Guilty Gear Strive Transitions From Video Game to a Board Game

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Today on Twitter X Level 99 Games announced that, in collaboration with Arc System Works, they’ll be launching Guilty Gear -Strive- on Kickstarter. 

The Kickstarted campaign will start on August 22nd and, among other rewards and goodies, it will offer two editions of the game. The standard edition will be priced at $99 and includes two metal coins and a neoprene playmat. For the true fans of Guilty Gear, there’s something extra special: the collector’s edition for $179. This version comes with four coins, an additional playmat, and acrylic stands for the fighters, making it a must-have for dedicated enthusiasts. 

Both editions come with 15 base characters from the original game and an additional 5 from the Season 1, providing a total of 695 playing cards. The game will be fully compatible with other Level 99 Exceed fighting games like Street Fighter, Shovel Knight, BlazBlue, and Under Night, enabling exciting matchups previously only fantasized about.

Guilty Gear Strive cards
Example of cards

As we all know, Kickstarter campaigns take a while until you receive your game. If you are as impatient as us, you can get your free demo deck (available until supplies last) from the Level 99 Games website and try it out with Ky Kiske and Sol Badguy. You will also get a commemorative metal coin engraved with heaven on one side and hell on the other. If you miss out on your chance online, you can try to grab a demo copy during Evo 2023. 

If you’ve never heard of Level 99 Games or played one of their games with the Exceed fighting system, you’re going to think that this is foolish and that it’ll never work. Oh, sweet summer child, this isn’t their first rodeo. They did it, and they are doing it again. 

The game uses unique decks for each character to recreate the fast-paced action of fighting video games. Players take turns playing cards from their hand to perform attacks from their character’s move set. The attacks happen on a playmat representing characters’ positions, allowing fighters to move back and forth by spending “force” generated from discarding cards. Some attacks require characters to be within a certain range, and they can jump over each other by spending extra force. Certain cards can also push and pull opponents around the arena, allowing you to set them up for an attack or to get them away from your character. 

The cards can be used for striking, trying to damage the opponent, or for optional boosts that can set up future attacks or increase the power of other moves. By playing two matching cards, attacks can be turned into more powerful EX attacks.

When a player strikes, they play cards facedown, and their opponent can respond with their own card from their hand. If they don’t have a suitable card, they can play a facedown card from the top of their deck as a “wild swing.”

The speed of the cards determines the order of attacks, with ties favoring the player who initiated the attack. Successful strikes add cards to the player’s gauge, which can be spent to perform additional actions, draw extra cards, or execute powerful ultra attacks. The gauge can also be spent to upgrade the character’s unique power for the rest of the fight.

The battle ends when one character’s life is reduced to zero, just like in a classic fighting game match. The game is designed for two players, and each battle takes about 15 minutes to complete. A bit longer than in a video game but still fast-paced for a board game, and yet still a unique and engaging experience.