'Super Hazard Quest' Brings 8-Bit Gaming To The Tabletop


Super Hazard Quest isn’t quite a board game yet. It will be, once designers Mike Mendizabal and Ben Famiglietti can nail down the finalized rules. For now it’s a working concept, albeit a very good one. Imagine a board game version of a 2D dungeon crawler, complete with mini-bosses, checkpoints, and more. Based on what I played it felt like Super Hazard Quest was fresh off a store shelf.

The prototype for Super Hazard Quest Photo: Super Hazard Quest

Riding the 8-bit art popularity train, Super Hazard Quest aims to unite both board gaming and old-school video gaming into one package. It’s a combination the game’s creators felt came naturally to them.

“We’re both big nerds. I love board games, and he [Famiglietti] loves video games,” Mendizabal told iDigitalTimes. “That’s why this game works out. He is great at coming up with great concepts and rules and art. I’m helping him with the art.”

One of the many dungeon rooms players will encounter during a game Photo: Super Hazard Quest

Looking down at Super Hazard Quest in action, you would think you were looking at a game of Mario printed out in front of you. Every game’s level is randomly generated by players pulling Dungeon Cards. These cards depict a room in the sprawling dungeon you must explore. The rooms are filled with popular NES tropes, like a castle level, a city level or a forest level.

“Everything was built on a pixel level, and we scaled it up for printing,” Mendizabal said about the art.

All of the pixels used in the artwork for Super Hazard Quest have been made by hand, and  all done under the same constraints a game artist would have to work with to make an 8-bit game.

The different characters you can play as Photo: Super Hazard Quest

Each player gets a classic NES parody character to play. Mario is the Polish Carpenter, Samus is the Alien Hunter, Solid Snake is the Rugged Spy and so on. From here, players draw cards that give them actions to take. These actions allow players to progress further into the dungeon, while also being able to keep them safe from enemies.

While the game plays as if it’s  ready to ship, the duo said they still have more tweaking to do.

“We have a prototype, and it works,” said Famiglietti. “We have a lot of fun playing it. We’ve recruited a small pool of friends to come over and playtest it so we can tweak the rules. We bring it to local game stores to have people test it as well.

“I think we have a good product,” Famiglietti said.

Even though Super Hazard Quest has only been played by about 200 people at this point, those who have enjoyed the experience, the duo said.

“We’ve been to conventions where we invite someone over to play with us, and they have fun. They would leave, and come back with their friends who would play with us,” Mendizabal said. “They would leave and come back with more people. It was insane to see people promoting the game among themselves.”

So what’s next for Super Hazard Quest ? The designers will continue showing it at gaming conventions and expos until they are confident in a Kickstarter campaign. Once enough funding has been raised, Mendizabal and Famiglietti will get a large production run going and start selling their game.

“It’s really just about getting it out there, letting people try it and having fun,” said Mendizabal.

The Super Hazard Quest website is now live. You can also follow along with development on the game’s official Facebook page .

So what do you think? Are you interested in playing Super Hazard Quest for yourself when it is released? Will you back this game when a Kickstarter goes live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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