24 May 2019
Blow up the Death Star again (again) (again)
A new Star Wars board game has been announced that will give you the chance to blow up the Death Star for the umpteenth time.
Dark Side Rising is inspired by the events before and during A New Hope (or for those of you of a certain age, just Star Wars), as the Rebel Alliance tries to halt construction of the Death Star before the Galactic Empire can finish the not-a-moon weapon.
It’s the first Star Wars game out of The OP, the prolific maker of licensed games that previously released a similar co-op game based on Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, the surprisingly enjoyable Thanos Rising.
As in Thanos Rising, players roll custom dice to recruit characters and dispatch baddies, hoping to defeat enough Imperial nasties before the Rebels are weakened too severely or the Death Star is completed.
Each player controls a Rebel base and its leader – Luke and Leia join Rogue One’s Cassian Andor and Rebels’ Hera Syndulla – as well as a particular cell of the Alliance, from Tactical to Intelligence. Characters such as C-3PO, R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo make an appearance on cards that the players can add to their team.
The action centres on a central board surrounded by Imperial forces that are activated by a 3D model of Darth Vader that swivels in the middle. (Thanos Rising had a similar spinning bust of the purple galaxy-killer.) As Vader spins, he activates the cards around the ring, progressing the Death Star’s construction or triggering attacks on the Rebels.
The game plays in around 45 minutes with two to four people – and, if it’s anything like Thanos Rising, will be surprisingly punishing. (The OP does say that the game will feature scaling difficulty options.)
Dark Side Rising will be released this autumn. Skipping the US, it’s exclusive to EMEA – the European, Middle-Eastern and African regions – and will cost $50 (£39).