Don’t sleep on it
Ryan Laukat has made a name for himself with ambitious, visionary story-driven games such as Above and Below, Islebound, and Near and Far. His latest project, Sleeping Gods, looks to be the designer’s grandest vision yet.
Set in 1929, Sleeping Gods take place on board the steamship Manticore as it sails around a vast open world.
The world is laid out in Sleeping Gods’ ‘atlas’, a 26-page tome of maps that together make up the game’s sprawling main board, and its storybook, which details the events and inhabitants of the universe across more than 130 pages.
Up to four players control Captain Sofi Odessa and her crew, a band of characters whom can be outfitted with various weapons and abilities, and level up over the course of each 10 to 20-hour campaign. Most importantly, there’s a character called ‘Big Foot the Dog’.
Each campaign can diverge down a number of different story paths due to the game’s branching narrative and the impact of players’ actions and decisions, with the ‘hundreds’ of quests in the game all said to have a number of potential outcomes.
The game can be played multiple times – like Laukat’s other games, this isn’t a one-and-done legacy game – with the designer promising that it will take multiple complete playthroughs to see every last corner of the “massive” world.
Individual campaigns can be paused and resumed using a built-in saving system, while players can drop in and out of the co-operative story without much hassle.
As well as exploration and survival, Sleeping Gods will involve combat. Battles are determined without dice, with enemies having different levels and strengths/weaknesses that lend themselves to a tactical approach.
Sleeping Gods’ core set will come with over 400 cards, plus its atlas and storybook and the other bits you need to play. The first expansion for the game, Tides of Ruin, is also part of the game’s Kickstarter campaign, adding more enemies, adventure cards, quests, items and an extra eight-page atlas and 60-page storybook to expand the world.
Sleeping Gods is due to arrive with Kickstarter backers next May. It’ll also see a retail release in shops at some point in the future.