I love board games and I'm somewhat fond of Halo, this should be a match made in heaven, right? Ehh, not so much.
First of all, if you guys think licensed videogames are bad, try playing a board game based on a film or videogame. Half of the time, they wind up as re-branded versions of Risk
or (the worst offender) Monopoly
, sometimes with shoe-horned mechanics intended to evoke the experience of whatever the license happens to be.
When they don't have a much stronger game to work off of, they almost always wind up as exercises in repetition, rolling dice, moving pawns around a board and drawing cards. There's rarely any skill or strategy involved, your success or failure predicated solely on how the dice land.
There are exceptions, of course. The Lord of the Rings had a couple of good outings onto the tabletop and the board game based on Doom (produced by Arkham Horror creators, Fantasy Flight Games) is surprisingly deep when compared to its source material.
The Halo board game is being made by B1 games, who refer to themselves as, "a premier entertainment and game company that brings a whole new dimension to the way the world has fun." Let's look at a few ways in which they've executed their mission statement recently, shall we?
B1 apparently makes DVD-based board games. This might be the most maligned genre amongst people who actually play board games. While the description of the Halo board game gives the impression that there's a heavy level of strategy, the history of DVD-games evokes the sense of a gimmick with limited options and a low replay value.
When it comes down to it, there's a good chance there's only one audience for the upcoming Halo board game: Out of touch soccer moms who will buy it for their twelve year-old for Christmas based solely on the name.