When it comes to Horror video games, October typically sees at least one or two games released each year. At the moment, 2023 is looking to have even more spooky releases in October 2023. Between September 2023 to December 2023, gamers can enjoy Alan Wake 2, Lies of P, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scorn, and World of Horror. Those were just some of the video game titles with announced release dates. Even now, Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game, Reveil, and the Silent Hill 2 Remake will potentially be released in 2023 or early 2024. Very rarely do we see a horror board game release or even launch in October. Now, Brandon May looks to change that with his upcoming game, Compound 49.
Compound 49 Concept
At PAX West 2023, we got to meet with Brandon to discuss his upcoming horror game. Located in the back left of the Board Games/Table Top section, Compound 49 had the benefit of occasionally hiding in the dark and shadows. Unlike other tabletop games, Compound 49 is meant to be played in complete darkness or close to it. Each player will be equipped with a red flashlight that they can use to look at the board and their notepad. Each player moves at the same time as one another. Teamwork is the main aspect of the game with players having to decide what tasks they want to complete and who would be best suited for each task. Within each round, players have a set amount of action points that can be used within the round; these action points can be used to complete an action, move, or gather resources.
Each player’s character is currently struggling with amnesia and must uncover how they got into the spooky manor. While in the manor, players can speak with one another freely, however, once outside the manor, things become a bit more horrifying. As players complete certain tasks, a bunch of mysterious things start to happen. It is up to the players to survive any ghastly frights that arise and survive by working together or die trying.
Thought Behind the Game & Takeaways
Originally, Brandon and his team wanted players to experience the demo in complete or next to complete darkness; sadly, the PAX West safety board would not allow them to have their booth covered to create darkness. In order to get around this and still show off the premises of the game, their team set up a Diorama depicting how the game was meant to be played and how it would look. You can see an image of it down below. Despite now being allowed to have the booth in complete darkness, the Compound 49 team still aimed for a scary atmosphere. With a speaker located in the lights, dark and eery sounds came out to help build suspense.
For my playthrough of the game, my goal was to succeed in building the car; building a car in the game is no easy task requiring a player to research how to build it and find the right resources. While I was searching for the parts, my character often became exhausted and I had to rest in the barracks. While I attempted to build the car, two of my party members went outside to scout the surroundings. Similar to Betrayal at House on the Hill, as a player explores the surrounding area, new board pieces come into play; these pieces can offer additional resources or cause enemies to spawn in the shadows.
As a fan of Betrayal at House on the Hill, it was nice to see a game similar to it without being a carbon copy. Teamwork is such an important factor when playing with others, but the game offers players the possibility to play it if no one else is available. Although the game does have more of a spooky setting, it still has a sense of ease for players who are unfamiliar with it to pick it up and just play. Honestly, it would have been nice to see how it felt to play the game in a dark setting.
Brandon May, the creator of Compound 49, described the game as,
“An immersive survival horror board game that will have you on the edge of your seat. At PAX West I wanted players to experience the unique and spine-chilling gameplay of Compound 49.
Compound 49 offers an unparalleled gaming experience, combining cooperative and solo play, open-world exploration, and even a versus mode. What sets our game apart is the immersive quality it brings to the table. Picture this: playing in complete darkness, with only the illuminated board guiding your path. The game incorporates sound effects that enhance the gameplay mechanics, creating an atmosphere that will challenge your senses and keep you engaged throughout.
Compound 49 immerses players in a world of mystery and horror.”
How to Support or Follow
If you are in any way shape or form interested in Compound 49, make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. In order to build suspense for the game, a VR experience was created for gamers to experience on VR Chat. Compound 49’s Kickstarter is set to launch on Friday the 13th of 2023 (10/13/2023). Honestly, we can’t wait until the Kickstarter goes live in order to support it. We could see this game starting off as a small indie board game and turning into one people love to play with their friends either on everyday occasions or to celebrate Halloween and Spooky Season.
Hopefully, our time with the game has piqued your interest. If you want to see the booth, character boards, and the miniatures used in the game, look at the gallery down below.