Well would you look at this. It’s been a few days since I have informed everyone that I have put interviews into the vault, and I didn’t follow it up with an interview! So thus far, I have kept my word. I’m sure I’ll crumble like a paper bag in a rain storm when I am approached to do one in the future, but as of right now I’ve kept my word. Anyway, you didn’t come here to hear about how I’ve kept my word for a whole three days. Lets jump into this weeks review. This week, I am doing a review for a game called Fate of the Norns: Gulveig.
How It’s Played
Gulveig is a trick taking game that has a viking theme to it. The game plays very similarly to traditional Euchre, with some additional rules to make the game more interesting for players. Players start by bidding on how many points they will be able to win during the current round. Whoever wins the bidding gets three cards that are face up on the table to add to their hand and have the opportunity to buff their hands more. From there, cards are played and won based on their combat strength. There are also trump suits (which are called supremacy’s) similar to Euchre. The main difference in this aspect is that the supremacy can be changed during a hand. Some of the characters on the cards can be played together to create new a new supremacy. Once all cards in the hand are played, the round is over and cards are then scored. Every player who gets enough points to cover the amount of the winning bet, will receive their points, and the first player to 1000 points is the winner. The other big difference between this and traditional Euchre, is that there is a fifth suit in Gulveig.
The Pretty Little Bow
The review copy that I received of Fate of the Norns: Gulveig was a finished copy of the game. The box and card art is very nice. It reflects the “viking theme” of the game well in my opinion. The quality of the box and cards are good as well. The cards seems slightly flimsy, but overall I believe they will hold up after numerous games, and that’s really what you hope for right? The only negative I can say about the look and quality of the game, is that personally I prefer to not have rule books or pages that fold up. I find that they wear quicker. I would have liked to see a small rule book rather than a folded page, however it is understandable that this approach keeps costs down.
The Way You Play
This is a card game that plays extremely similarly to Euchre as I said before. The set up of the cards strengths and values, are designed to have sort of a build up where people want to play their high cards to pull out the lower numbers early, making the ends of the hands a nail biter in the fact that most points are given out with the mid strength characters of each suit. If you are lucky enough to have two characters that create a supremacy together, you have the ability to really rack up the points as well. So keeping an eye on things of that nature are important to really get the game out of reach for other players.
What’s Not to Love?
There are a couple of small aspects that didn’t quite “mesh” well for me. The biggest was understanding a rule of setting the supremacy in the rule book. The first time I played, there was overwhelming wins by whoever played first due to this. I think the wording needs to be cleaned up slightly in that aspect, however the rest of the rule book is well done. The other thing that I had issue with was the characters that create supremacy. Ever pairing that make supremacy’s have matching colours except for one. This means that you have the choice to pick which colour will be your supremacy based on which of the two cards you play. I love the idea of this, as you can gain a number of points potentially, and you can choose a colour based on the other cards in your hand. The issue is that there is only colour crossover with one pair. I think that there should be more crossovers of that nature, as well as same colour supremacy. Even if half were same colour supremacy options, and the other half were multi coloured options.
What’d You Think?
Other than a rule hiccup (that was likely my illiteracy) and my personal opinion on how supremacy rules and colours work, I think this is a very solidly put together game. It is a new game (2014), that plays like a family classic. I have actually been bringing this out to family dinners and we have been getting a game or two in with my parents (who are not generally game players), because it has the feel of Euchre, and that is a game they understand and enjoy. It adds enough extra aspects to be worth a purchase, and puts a wonderful new spin on an already fun family game. I didn’t feel that any sort of theme really popped out at me, but I think that is quite alright with the solid game play. It could even lead to reiterations with whatever art they wanted to add in. I don’t think the viking theme is necessarily appealing to a crowd that is used to classic playing card games, but if there were zoo animals or something (just throwing out an example) it may be more intriguing to a wider scope of gamers. Whatever the theme, it doesn’t really matter, as this game will be getting a lot of replay when going out for game days, and family visits.