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Nerdarchy > Games  > Board Games  > Ironrise – A Steampunk Adventure Board Game
Ironrise board game Kickstarter

Ironrise – A Steampunk Adventure Board Game

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Spires of heavy metal scrape the smog stretched skies. Below, the rabble of its citizens toil away, working in the seemingly countless factories to scratch out their existence under the thumb of the oppressive government, all the while under the shadow of the Obligation, a massive airship that patrols high above. Will you be the hero needed to wrest these people from their poverty and ill-fortune, or be the villain who puts the vision-less rabble back in their place? In Ironrise – A Steampunk Adventure Board Game, you are doing just that. Heroes attempting to deliver their people from endless servitude pitted against villains forced to hold the line and secure the way of life that they know. Let’s delve deeper into this new board game, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, and its unique setting.

Ironrise board game Kickstarter

What is Ironrise – A Steampunk Adventure Board Game?

Ironrise – A Steampunk Adventure Board Game is a cooperative (team vs. team) board game for 2-6 players ages 12 and above, with a play time of 90-120 minutes. The goal of Ironrise is to earn your team a number of victory points before the opposing team. The number of victory points is chosen during setup, but 10 victory points is suggested for a 90-minute playtime. Players will divide up evenly, selecting from either the 11 available Villain or 11 Hero character cards, each with unique art and abilities. Play is turn-based, but requires all players to contribute outside of their turns as well.

The core mechanic of Ironrise is the Challenge. During these Challenges, players will put not only their character’s abilities and skills to the test, but also be forced to bluff through hidden card play. The full set of rules can be found here on their website.

“Players act as managers of the doom of their opponents, and this is expressed directly by way of the ‘challenge.’ The challenge involves head-to-head concealed card play, expressing battles of martial prowess, savvy, ingenuity, and evasion. A challenge is the chief way any given encounter or quest is resolved.” — from the Ironrise Kickstarter page

At its core, Ironrise is an action-adventure, story-driven board game. You are placed into a much deeper setting than most board games on the market. The developers have really taken their love of roleplaying and infused it into this standalone board game. Each of the 22 available characters has a written backstory and motivation, allowing for as much in-character play at the table as you’d like. While this is not required to play the game, it is added care and depth I know a lot of roleplayers coming to the table will really appreciate.

Ironrise setting and its vassal cities


Ironrise board game KickstarterThe world of Ironrise is set in the titular city of Ironrise. This diesel-punk city, that for those unfamiliar with the genre, elicits a similar feeling of the western industrial era, but with periscopic goggles, clap-traps, airships and other fantastical contraptions. The people who live in Ironrise suffer a sort of collective, generational amnesia that prevents them from knowing their own history, the collective consciousness only reemerging 88 years ago.

This mysterious mental fog is further complicated by the horrible monsters lurking on the fringes of civilization. Any attempts to dig into the hidden past are met with an ancient, eldritch horror leaving those brave enough to face them with more questions than answers.

The capital city of Ironrise is ruled by the Prime Minister from the heights of Pinnacle Tower. The Prime Minister watches over the city as the iron rule is put into action by the Ram’s Wrath, Pinnacle Tower’s personal army dedicated to carrying out every order. Outside the main city proper, the many vassal cities are led by rulers under the thumb of the Prime Minister, despite the quiet rumblings of revolution throughout.

The main city and its colonies are a tinderbox of political unrest and espionage. Despite the bleak outlook and dark intent, heroes still emerge. Looking to fight back the tyrannical powers and the cosmic terrors skulking in the shadows, brave men and women rise up to defend their people.

You can learn more about the setting at the Spirel Homepage on World Anvil through maps, articles, and art.

Check out Ironrise

Ironrise is a unique setting and a fresh new board game. Whether an avid board gamer or a tabletop RPG player looking to dip their toe in this corner of the hobby, Ironrise is most definitely worth a look. You can check out more on their Kickstarter running until June 7, 2018, learn about and get more information at their website. What do you think? Are you excited for this new board game, a new diesel punk setting or both? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jacob Kosman

Child of the Midwest, spending his adolescence dreaming of creating joy for gaming between sessions of cattle tending. He holds a fondness for the macabre, humorous and even a dash of grim dark. Aspiring designer spending most of his time writing and speculating on this beautiful hobby when he isn't separating planes.


  • Megan R. Miller
    May 19, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I did not know this was a thing and I definitely wanted to, this looks like pretty much everything I want out of a board game.

    • Jacob Kosman
      May 21, 2018 at 6:09 am

      Check it out, back it if you like it. Looks like it could be a very fun game.

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