Drakkar Kickstarter Review

Now we all love a bit of Norse mythology. The Marvel films are testament to that. A good looking chap with a big mallet walloping things around the head seems to make for the good times. And I’m sure he’s handy in a workshop too. Smacking nails into wood with one mighty swing – even less if he uses his hammer. 

A big part of the old Norse history is the Vikings – another favourite of games and stories in general. Huge hairy folk raiding and pillaging their way around Scandinavia and eventually making their way over to Blighty to start the Celts on their merry way and give people like me their lineage. Focussing on the raiding and pillaging is the subject the upcoming game Drakkar from Spaceballoon games. Each player acts as the leader of their village and attempts to muster the resources needed to scamper off on a mission to grab as much loot as they can get their oversized hands on.

Drakkar is a card game for up to 5 players and is very much geared up to the quick fire, family or small party-game crowd. Drakkar is played over 3 rounds and is simply a matter of getting more loot than your opponents. Most points at the end of the game wins. Each round, you have a mission to prepare for and it’s then a race to see who can equip themselves before everyone else.

Drakkar’s main cards consist of either ship parts, beer, a bunch of hearty Vikings or a series of action cards that allow the player to screw their opponents – so this is a good game for our colleague Jon as he’s a fan of the backstab. You can raid opponents’ villages, beat up their boats or simply steal their stuff. All in keeping with the theme and very useful in gameplay to impede their progress if they’re getting too far ahead.

One thing I quite likes about Drakkar is the double-sided nature of the cards – it really makes things very frantic as you need to check both sides (and of course, your opponents can see the back side!) before you play them. On top of that, playing cards is done under time pressure. Once one player has played their card for the turn, everyone else has 5 seconds to play theirs, or they lose a bit of their boat.

Going on the quest is simple enough – if you’ve got enough kit to complete it, you get the just rewards, if not, then you can team up with opponents and split the spoils if you can club together the necessary gear. One thing I will say is that it’s not entirely clear in the rules if you club together from cards played or cards in your hand – it makes sense to use cards played, but Spaceballoon can certainly clarify that in the campaign.

You get a bonus for collecting 3 different types of loot and the most points wins. It’s a fast, frantic family game that’s complete in about 15 minutes so a great filler game. I played this with some heavy euro fans and even they had fun so I think it’s fair to say that the game has a lot of merit. Playing it with Spaceballoon at UKGE this year I had fun too – it’s especially entertaining to screw your friends over and watch their well-laid plans collapse when you raid their boat.

So Drakkar gets a well-deserved thumbs up from me – it’s light, fast and fun. The artwork is great and the theme fits the mechanics rather well. So jump into your longboat and set sail for your enemies. Just make sure they don’t set sail for you….

Drakkar is on Kickstarter now.

This Kickstarter preview is based on a prototype version of the game provided by the publisher; the final product may look, play or smell different to that used in this preview.

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