As a shoot'em-up classic from the late eighties, the board game Contra: The Board Game should also appeal to fans of retro games. The adaptation of the Konami series of the same name appears at Blacklist Games at a price of around 43 euros and can be pre-ordered now. According to the publisher, the board game will then appear in the first half of 2021. 

The Contra series produced ten video games by 2013. The shoot'em-up celebrated its debut in 1987. Contra is not just any arbitrary arcade game, but is considered the founder of the side scroller shooter - hence the term "run and gun". Blacklist Games is now adapting the classic for the home gaming table, which will probably be no less action-packed from the second half of 2021. Even as a board game, Contra relies on the proven principle of running and shooting. And the motivation for players? Just save the world!

Cons: The Board Game relies on co-op action

In the board game adaptation by Contra, players try to save the world together - this works in a solo mode or with up to three other players. The authors Adam and Brady Sadler use a system that is not dissimilar to that of Street Masters. Different decks can be combined, so that a certain variance in the course of the game should be noticeable. There are decks for each of the four command units and bosses. The partially modular setup should provide increased long-term motivation.

Action cards play the central role in the fighting. Copyright: Blacklist Games

Action cards play the central role in the fighting. Copyright: Blacklist Games

The gameplay should get straight to the point without further ado: Players use their cards to trigger actions, gain advantages and weapons and confront opponents who harass the group with alien tech. With this, the authors rely on the concept that was technically popular in the 80s and 90s: fast action without frills. It can be assumed that the board game is able to implement the basic mood of the arcade games of the time, not only because of the retro look. Card management itself also has a direct impact on the game: the more risk-taking players are, the more dangerous the combat situations can be. The player and opponent AI act in parties: first all commands carry out their actions, then it is the opponent's turn.

Nice gimmick on the side: The game box is reminiscent of an NES cartridge. Cons: The Board Game is due to appear in the first or second quarter of 2021 and costs 50 US dollars, currently around 43 euros. Information is available at

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