24 Board Game Movie Adaptations We'd Like to See
Published on March 4, 2024

24 Board Game Movie Adaptations We'd Like to See

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Hollywood constantly looks at material that can be made into movies, from video games and books to true stories and urban legends. There have also been a few board game movies, although there's s plenty of potential for more! Clue immediately comes to mind as a great board game-turned-movie, but what other board games would make great movie adaptations? We'll share some of our favorite board game-to-movie ideas and hope the Hollywood execs are watching!


1. Pandemic

Pandemic is a cooperative game where players take on roles to combat diseases threatening the world. Each role has a unique ability that allows them to help slow or stop the pandemic. The thing about the game being cooperative is that everyone either wins or loses, depending on how you play. We could see this as a movie with alternate endings where the experts win or lose.


2. Root

Root Board Game

[Source: Cole Wehrle/Leder Games/YouTube]

The board game Root gives us Redwall vibes mixed with Game of Thrones, with cute forest creatures vying for woodland supremacy. Four factions vie for control. The region is currently under the rule of Marquis de Cat, and cat players must work to keep their control over the forest. Players can also choose the Eyrie Dynasties, a faction of birds attempting to take back the woods; the Woodland Alliance, who recruit allies in the shadows; or the Vagabond, whose goal is personal gain with a hidden agenda. There are so many angles to take that we could see this as a movie or even a TV series, with adorably whimsical game art leading in a more animated direction.


3. Scythe

We love a good alternate history action/drama. Set in a dieselpunk-style 1920s Europe still recovering from WWI, five factions vie for control over open territory. You can battle with mechs and control your army, but there are also options to build structures, produce goods, and trade. Your actions lead you to make money, and the player with the most money at the end of the game wins. While the concept is pretty simple overall, we love the game's atmosphere. If done right, it would make an excellent movie!


4. Nemesis

What about an alien horror/survival sci-fi board game movie? Enter Nemesis, a game where you wake up to an alien invasion on your ship. It's a little like the Alien franchise in board game form, but the real tension lies in the player interactions. If you can survive through every round, you win the game. The game can result in some, all, or even no players winning, giving a movie version multiple ways to spin it. Will everyone work together to survive the alien threat, or is it every person in it for themselves? Knowing when to bluff and backstab is just as important as diplomacy and teamwork in Nemesis.


5. Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven Board Game

[Source: Isaac Childres/Cephalofair Games/YouTube]

After the success of the Dungeons & Dragons movie, we can see a game like Gloomhaven having a chance to shine. This cooperative dungeon-crawler has its own unique character races and classes that work together to complete campaigns and increase their reputation in the realm. The campaigns themselves would make great writing prompts for a movie. We're itching for another fantastic fantasy epic!


6. Everdell

How about a cozy board game movie featuring woodland creatures? Watch as they gather supplies and build a city through the four seasons with Everdell. This game would lend itself well to animation, but we wouldn't rule out a live-action movie if done well. While the game mechanics and resource gathering don't offer much in the way of a story, it gives you the creative freedom to tell your own story within the world of Everdell.


7. Clank!

Are you faster than a sleeping dragon? Clank! has you and a team of adventurers dungeon-delving in a dragon's lair, trying to grab as much good loot as you can muster while also giving yourself the time to escape the dragon's clutches. The deeper you go, the better the loot, but there are more chances to awaken the dragon in this high-risk, high-reward deck-builder. This game and its sequels follow a similar model using different themes, having you enter spaceships, pyramids, and more. There's a lot of wiggle room for interpretation that gives way to an excellent movie if done right!


8. Flamecraft

Flamecraft Board Game

[Source: Manny Vega/Cardboard Alchemy/YouTube]

We want more movies with cozy, high-fantasy vibes, and Flamecraft helps us scratch that itch. While dragons are famed for their destruction and greed, smaller (and cuter) artisan dragons in Flamecraft are sought by shopkeepers to help run their businesses. You act as a sort of fantasy hiring manager to keep the shops running smoothly. The concept of a town working together with adorable artisan dragons helping to make bread and sell plants has us holding onto hope for an adorable movie adaptation.


9. Mysterium

Like Clue, Mysterium centers around a murder in a mansion—and that is where the similarities end. One player acts as the murdered ghost, while the other players are mediums. They invoke a séance, trying to contact the ghost and solve the mystery. The ghost cannot speak, but they use image-filled cards to give the players clues about their death. Players have a time limit until the ghost disappears, and the mystery of their death is lost forever. Mysterium would work great in a thriller or horror setting, with a side of comedy.


10. Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror would make a fantastic thriller or horror movie based on the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. Set in 1926, a team of investigators work to stop an Ancient One from crossing into the world. While the original version of the game ended if the Ancient One made it through, newer games allow you to fight the Ancient One as a last-ditch effort to save the world!


11. Candy Land

Candy Land Game

[Source: Allevinatis/iStock via Getty Images/Mentalfloss.com]

Even older games deserve their time to shine! While the mechanics in Candy Land are relatively simple, we'd love to see the sugar-coated world come to life. You could visit the Peppermint Forest, goof off on Gumdrop Mountain, get trapped in the evil Lord Licorice's castle, and ultimately meet King Candy and Queen Frosteen. While making Candy Land a kid-friendly movie is an easy choice, we could also see Candy Land as a dark fantasy movie a la the Brothers Grimm.


12. Codenames

A simple yet fun word game, Codenames can easily be adapted into a fun action movie with spies! The game pits the red and blue teams against each other as they try to locate all of their agents. (And you don't want to meet the assassin, or it's game over!) We'd love to see a Codenames movie about rival spy organizations—and don't forget some weirdly mundane words used as codenames!


13. Heat: Pedal to the Metal

There will always be a place in Hollywood for more car racing movies. Heat: Pedal to the Metal is a car-racing board game where players compete on the track while upgrading their cars to go faster. However, you must also avoid hazards like your car overheating or taking a turn too quickly. As if that wasn't enough, other factors like road conditions and weather can impede your path to victory. The best part about Heat is that it's set during a classic 1960s Grand Prix. If you make a car racing movie about any board game, please let it be this one!


14. Blood Rage

Blood Rage Board Game

[Source: Eric M. Lang/CMON/YouTube]

The end is nigh for the Vikings in Blood Rage. Ragnarok approaches, and with it, the chance to go to Valhalla. Each player controls a Viking clan who will do whatever they can to reach Valhalla. That means choosing between pillaging, fighting another clan, fulfilling quests, or dying gloriously in battle. Ultimately, a movie based on Blood Rage would be an excellent historical action flick with the chance to experience Norse mythology and a Viking afterlife.


15. Terraforming Mars

Take a trip into the future with Terraforming Mars. The game centers around a group of corporations supported by the World government competing to be the best at terraforming Mars. As you all fight to make Mars more habitable, you also have other projects to do in space, including adding infrastructure to other parts of the solar system. The winning player/corporation has the most victory points at the end of the game. May the best terraformer win!


16. Cosmic Encounter

More sci-fi board game goodness? Yes, please! Cosmic Encounter can be as cooperative or chaotic as you like. In the game, different alien races try to establish control of the universe. Players start colonies in other players' planetary systems through diplomacy or force. A winner is chosen when one or more players are the first to establish five colonies on other planets. We have seen movies involving alien politics before, but the game boasts its own unique alien races and powers. Certainly there's space for more?


17. Takenoko

Takenono Board Game

[Source: Antoine Bauza/Matagot/Asmodee/Bombyx/Kickstarter.com]

Do you like the idea of chaotic gardening? The premise of Takenoko revolves around the Japanese Emperor who was gifted a Panda by China, and whose gardener needs help feeding this voracious animal. Players, as the Emperor's attendants, do what they can to maintain their bamboo patches while also feeding the hungry panda. Cute animals with a side of gardening comedy? Sign us up!


18. Too Many Bones

Too Many Bones is a cooperative adventuring game where everyone plays a Gearlock, a little gnome/elf hybrid. Players fight enemies of the Gearlocks, but they also need to balance combat with exploration and rest. The Gearlock aesthetic is adorable, which would make this a fun animated kids' movie. There are quite a few scenarios in the base game, along with several expansions, which is a decent amount of material to help create a movie plot.


19. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

What about a crime drama or crime noir? Depending on how you spin it, there are multiple ways to adapt Deception: Murder in Hong Kong as a movie. The premise of the game has one player leading as the forensic scientist, who silently lays out clue tiles to help aid the other players in picking out the murderer. (It's a little bit like Werewolf, but detective-style.) Everyone else plays as (or pretends to be) an investigator, trying to uncover who is secretly the murderer in their midst.


20. Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep

[Source: Peter Lee/Rodney Thompson/Wizards of the Coast/Fandom.com]

Are you ready for some intrigue? This Dungeons & Dragons board game turns everyone into a secret Lord of Waterdeep, looking to gain influence and power in the city. Utilizing your secret agents, you can recruit members and send them on adventures to bring you fame and fortune. If Lords of Waterdeep were to be adapted as a movie, you have a few exciting angles for this one. It could follow the path of one of the city's secret Lords or a band of adventurers going on an expedition. No matter what, expect lots of action and fun fantasy hijinks!


21. Twilight Imperium

Have you been longing for another space series to compete with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica? Satisfy your sci-fi cravings with Twilight Imperium! After centuries of decline and the collapse of the previously dominant empire, players control upcoming empires looking to become the dominant power in the galaxy. There should be plenty of political and military shenanigans for a movie franchise as different cultures scramble to set up a new galactic emperor.


22. Spyfall

As the name implies, Spyfall is a game of spies. This relatively quick and simple game is played over several rounds with people trying to guess who among them is the spy. At the beginning of the round, everyone is given the same location card—except for the spy, who receives the spy card. Players then ask each other questions as they try to determine who the spy is. You can accuse someone of being a spy at any time, but if the spy can guess the location card before players detect them, they get points instead of the other players. The location cards could help make Spyfall a unique spy movie. How would a spy blend in at the circus? Or a pirate ship? Even space stations aren't off-limits here!


23. Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill

[Source: Bruce Glassco/Rob Daviau/Bill McQuillian/MIke Selinker/Teeuwynn Woodruff/Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast/Asmodee/Hasbro/YouTube]

What about a haunted house movie with a side of betrayal? Look no further than Betrayal at House on the Hill. This board game has players explore a haunted house—but during the "haunt phase" partway through the game, one player turns on the rest. Can you defeat the traitor in your midst before it's too late? While you have strength in numbers, the traitor can use the ghosts or monsters in the house to attack other players. There are 50 different haunts, with options to encounter ghosts, zombies, vampires, and more! What haunt would you pick for a Betrayal at House on the Hill movie?


24. Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Based on the famed "Mad King" Ludwig II of Bavaria, the players are tasked with building Ludwig's most extravagant castle yet. Players spend their turns buying and placing castle rooms, and the size and location of the rooms help determine the points to be awarded. Of course, the winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game. The life of King Ludwig II is fascinating and would honestly make an excellent movie. With his penchant for the arts and building castles, the Castles of Mad King Ludwig fits nicely into the overall plot of a film.


These board games would all make incredible movie adaptations, but quite a few others deserve the movie treatment as well. Do you have a favorite board game? Is it part of this list? Which actors would you like to see in your ideal board game movie? Let us know what you think in the comments! If you need to quell your board game fever, take a look at our selection of board games. We hope you have a blast at your next board game night!

Angela Poch
Angela Poch

Angela Poch is an Inbound Marketing Specialist and Resident Crazy Cat Lady at FUN.com, where she is an assistant editor and writes about Disney, Pokémon, and gift guides.

What’s fun for her? Angela keeps busy playing video games (Fire Emblem, Pokémon, and Skyrim are her favorites), drawing, sewing, and taking silly pictures with her cats. You can follow her on Twitter @AngelaPoch1 or her cats on Instagram @stardustnebulanova.