Loosly tied to a Viking raider theme, Gone Viking is a trick-taking card game like Bridge, Hearts, and Pinochle. In this variation, cards are played only once around the table before resolving a trick, a person may play multiple cards at once to boost rank in the trick, and god cards (Odin, Freya, Thor, and Loki) can either be played as high-value suit cards or as special cards that affect trump and provide other bonuses.

The most interesting twist to Gone Viking, however, lies in its score-keeping. The suits in this game are books, hammers, coins, and fists. A player that wins a trick takes a token matching the active suit. These are what’s counted for victory. Then when a set of raids is finished, that is, when all players’ hands of cards are exhausted, the Vikings are said to “go home”. There the richest of them (that is the one with the most tokens) must pay a tax to the Jarl of half rounded up.

Gone Viking Cards

As a mechanism for losing players to catch up between rounds, the Jarl’s tax would seem heavy-handed except for the opportunity all players have to purchase ships. Ships, which can be acquired with one token of each suit, are still counted (as four) in determining which player is the richest but are not themselves taxed. In other words, purchasing a ship locks-in victory points, while at the same time providing another driver in the choice of suits during play.

Gone Viking God CardsI’m generally ambivalent about trick-taking card games. As a matter of personal preference, I enjoy them as social activities but don’t find the strategy particularly engaging. And though Gone Viking hasn’t really changed my feelings, it’s still a game I’d comfortably recommend. The basic rules work well enough and the scoring system gives a player something more to think about when choosing cards to play.

To help raise funds for final development and publication, The Flux Capacity capacity has just launched a Kickstarter project with a $5,000 CAD funding goal. If you’d like to see Gone Viking available, consider making a pledge.

The Flux Capacity is a Purple Pawn advertiser and provided a prototype of Gone Viking free for review.

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