8Bit Box is a tabletop love letter to retro video games, includes Pac-Man homage

25 June 2018
35836919_1004916889633473_8977279876901896192_o-77673.jpg 8Bit Box: Pixoid
‘Board game console’ includes collection of games and controllers

As more and more players turn to the tabletop to get their fix of multiplayer fun missing from most modern video games, one studio wants to give them a direct link back to the virtual world.

8Bit Box is an upcoming project from King of Tokyo studio Iello, due out this October at Essen.

Rather than being a single board game inspired by a classic retro or arcade video game – as with the recent series of Atari games created by Dead of Winter designer Jon Gilmour – 8Bit Box is described as being a “board game console” (via Big Boss Battle).

What this means is that the main set will include a selection of components that can be used with a number of different games, in the same way that cartridges or discs can be freely swapped in and out of a video game console.

These components include cubes, dice, a main board ‘screen’ and multiple player boards in the shape of classic video game controllers (to our eyes, they have a similar shape to SNES pads).

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Unsurprisingly, the controllers will play a key part in the gameplay of each game, emulating the button inputs of digital multiplayer modes. On the tabletop, this is pulled off by each player secretly setting their next move on their controller’s dials, before everyone reveals their selections simultaneously.

The first game shown off for the 8Bit Box is Pixoid, an open tribute to Pac-Man. Set in a maze very akin to that game, one player flees around the grid collecting points while the remaining players take on the role of the ghost-like pursuers trying to corner and catch them.

Two more games will be included in the core set, including a racing game and a sports title said to be inspired by Olympic video games on the NES – so think Winter Games, Track & Field and California Games.

Iello has plans to bring “several” extra games to the 8Bit Box in the future, all of which will be inspired by real-life retro titles – albeit in spirit, rather than name, as far as we can tell.


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