The Tabletop TV Show Convergence

TV Shows to Board Games
TV Shows to Board Games

It seems that analogue gaming is the new digital gaming. As a result, the TV show producers are all wanting a piece of it. This is unusual, considering how ‘well’ films based on computer games have done. Detective Pikachu notwithstanding, of course.

Warhammer 40K is getting small screened, Ticket to Ride is getting a reality TV show (no, really) and Frankie Boyle has been ransacking Cards Against Humanity for years (just kidding, Frankie). So, I guess this is a thing now.

However, the door swings both ways, so what TV shows could be turned into board game? I don’t just mean a cut-and-paste Monopoly, Risk or Munchkin tie-in. I mean games with their own (sort of) mechanics that actually have some relevance to the TV show, like Adventure Time’s Card Wars or Gale Force Nine’s stable of games… though come on, guys, let’s have that Dr Who expansion you’ve been promising – we’ve got some disgruntled Colin Baker fans out here…

Just to make things a bit interesting, I’ve done a bit of thinking outside of the cardboard box, but bear with me on this…

Eastenders - The Game of Miserable Cockneys - 2-6 Players

Welcome to the world of Albert Square, where the sky is always overcast, the tube is always late and the beer is always served with too large a head. Yes, there was a roll and stroll game back in the eighties, but I reckon this metropolitan mope fest could do with a bit of a rethink.

Based on a similar card engine to Gloom, players try to make their families as miserable as possible by marrying them off to the wrong people, making bad business decisions and getting involved with East London gangsters. You can load up characters with addictions and character flaws, guilty secrets and shadowy pasts, with cards such as ‘get out of my pub!’ and ‘got to get back to the stall,’ giving you points bonuses or setting back your opponents' progress.

The ultimate goal? Get your own plaque on a bench in the Square.

The Inbetweeners - Intrigue, Desire and Briefcases - 2-4 Players

(Note: I actually had ‘Briefcase W***er’ shouted at me on the way home from work – true story)

In this asymmetric card game, players take on the role of the four lead characters in the programme and try to achieve their individual goals by the end of the game.

  • Simon must gain the affections of Carly.
  • Will has to gain the affections of… anyone.
  • Jay has to find someone willing to believe that his ‘amorous antics’ are true.
  • Neil must remember his PE kit for AS Sport… and avoid that teacher… you know, THAT one.

Players draw cards to either further their role or stop their opponents, depending on who plays it (cards such as ‘fashion show’ and ‘football friend’ which would be great if Simon or Jay played them, but disastrous if anyone else played them against them). The winner would be whoever got even close to their goals. Neil would usually win.

The Battle for Love Island - 3-8 Players - Minimum Play time of 48 Hours

A highly sophisticated Euro-strategy, area control and 4X game where players try to gain influence over the island through a combination of attribute placement, negotiation, character development, trade and diplomacy and influence building. No copies of this would ever be sold.

King of The Politics Show - 2-6 Players (8 with Brexit Expansion)

This dice and card-based game sees players choosing one of the main parties and trying to win through various situations. Parties in the game include:

  • Conservative.
  • Labour.
  • Liberal Democrat.
  • SNP.
  • Green.
  • Monster Raving Looney.
  • DUP and Brexit party in the expansion.

The situations would be by-elections, referendums and the final general elections. You'd attempt to win by rolling and investing the results of money and people dice. Money buys media cards, people cards buy union cards. Each party has bonuses in particular areas as well.

  • Conservatives have more money dice.
  • Labour have more people dice.
  • Liberals can choose which to have more of.
  • Greens get a celebrity media bonus.
  • SNP get an independent bonus.
  • MRLP have Lord Bucket Head.

Cards are used to raise the party’s ratings or lower other party’s ratings. Whoever has the highest rating after the general election wins. Hey, this might actually work – can you forget you read this?

Quooks of Quality Programming - 2-4 Players

Where’s the drama? Right here, people. A gathering of all the cookery TV programmes (or Quookery programmes). Quooks has players drawing ingredients (custom chosen from different styles and staples at the beginning of the game) from their pantry (a drawstring bag with the word ‘pantry’ on it) to put into their dish to make a meal fit for Greg Ramsey-Hollywood (see what I did there?)

You also have to make sure you draw enough heat. Too much and you burn your masterpiece, too little and it ends up RAAAAAAW! Each round sees you making a different dish (drawn from deck of dishes), and each successful dish sees you gain extra ingredients and Quookery Stars. Be wary of your ingredients though. Too many in one dish will confuse Greg and you'll lose points.

At the end of the season, the Quook with the most stars wins. And I think I really am starting to take this too seriously now.

Epic Joke Wars of the Week Mockers - 2-4 Players

Finally, a game that sees you building jokes fit to rival Mrs Brown’s Boys (but don’t let that put you off)! Epic Joke Wars has players cracking the best jokes to make the most audience members laugh. A subject is drawn from the compere deck which can be political, celebrity, legal or financial (something like that anyway) and players try to match three parts, feedline, set-up and punchline, to the subject, score the most points.

Cards such as ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘haunted’ can be combined to make killer combos for claiming audience members or knock out other players jokes, causing them to ‘die’ onstage. NSFW only.

Or you could just make a bunch of Monopolies.