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Under the Spotlight: Deep Rock Galactic |Kickstarter

Out Now on Kickstarter

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At Kick.Agency, our goal is not only to make you, dear reader, aware of the newest and most exciting upcoming tabletop projects, but also to celebrate those games and point out where they shine. And right now, Deep Rock Galactic is positively blinding. As of my writing this, the campaign is only 5 days in and is already close to 900% funded. So what’s all the fuss? Let’s find out.

If you’ve never played the popular video game upon which this tabletop version is based, here’s what you’re missing. You play as one member of a team of space dwarves sent to the planet Hoxxes IV to mine for rare and precious minerals. Why a dwarf? Because dwarves are naturals when it comes to navigating tunnels. Also, dwarves are so far the only species tough enough to go toe-to-toe with the Hoxxes locals: the insectile Glyphids. These baddies come in all shapes and sizes and love nothing more than the taste of dwarf gristle.

Lotta mayhem, little packages.
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

The tabletop seems to be a faithful adaptation of the game. As in the video game, each team is made up of 1 to 4 players, each with a unique role. There’s the Engineer, who can plant a sentry gun and build platforms to lift stubby dwarf legs. The Scout and the Driller, who are both good at lighting things up, albeit in very different ways. And lastly there’s the Gunner with his shield and grappling gun.

Why aren’t these caves ever filled with, like, jelly donuts?
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

The core gameplay in both versions revolves around missions. You’ll explore the core of Hoxxes by tunneling into hidden caves looking for specific ore and items which must be returned to the Drop Pod. Easier said than done. After each player’s turn, they must draw an event card which can cause any number of unfortunate effects, the worst of which is arguably an increase on the Swarm Threat track. Tunneling into a new cave invariably unveils more Glyphids, but swarm events bring them in mass. So if you see the Swarm Threat track getting close to a swarm event, then it’s backs in, guns out.

Speaking of guns, this game loves them. Each character comes armed to the teeth with a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, a throwable (fancy talk for friggin’ sweet grenades), and an axe. But wait, there’s more! Because dwarves being dwarves, they love to build and tinker. Take a piece of Gold ore, fiddle with it a bit, and boom! Overclocked guns! Because a minigun is great, but a minigun that’s also a flamethrower? Even. Better. Overclocking a secondary weapon allows you to unlock new abilities and more ammo storage for those of you (See: Everyone) who like some options with your bug-busting.

Ya know what happens when you shoot a bug with armor piercing ordinance? Me neither. Let’s find out!
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

And you’ll definitely need more than one way to squash a bug in this game because they come in every flavor of terrible. Don’t let the harmless and benign loot bugs fool you because they are definitely not the norm. Beat back hordes of Grunts and Exploders, dodge the ranged attacks of Web Spitters and the oh-so-charmingly-named Spitball Infectors, and feel the ground shake under the colossal carapaces of the Oppressors and Praetorians. And that’s just naming a few.

Sorta like that ant farm you had as a kid, just, ya know, more murdery.
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

Adding to the diversity, the Kickstarter campaign gives you options for presenting your Glyphid hordes on the table. The base pledge comes with crisp, full-color cardboard standees which will only set you back $75. Or for a $125 pledge, you can get 33 Glyphid miniatures for depictions of maximum rampaging. Whichever pledge you choose, your dwarves will be looking sharp as 42mm miniatures. Plus all of the add-ons of which, at last count, 16 had been unlocked with no end in sight. So if you were on the fence about this one, I’d say it’s time to load up and burst some bugs!

by Zane Messina

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