Recently I was invited by Deep Water Games to see a first look at their upcoming Kickstarter game, Rat Queens: To the Slaughter. Over the course of the meeting I was told about the game, some of the launch information, shown some art, and given a look at who’s been working on the project. I’m going to reveal some of the information I was given here, some I’ll have to hold for later when it made available to the public. I will say that everything was very exciting.
Rat Queens is based on the Image Comic of the same name that was originally created by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch. Using the characters from the initial run designers Erica Bouyouris (Steven Universe: Beach-a-Palooza and Scott Pilgrim Miniature the World) and Sen-Foong Lim (Junk Art and Belfort) created this cooperative deck builder. Deep Water games is publishing the game leaning on their experience with comics publication and the translation of some games into comics as well as a few comics into games.
Who’s Behind It?
What It’s About
The Rat Queens: To the Slaughter is a cooperative deck builder for 1-4 players. Each player will choose one of original Rat Queens and use her cards and abilities to defend the city from multiple waves of monsters until one of the games bosses appears. Defeat the boss and you’ll win the game. Which boos you fight will be determined during the game based on how many of the waves you successfully repel and some decisions you make during the game.
Each of the original Rat Queens is represented in an asymmetrical starter deck and unique upgrade cards. Each of the characters represents a different style of play, Vi is the tank focused on taking damage and protecting her teammates, Hannah is the mage and focuses on being an aoe cannon, Dee is the healer and focuses on keeping the rest of the Queens up and in fighting shape, and Betty is the rogue and focuses on movement and burst damage. While you shouldn’t need all four to be successful they do make for a well-rounded party.
One of the mechanics the talked about that I was particularly drawn to revolved around the game and comics core ideal; the power of found family and friendship. To this end each of the Queens have friendship tokens that can be dropped on the board for the other Queens to pick up. These can be used to level up your friendship with the other players and unlock and use special abilities.
The game will feature miniatures for each of the Queens and Bosses. The waves of enemies will be represented by cards from an enemy’s deck, and the city is the board you will be playing on.
The game should be beginner friendly to help appeal to fans of the comic who might not be board gamers. The over-all length should come out to around 45 minutes. It’s a nice light weight game to allow fans to play as their favorite characters.
While we weren’t given an exact date we do know that the Kickstarter will launch in July. This is with a projected delivery date of February of 2022. However, these dates are subject to change for a myriad of reasons.
When Is It Coming?
As with all Kickstarters there are several announcement’s left to come. They talked about expansions that will be available during the Kickstarter. They talked about one of these, a small expansion focused on the Queen Bragga, an axe wielding orc and the first member to join after the comic launched. Her box will have minis for her and a boss, new monsters, and a brand new story line to follow. There will be other incentives and stretch goals, including promos and alternate art cards.
In the lead up to the launch they will work with some YouTube partners to put out a couple of game play videos and tutorials. This will involve using both physical and digital versions of the game.
They will also be introducing a series of social media based Quests to unlock more content. This will allow the community to pitch in and share their love of these characters and stories. I know this won’t be everyone’s ideal way to interact with the project, but I’ve always found them fun.
Of course there are more goals and surprises they kept under wraps for the launch.
I’m vaguely familiar with the Rat Queens. When the comic launched around ten years ago I grabbed a copy of the first two issues and read them. I remember thinking they were interesting and fun. However, at the time I was pausing my comic collection since I already had a large collection and wanted to save some space. Hearing them talk during the preview and for a brief chat that followed I was impressed with their love of comics and respect for the genre and material.
For the game, while they had some prototype pieces and cards available I wasn’t able to get a look at e full game or see any game play. However, the description of the rules was very straight forward and I’m looking forward to what this game will look like when finalized. Right now, they seem to be taking great care with the property and project.
I’m cautiously optimistic. There was a time I looked at licensed games with a sigh and a shrug. However, the recent success of several licensed games has me looking forward with a much better attitude. While I’ve not played all of their games Deep Water Games hasn’t let me down yet. So, I’m looking forward to this. I may even go and grab a digital trade or two to get ready for it.
Until next time, stay safe and be well.