31 August 2017
No miniature David Bowie? We’re out.
After bringing Jim Henson’s classic cult movie Labyrinth to the tabletop last year, River Horse has announced its plans to make a board game out of Henson’s previous film, The Dark Crystal.
Released in 1982 – four years before Labyrinth – The Dark Crystal was regarded for Henson’s revolutionary use of animatronic puppets, which he had pioneered during The Muppet Show, and the story's distinctive style of dark fantasy.
Henson himself played Jen, a Gelfling searching for the titular gem on an alien planet in order to stop the evil Skeksis from ruling for eternity. He was joined by several Muppet performers, including the film’s co-director Frank Oz, best known as the man behind Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Yoda in Star Wars.
Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Board Game looks very much like River Horse’s take on Labyrinth, featuring a similar board where cards are drawn and played to create a different circular track before players venture into the centre to defeat the big bad.
The £40 box includes the same selection of polyhedral dice – colour-coded to represent the different traits of the characters – and four plastic miniatures modelled after Jen and fellow Gelfling Kira with her pet Fizzgig, plus two Skeksis: skekSil and skekUng.
We weren’t impressed by Labyrinth when we reviewed it earlier this year, finding it a disappointing and dull adaptation of the wacky world seen in Henson’s movie.
With The Dark Crystal looking like it won’t stray too far from that formula, it will be interesting to see if the upcoming board game does a better job of capturing the unique magic and personality of Henson’s fantasy world.
We’ll find out when it’s released early next year.