Posted on Jan 15, 2015 by Gabriel | 0 comments

(Click to Enlarge)
Help the Vikings escape the seastorm and return the ships to their corresponding port - This is the premise of the Vikings logic game, designed by Raf Peeters and produced by SmartGames. Simple to understand and quite addicting, this challenging game will put you right at the middle of a brainstorm.

Vikings is a very cool sliding puzzle game, although a bit different from what you're used to see in a regular sliding puzzle. The concept consists of nine sliding pieces that can rotate 360º on their own axis. The reality, however, is that it's not so easy to move the pieces, because their movements are usually blocked by the position of other pieces that overlap their path. It's up to you to find the best way to unblock each ship's path to their corresponding spot, next to the arrow of the same color.

(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 17 (Start & Solved)

The design of the game is gorgeous. From the beautifully made ships, each with its sails in a different color and the characteristic Viking dragon-shaped prow, to the shape of the pieces representing whirlpools, everything was well thought-out and nicely presented by Raf.

There are a few rules to keep in mind in order to play Vikings: you can only move the pieces of the board that have a ship next to it; you can't lift any boats or pieces from the board when you're solving a challenge - the only allowed move is sliding; the pieces only move in 90º increments, otherwise it will block any possible moves. These rules are very quick and easy to understand, so you can jump to the challenges right away.

This time, instead of five difficult levels, there are only four. Nevertheless, don't underestimate the game, because this is actually one of the hardest games from SmartGames. Even the "Starter" level is somewhat challenging at first, and the more you progress the more steps are required to solve a challenge. You'll find yourself many times going back and forth with your ships trying to get them to their port, only to find a blocked piece ahead of your path. Often, you'll only make progress by taking two steps back and one forward. This peculiar strategy is a necessary evil for the game, but that's also what makes it so fascinating, and so different from all the other games I've played so far.

(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 48 (Start & Solved)

Closing Comments:

It shouldn't be a surprise by now that I'm always pleasantly satisfied and impressed by Raf's designs. His games are designed to keep us engaged and maintain our brains healthy, and having fun at the same time. Vikings is a difficult game, but worth every minute you're playing with it.

Availability: The Vikings game is available at any Amazon, as well as many others from SmartGames.



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