KICKSTARTER: Escape the Dark Sector

Following on from Themeborne’s highly successful Escape the Dark Castle, the independent design studio returns with a Kickstarter campaign for their second narrative adventure game – Escape the Dark Sector.

Inspired by classic sci-fi books, films and TV programmes (inc. Alien, the original Star Warstrilogy, Star Trek: TNG etc.), Escape the Dark Sector also has its roots in the classic adventure experiences of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.

Escape the Dark Sector is a simple, sci-fi adventure game with a focus on atmosphere, storytelling and player cooperation – perfect for newcomers to tabletop gaming. It takes about 2 minutes to set up, lasts around 45 minutes, and no two games are ever the same. Play solo or cooperatively with up to 4 players.

Playing as the beleaguered crew of an impounded starship, players find themselves confined to the detention block of a vast space station. Using a variety of advanced gear and weaponry, they will embark on a desperate mission to find their ship and blast their way home.

Over the course of three acts the crew will have to overcome a variety of dangers, from cyborg guards and faulty replicators to killer alien organisms – each of which is represented by a large, beautifully illustrated chapter card.

As these immersive chapter cards are revealed one by one, the game takes on the form of a shared storybook experience, with the players making decisions about what to do each chapter before using a combination of dice and item cards to complete the challenges before them.

The goal of the game is to complete every chapter in the mission deck, and then defeat the final boss. To win, you must keep each member of the crew alive. If any player is killed the game ends immediately!

At its core, Escape the Dark Sector utilities the same narrative game engine as Escape the Dark Castle, but adds several new features that make it a different experience altogether: 

  • A 3-Act Adventure: The chapter cards which make up the mission deck are divided into three acts, each getting progressively more challenging as the mission goes on and each also offering different item drop-rates and a different ratio of encounter types – allowing for a new layer of decision-making and strategy. 
  • Thrilling Ranged Combat: From lowly Slug-pistols to formidable Beam-emitters, a ranged combat system has been designed from the ground up to add thrilling firefights to the adventure. But even with an array of weaponry at your disposal, teamwork remains vital to mission success. 
  • Tactical Combat Actions: As the game’s intense firefights play out, the highly-trained crew have a wide selection of tactical options at their disposal – including Shoot, Charge, Take Cover, Flank, Ambush, Treat Wounds and Reload. Forming a robust plan of attack is essential to taking down tough enemies. 
  • Cybernetic Implants: Each member of the crew is fitted with an interchangeable neural-augmentation chip, giving them a unique enhancement to call upon during the adventure – from pain inhibitors to advanced-reflexes. Players will have the option to switch these out, either to swap with another member of the crew or to replace them with upgrades found along the way – but doing so incurs a HP penalty!

The Kickstarter campaign for Escape the Dark Sector has already blasted past its required funding goal, and is now unlocking several stretch goals, which include an original soundtrack, and two books: a ‘Mission Log’ featuring a collection of interconnected short fiction, and ‘Death in Deep Space’, which adds contextual death scenes to gameplay. The Kickstarter concludes on July 1st.

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