After pulling in a hot 2.8 million on their revival of Fireball Island, Restoration Games is going back to the well for another nostalgic board game: Dark Tower. Return to Dark Tower will be a re-imagining of the classic game, known to many for its (wonderfully) campy Orson Welles lead commercial. The game will be designed by Rob Daviau, famous for pioneering the Legacy board game format, and Isaac Childres, famous for design work on the board game Gloomhaven. First released in 1981, Dark Tower was an absolutely outrageous game for the time. Gameplay focused on a large electronic “tower” that spat out bleeps, bloops, and flashing LEDs to represent the players’ fantasy adventures.
Announced over the weekend at Gen Con, Restoration Games said it intends to preserve the “spectacle” and spirit of the game while exploring the boundaries of how board games can be played. “We always approach a restoration by asking: What is the soul of the game?,” said Restoration Games president Justin D. Jacobson in a press release, “For Dark Tower, no question, it was that cutting-edge gizmo fused with a grand fantasy setting.”
Return to Dark Tower will tentatively release in 2020 after a Kickstarter campaign next year. Restoration Games says development has been in progress for several months, but core mechanics haven’t been completely finalized. Daviau did say that the new version of the game would be cooperative, focusing on the tension between when players would stop pursuing quests and attack the dark tower itself. Childres emphasized his desire to use “epic, branching” narratives in the game.
Restoration Games is a company entirely devoted to reviving older, out of print or hard to find board games. Fireball Island is perhaps their most spectacular success, but they’ve had notable game releases in recent years with a reissues of classics Stop Thief! and racing game Downforce.
Restoration Games also released a short trailer on Twitter:
It’s true! We are doing Return to Dark Tower! @robdaviau and @Cephalofair will be co-designing. pic.twitter.com/UJM0Tm6RMbAugust 3, 2018