Of Vikings and Bowling

Of Vikings and Bowling

February 13, 2020 0 By Ryan Sanders

Ryan and Olivia look at Valley of the Vikings from HABA Games

In HABA’s Valley of the Vikings, 2-4 players try their hand at Viking bowling using a giant boulder to attempt to knock over four solid color barrels. How else would one having an annual bowling contest?

Valley of the Vikings is one of my favorite HABA games, I have no problem telling readers this upfront. Considering HABA constantly rolls out great children’s games, calling this one of my favorites is quite significant. It is easy to see why it won the Kinderspiel des Jahres (German Children’s Game of the Year) award in 2019. It ingeniously marries roll-and-move gameplay with a dexterity. Depending on what color barrels you knockdown on your turn determines which players move along the game track dock next to the water. When one player falls off the dock and into the water, every other player reaps a reward while the player in the water goes back to the start of the track, all wet and ready to get back into the game. Rewards are determined by going backwards along the track and seeing which flag is flying above the players head. Depending on the flag, players will collect coins either from other players or from the bank. These coins are deposited into your very own Viking ship. The game ends when the bank runs out of coins. The winner is the richest Viking. 

Part of the ingenuity comes from how you determine which color Viking (corresponding with the knocked over barrel) moves along the dock. The active player chooses in what order those colors move in, this is important because you can’t share a space with another token, so players will jump to next available space, also as soon as someone goes off the track into the water, all other players moves are null and void. This allows some fun combos, that may even save you from being the one that hits the water. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is one that I would highly recommend to anyone that has children ages 5+, great for not only a mixed aged group, but for family game night. Like I mentioned above, this is one of the best HABA games currently on the market. However don’t just take my word on it, here is what Olivia has to say about the Valley of the Vikings:

Olivia Meeple (Kindergarten)  – It’s very fun and it’s colorful. I think almost every kid should play this game because it’s a very great game. I like the money and the dragon ships they are really cool. It’s fun that you knock things down. I like that if you mess up and miss and you can try again. 

Valley of the Vikings can be found on Amazon.com

Thanks to HABA for sending a copy for an honest review.

Ryan Sanders is the founder, owner, and editor-at-large of Adventures in Gameschooling. He’s also the guy behind its social media accounts. God has blessed Ryan and his wife Mary, with five children, which he homeschools. As a Christian, he believes that he should not only look out for your own interests but other peoples too (Philippians 2:4) and this is one of his guiding principles for Adventures in Gameschooling. Ryan’s expertise is informed by almost two decades of experience as a stay-at-home father and from the running The Inquisitive Meeple where he performed over 300 written and podcast interviews within the board game industry.