At the successful Minecraft board game premiere three years ago with "Minecraft: Builders & Biomes" and the Farmers Market expansion, the focus was on constructing buildings and breaking down blocks. Now it's getting monstrously hot: In the new cooperative strategy game "Minecraft Portal Dash" the players are trapped in the Nether, Minecraft's fiery underworld.
Hordes of mobs await. Only if players work together as a team and use their equipment and dwindling resources wisely will they be able to reach the saving portal, defeat the boss and escape the Nether. Thanks to a modular system with new mobs, game board parts and different bosses, the game constantly offers new and always challenging adventures.
The cooperative title “Minecraft Portal Dash” is the second new board game based on the popular Minecraft brand. Previously had Ravensburger with Minecraft Heroes of the Village announced a beginner-friendly cooperative board game for families.
Escape through the Nether
Once again, game author Ulrich Blum, together with Ravensburger and Mojang - the Swedish studio that developed the digital Minecraft world - has created a game that conveys a real Minecraft feeling. Of course, everything is pixelated again, including hearts for life. The players also need them, because this time everything revolves around Endermen, Ghasts, Hoglins and Co.
Well-known Minecraft mobs, which attack the players again and again as they escape through the Nether and which have to be cleared out of the way - including the boss. "The first game didn't focus on fighting the mobs, but we found that it was a lot of fun for the players," explains Daniel Greiner, Game Development Manager. "In Minecraft: Portal Dash, this is where players can let off steam."
The Nether looks a little different in each game depending on which track pieces you choose facedown to start with. The first mobs will appear soon. Don't panic - players don't stumble into this adventure unprepared, but come with armor, sword, bow and pickaxe, among other things, and a full life bar. Next to the game board is a large cube made up of 64 randomly arranged resource blocks. Depending on the color of the block, players can use the blocks to obtain new and better pieces of equipment, refill lives or cover obstacle fields. On the other hand, they have to help the local piglins break down the blocks and complete three tasks to activate the escape portal. In good time, mind you, otherwise the game is lost.
At the beginning of each turn, a player rolls the two white mob and block dice. All mobs with the number rolled will move towards the closest players and attack them if necessary. It doesn't hurt that much when the life bar is full, but beware, the game is also lost if a player loses their last life. It means talking well and taking care of each other. It may be more advisable to fill up another player's life bar first than your own. The block cube indicates which block the player must break down and put away.
High variance through modular system
Now the player can actively intervene in the action with two actions. With the weaker basic actions, he can dismantle and use a block, advance a space or repair one of his already used equipment. Or he uses one of these items. With a bow and sword, for example, he can fight mobs. The better the weapon, the more combat dice you can use and the higher the probability that Endermen & Co. will disappear from the game board. But the joy is usually short-lived, because new mobs are already waiting to spawn on the game board. Boots allow you to move further than just one space. And with the pickaxe, two or more blocks can be mined and used at once. But beware: The players should not rush the items, but use them carefully, because they only work once. Only when they are repaired are they ready for use again.
As the game progresses, players will always get a new item, for example when they defeat a mob, mine a yellow block or find a treasure chest hidden in the Nether. With enchantments or even netherite items, they can sometimes significantly improve their equipment.
If a player reaches the portal strip, all three Piglins tasks are fulfilled, all are still alive and resource blocks are left, the portal strip may be revealed. And as if that wasn't difficult enough, that triggers the conflagration - the final boss. He even attacks from a distance and has a whopping 20 life points that need to be wiped out with a united effort. But be careful, the other mobs are still up to mischief. Only when the boss is defeated do the players win and can escape the Nether to the safe overworld.
This cooperative board game offers a game system for constantly new adventures. Once the players have learned the rules, they can experience the game in a new and more challenging way thanks to new mobs, map parts and different bosses. Of course, players are also allowed to break these rules to create ludicrous and impossible scenarios and share them with their friends.
The strategic board game Minecraft Portal Dash is aimed at one to four players, ages ten and up. The costs are 44,99 euros as the manufacturer's recommended price.
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