Proving that being niche is no bad thing, Big Boot Games’ brand new social board game Monarchy took away the grand prize at the Very Big Indie Pitch at this year’s Pocket Gamer Connects Bangalore conference in India. The one runner up was Wordifly.
This was no easy task either, as given that Indie Pitch also marked the final stage of Reliance Games’ GameHack competition, the standard was extremely high.
Monarchy is a board game that feels something like Snakes & Ladders crossed with tower defence and has huge amounts of tactical strategy. Make no mistakes though, this game is all original and extremely unique.
A brand new mobile board game
Players start out with 25 soldiers and 4 knights. The aim is to get all four of your knights from your starting corner all the way to throne like centre of the board.
Each roll of the dice will tell players how many soldiers they can place, or how many moves their Knight can make. Alternatively players can also roll the ability to pick up one of the game’s 40 special cards which can be used to turn the game back in your favour.
What makes this game so unique though is the fact that the soldiers can create a bridge allowing players to teleport their Knights closer and closer to centre.
On top of this the soldiers can also block your opponent from doing the same. This may even cause a battle between a knight and a soldier, something completed by seeing who can roll the highest number.
All in all it’s a deeply strategic game that has players not only focusing on their own victory, but in preventing that of their opponents’.
What’s more, whilst to a first timer it may sound slightly complicated, like any good board game, within a few turns everything feels like second nature.
This is something I can personally attest to having sat down with the developers for what turned out to be a nail biting clash (even if I did lose in the end).
That’s not all though, as given Big Boot Games’ desire to take gaming back to its social roots, on top of local matches, Monarchy also holds an asynchronous multiplayer mode too.
Given the fact that an average game can take anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete it may be hard to sit online for that amount of time. However, the developers have thought of this too.
You see, Monarchy’s online mode doesn’t require you to remain online, and will even send you a notification of when an opponent has made their move.
As such players can both host, and jump in and out of multiple different matches at the same time.
There’s even an option for a 2 vs 2 mode as well.
All in all, Monarchy certainly looks set to deliver on Big Boot Games’ desire to take gaming back to its social routes.
What’s more, from what I saw at Pocket Gamer Connects Bangalore 2016, Monarchy shows how you can take an old concept, and completely reinvent it whilst not losing the heart of the experience
The two person team from Mumbai in India hope to release the game for both iOS and Android within the next two months, and if you’re even remotely interested in board games then this is definitely one winner you’ll want to keep your eye on.
Of course Pocket Gamer will also be on hand to keep you updated as Monarchy nears release.