boss. But it doesn't look like it'll be easy, by any stretch of the imagination. Players will have to be keenly aware of their stamina, hit points and position as they play.

There's a lot stuffed into the box, in addition to those three boss characters. There are also five mini-boss miniatures (Gargoyle, Titanite Demon, Frost Knight, Invader and Winged Knight), 16 grunts, seven game tiles, 100 treasure and equipment cards, 15 dice and more than 100 game tokens.

Here's a peek at what's in the box.

Dark Souls Board Game

All that content comes at a price: Pledges of £80 will secure a copy of the core game, and Steamforged will sell add-ons — like an expansion based on the Last Giant from Dark Souls 2 — at additional cost.

Dark Souls: The Board Game is expected to ship April 2017.

For more on the tabletop game and its mechanics, check out Steamforged's Kickstarter campaign video below.

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