Pairing board games with books is not new. Especially recently, when we’re having tons of text heavy adventure games, that require you to read certain passages or scenario introductions.
Sleeping Gods, an adventure game by Ryan Laukat shows that you can still do some creatives things with the idea. The game replaces the good old board with… an atlas filled with maps. There’s also a proper storybook included, so you have to use both on your travels. The campaign has launched last Tuesday and is already close to reaching $500.000.
The multitalented Ryan Laukat is famous for designing his games, decorating them with his own illustrations and publishing them. You may recognize the guy from Eight Minute Empire, The Ancient World, Above and Below or Near and Far. Ryan’s style is pretty recognizable. He draws amazing landscapes and uses lots of pastel, lively colours. When it comes to storytelling: Sleeping Gods is not his first game, where he focuses on it so much. Above and Below for example had players read parts of narration while exploring endless underground caverns.
Wandering Sea. 1929.
Captain Sofi Odessa and her trusty crewmen are an unlucky bunch. Sailing the seas, they’ve suddenly wandered into a mysterious phenomenon… and found themselves in a land they no longer recognize. Vast ocean sprinkled with hundreds of islets – collectively known as The Wandering Sea. The only way to come back is by gathering 8 godly totems, that can protect against a certain mythical sea monstrosity lurking deep below.
Your Own Adventures
Sleeping Gods is designed for solo gameplay and co-op for up to 4 players. The atlas of maps consists of 26 detailed, colorful pages filled with seas, bays, isles, mysterious coves and uncharted lands. It’s complemented by a storybook which, according to the author, feels like a proper novel. The core campaign based on these two should last you for about 10-20 hours. But that’s not the all, as the game has some additional stories and maps thanks to stretch goals and an expansion. One of the newest SG’s adds the ability to play in “arcade mode” which allows you to enjoy some shorter, randomized adventures, without using the story book.
Each game begins with distributing crewmen boards among players and placing a ship token on the atlas. Players get cards, level up, manage the morale of the crew and most importantly: navigate through blue waters looking for totems, adventure and loot. Some situations will lead to combat with various monsters living on the islands. You will most likely beat the game without seeing everything, as the Wandering Sea hides hundreds of surprises.
The Kickstarter Campaign
Previous games by Ryan Laukat had some Kickstarter exclusive content, so the campaign might be worth backing if you’re into his works. The core edition is priced at $70. For additional 30 you can get the expansion sporting 8 new atlas pages to explore, 60 more story book pages and tons of cards. The author is also offering backers a set of metal coins ($15) and “Mac’s Journal” ($25) that enriches the lore even further. Finally: you can get a playmat ($15) and a soundtrack composed specifically for Sleeping Gods by Malorie Laukat ($10).