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Golem Arcana

Miniature And Mobile Gaming Collide

Update: Only a few hours remain in Harebrained Schemes nail biter of a Kickstarter for Golem Arcana. If you hope to see this unique amalgam of miniature and video gaming move forward, or if you just enjoy watching a close race, now's the time to check in on the game's site.

Original story:

Earlier today, we featured an interview with Harebrained Schemes about its recent release of Shadowrun Returns, but its new project is equally exciting. Golem Arcana is currently in the midst of its Kickstarter drive, and with 11 days to go, it’s worth taking a look if you think you want to add your funding dollars. 

Golem Arcana proposes a fascinating possibility. Take the fun, camaraderie, and rivalry of a tabletop miniature skirmish game, and put all the complicated rules, computation, and refereeing inside an accompanying mobile app. This app isn’t an optional secondary way to play the game, but rather a fundamental piece of the core game. In other words, Golem Arcana is not purely a video game, but also not purely a physical tabletop game either. It’s both.

The integration of real-life tabletop and digital gaming is made possible by an included stylus, which is used to tap areas of the playmat and the miniatures to enact movements and attacks. The Bluetooth-enabled stylus then sends the requisite info to your mobile device, and measures things like whether you’ve made a legal move, or computes the cover computations between you and a figure you’re attacking. In short, Golem Arcana attempts to strip out the tedious elements of consulting tables or rule books that are often inherent to miniature gaming, but keeps the fun of moving physical objects around the board at a shared table. Moreover, the digital element of the game allow Harebrained Schemes to offer dynamic content over time, like new scenarios and updates to the rules, without the need to purchase a new edition of an existing ruleset. 

Above and beyond the cool combination of video gaming and tabletop gaming,  Golem Arcana also stands out because of its gorgeous visual aesthetic and intriguing fiction. The world of Golem Arcana is a rich fantasy setting of warring factions. Millennia ago, the Ancient Ones crafted massive golems (represented by the game’s miniatures) with the power to shape continents. Today, golem knights (represented digitally inside the app) bring their own powers to bear as they ride these titanic golems into battle. Some knights can even channel special powers from their Ancient One ancestors. By smartly combining digitally presented knights with the physical golem miniatures you choose to include in your army, Harebrained Schemes aims to offer lots of flexibility for customization.

Golem Arcana is one of several games already released or on the horizon that blur the lines between physical and digital play. Harebrained Schemes has already developed lots of details about both the fiction of Golem Arcana and the minutiae of the gameplay rules. Plus, you can take a look at the gorgeous, fully pre-painted golem miniatures that are planned for inclusion in the game.  If Golem Arcana sounds like a world you want to play in, head over to Harebrained Schemes’ new Kickstarter and show your monetary support. 

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  • I really hope this ends up getting funded. I do worry that a game like this might get caught awkwardly between video game and tabletop game, but it looks pretty awesome in the video. 11 days to go!

  • I know nothing of table top strategy games, but this looks really cool. I would back it, especially cause I liked Shadowrun Returns, but I'm young. It's my dad who has the credit card...

  • I was hoping this was a table top pc game, and as soon as i got to "app" i stopped reading, this is not for me. It does look awesome though.
  • .......  

  • Anyone else think "Hey, that artworks looks an awful lot like the concept art from Guild Wars 2?"

    Turns out it was created by Kekai Kotaki, so that makes sense :)

  • I just don't get the appeal for tabletop games. I honestly would rather just see this be a game. I have no idea why Crimson Shroud is the only video game that actually does that kind of experience...

    Not to mention, this is probably one of the only experiences/designs I have seen that would actually work BEST on a Wii U & Gamepad. If it was just a virtual boardgame, and had this info on the Gamepad, I mean? That's probably the kind of design Nintendo needs more of, to convince anyone to buy the thing.

    But for anyone who digs this, more power to ya. They still need 21k though, and there's less than 9 hours to go as I write this. They should make it, I think. But heck yes, it'll be close. For anyone eagerly anticipating this, they gotta be on pins & needles right now.