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STALKER board game announced, from the team behind Nemesis, ISS Vanguard

Video game publishers GSC Game World will co-produce the game with Awaken Realms

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

STALKER: The Board Game is currently in development by Awaken Realms, the same developers behind the Nemesis series, ISS Vanguard, and This War of Mine: The Board Game. The announcement was made Tuesday during an online streaming presentation, along with several other game announcements. No release date was offered, but a crowdfunding campaign will launch on Gamefound by the end of June.

The STALKER series of video games tells the story of fictional armed factions that take up residence within the area surrounding the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine, which melted down in 1986. The series, which began with the release of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl in 2007, is well-regarded as the forerunner of the modern open-world first-person shooter genre. Sequels included STALKER: Clear Sky and STALKER: Call of Pripyat. A modern reboot, titled STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl, was announced in 2018, and is expected some time in 2023.

GSC Game World, the creator of the STALKER franchise, will help Awaken Realms co-produce the board game. The 1-4-player cooperative strategy game is described as a “zone-crawling” experience — a take on the popular dungeon crawling genre, which includes titles such as Gloomhaven, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, and Descent: Legends of the Dark. Much of the early materials contain placeholder text, however.

From Tuesday’s news release:

Each story will consist of 2-4 scenarios to play through, and players should expect to spend approx. 2 hours per scenario. Scenarios will include stealth missions where you quietly move between unaware enemies while scouting new locations, tactical gunfights, retrieval missions, artifact hunting, navigating through dangerous anomalies, fighting mutants and many more! Each Stalker will be a unique character that will be able to upgrade its gear as well as skills between different scenarios so there will be something special for everyone!

In addition, Awaken Realms announced the third installment of the Nemesis series, a popular Alien-inspired set of survival horror board games and one of our picks for the best modern board games.

Nemesis: Retaliation clearly takes its inspiration from the more militaristic Aliens. From today’s news release:

This time, players will take on the roles of highly trained marines, entering the alien nest with strict orders and the most advanced tools available. But will they be well-prepared enough to face the unrelenting horde that awaits them? In Nemesis: Retaliation, the tension is higher than ever as players must survive against overwhelming odds and the possibility of betrayal at every step.

A mockup for the Nemesis: Retaliation box art shows heavily-armored space marines in pressure suits. Image: Awaken Realms

Awaken Realms also announced a new fantasy-inspired board game called Dragon Eclipse, designed for one or two players. The tactical card game will focus on “majestic and unique creatures you can battle, tame, catch, and train.”

Fans can find additional details — including about a new line of sculpted dice — on the archive of the Awaken Realms livestream.

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