After thirty years, board-like videogame finally a real board game.
Finnish games publisher Lautapelit.fi has announced plans to release a tabletop board game by Heikki Harju based on the classic computer game M.U.L.E. later this year, having licensed the property from Ozark Softworks.
In M.U.L.E. players are colonists on the forbidding world of “Irata”, attempting to settle the planet and establish themselves as a de facto economic power in the process. By balancing resource needs with production, manipulating supply/demand systems and efficiently harvesting materials, players must work with each other to ensure the long-term survival of the settlement while competing to control it.
It’s a bit shocking to realize that no board game has been produced based on M.U.L.E. up to this point. The 1983 game made by Dani Bunton and published by Electronic Arts was not a major commercial success, but has gone down in history as one of the most important of its time, influencing the future development of series such as The Sims (which designer Will Wright dedicated to the memory of Bunton) and Pikmin. More to the point, M.U.L.E. is already, in essence, a computerized board game for four players with mechanics clearly rooted in tabletop design.
M.U.L.E. The Board Game will be shown at the Spiel 2015 show in Essen this October and is scheduled for a worldwide launch in November.