This Filipino mythology inspired board game lets you fight 'Engkantos'

Feb 8, 2021 0 comments



Games have become a huge part of our pandemic life as we all try to find any form of entertainment and fun despite being stuck at home. And while there will always be the gaming consoles, mobile apps, and all those games on Steam, there's just something extra special about tabletop games. 


We won't be surprised if, at some point during the quarantine, your old Monopoly board or your deck of Uno cards made an appearance here and there as you went head-to-head with your family to win a game. 


Believe it or not, there is actually an upcoming board game that feels a lot closer to home. Why? It's centered around our local folklore that we all know very well!


What It's Called 

The game is called Engkantoand it's the brainchild of Dwaine Woolley, an Australian who first arrived here in 2011 and served as a missionary for two years. He fully immersed himself in the Filipino way of life, learning how to speak Tagalog, Cebuano, and Waray fluently. Though he returned to Australia in 2013, he settled in our country for good in 2015 and now runs a YouTube channel with his Filipina wife, Shanta, about our local culture and everyday life. 


His experiences in Samar and Leyte inspired him to create a board game, especially after learning about what we call the 'Engkantos'.


How The Game Goes

Perfect for 1-4 players, Engkanto lets each player control a Bayani (Hero) of their choice, including Lapu-Lapu and Maria Makiling. The general goal is to help get the heroes from Samar all the way to the mythical city of Biringan, which Dwaine Woolley learned of after interviewing locals. Think of it as our version of Atlantis or Russia's Kitezh. 


As with every adventure, the journey to Biringan isn't that easy and along the way, the heroes have to explore caves, venture through enchanted forests, and even find a treasure to offer to Filipino deities. And of course, we can't forget about the engkanto that will try to ruin the game for the heroes, which include the siyokoy (green-skinned humanoids), tikbalang (half-horse, half-human), and even the white lady.


The game is currently in production, and you can check out its Kickstarter page for updates! 


━━ Written By  Bella Javier


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