15 February 2019
Prawns in the game
District 9 is being turned into a board game by the special effects studio that helped bring Neill Blomkamp’s powerful cinematic sci-fi allegory of xenophobia and segregation to life ten years ago.
Behind District 9: The Board Game is Weta Workshop, the acclaimed movie-making firm also known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar and Mad Max: Fury Road, which worked on the costumes, creatures, vehicles, weapons and more props and effects for the film – including the now iconic ‘prawn’ aliens.
Weta made its first foray into board games with last year’s Giant Killer Robots: Heavy Hitters, its visually impressive mech arena-battler with pre-painted models set in an original universe.
District 9: The Board Game sees Weta returning to the Johannesburg setting and original story of Blomkamp’s 2009 film, as the competitive game plays out during the three days depicted in the movie.
Between two and four players control rival factions wrestling over control of the district, which is represented by a dynamic arrangement of differently-shaped tiles that can change between playthroughs.
Players begin at an edge of the board, before moving their units around the map, taking command of resources, interacting with characters from the film and engaging in a race to gather the largest amount of alien tech. Cards are used to enable each faction’s modified abilities.
The game ends in tandem with Wilkus’ standoff in the alien mech suit at the close of the film; the player with the most alien technology wins.
District 9: The Board Game will include miniatures created by Weta sculptor Gary hunt, who has previously worked on a number of figures based on Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies.
A Kickstarter campaign for the game will go live on March 26th.