Defenders of the Wild, a new fantasy-themed board game by designers Henry Audubon and T.L. Simons, and Outlandish Games, has set up its Kickstarter campaign, with the developers teasing a “coming soon” green strip.
Defends of the Wild is a cooperative board game with rules-light RPG that will have 1-4 players guide their factions and assemble a crew of animal character defenders who take on the big bad machines that are running rampant through the indigenous flora and seek to wipe it out completely.
Right from the start, you get a Spirit Island feel where the evil outsider wants to upset the local peace on the promise of mercantile gain. There is an interesting and original plot twist, as the machines are powered by corrupted magic, and they are now rampaging across the woodlands.
Players will draw defender cards and use the corresponding characters’ abilities. Each of the crew members will have a faction and a habitat type, the game’s description explains. Players will also have different actions that they can undertake, choosing from moving, clearing pollution, building camps, healing, or fighting mechs, depending on what defender cards have been drawn.
The machine deck will then control how the machines advance and develop. This evil will first set up shop close to habitats before dispatching merciless hunter mechs that pollute in their wake and seek to uproot the local critters from their forest homes. The game is won by players together.
Stop the Machines in Their Tracks and Defeat the Evil Magic
The designers recently shared a Defenders of the Wild first look on BoardGameGeek, showing the full working prototype of the game and some of the cards and wooden components that will be used in the game. The board consist of multiple hexes of seemingly different terrain type which reinforces the feeling that there is some similarity with Spirit Island at least from a look outside in.
The cards of defenders feature characters such as Aexyl, who lets you move all mechs in 1 habitat, Elisatr, who lets you reveal the next machine card and lets you optionally discard it, and Zargei, who lets you move twice with one action. This game comes together beautifully not because of its game concept but the excellent work that seems to have gone into crafting its narrative and looks.
The accolades go to Margaret Killjoy who wrote the narrative, Meg Lemieur who did the illustrations, and not least, Patricia Noonan, who also worked on the narrative.