Let’s take a little trip down memory lane – It’s 1987, Margaret Thatcher has just been re-elected and the Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson and Rick Astley are currently tearing up the singles charts with synth-laden feelgood music.
On top of all this, Games Workshop’s brand of tabletop and board games were growing in popularity. One such game was Chainsaw Warrior, a solo game that pitted the player not against others but against the clock.
The game saw New York balancing on the precipice of darkness as twisted forces from another dimension attempted to rip the city from this world into theirs. Standing between them and the destruction of the city was a lone figure, the brutal and mysterious Chainsaw Warrior. Playing as the hero, the player had to delve into a zombie infested New York tenement to locate the source of the evil power and destroy it before it was too late.
I never got to play this game but I remember being forbidden from buying it when I discovered it years later at a car boot sale.
The good news for me, previous players and general Games Workshop enthusiasts is that the Bristol based indie games developer, Auroch Digital is creating a videogame based on the 80s classic, available on both mobile and desktop platforms.
Auroch Digital’s Design & Production Director, Tomas Rawlings explained why they are resurrecting this mutant and zombie infested classic saying: “It’s a game I played as a kid and loved. I see it as the pre-cursor of First Person Shooters when video games technology could not really do the first person or the shooting. For me this is not only a great game, but a classic of board game design – a solo shooter that really challenges the player. When we spoke to Games Workshop about developing a game this was the top of my list. I loved the 80s style of the game and we’ve kept much of that in our design as well as faithfully translating the gameplay. Don’t expect to win the game easily. This was the Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy of its day. Players didn’t want to buy the game and run out of challenge at first play. The game has many ways to kill you and is unafraid to use them – which makes it all the sweeter when you finally win.”
As well as its challenge, it also flies in the face of current trends in social aspects in games. Chainsaw Warrior is firmly an individual experience, Rawlings explains, “This is about you against the tide of darkness. Chainsaw Warrior is the last hope for the city and time is running out. Ultimately I wanted to make this game because it is one that needs to be brought to digital with all guns blazing and chainsaw-blades revving, and that is what we’re going to do!”
“Chainsaw Warrior is a classic fantasy solo board game experience that established itself as one of Games Workshop’s best sellers from that era of our history” said Jon Gillard, Games Workshop’s Head of Licensing. “It was actually the first game I bought when I joined the company, and like many other enthusiastic gamers, I enjoyed playing it for years. We can’t wait to see it being brought to a whole new generation of digital gamers who can enjoy the dramatic struggle against seemingly overwhelming odds, as well as the remorseless ticking of the clock.”
Personally I can’t wait for this, as I’ve so many fond memories of Games Workshop and my mighty Ork collection as a kid. It’s also great to see Auroch Digital filling a gap on the mobile platforms and giving fans a lovingly crafted experience to get stuck into.
The game is due to release on iPad, iPhone and Android platforms at the end of summer. The PC and Mac versions will follow soon after. Details of pricing are currently sketchy but we’ll be sure to update when we know more.