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Valley of the Vikings (2019) is a dexterity traversal game where real barrel bowling fuels a race for gold. Along with the fun of knocking the barrels over is a looping scoring track where the sequence is all important and strategy abounds. It's a great balance of fun and tactics for players of different abilities.

Each player has a colour-coded ship and a Viking token that progresses along the dock. You take turns knocking the ball into the barrels. The colour of the knocked-over barrels determines which player tokens move forward. This means you move other players' tokens, not just your own, but you can control the order of who moves first which makes a big difference.

As your Viking token moves along the dock track you land next to different scoring symbols. These award you coins or permission to steal a coin from other players or from a specific player. But there's a twist. You are only awarded these things when a Viking has moved off the end of the dock and into the water, whereupon they are then put back at the start.

This looping scoring system leads to some interesting tactics because the current player can determine the order that things happen. You also get to position the barrels before bowling so you can make it more likely to hit just the colours you want.

The result is a simple game that makes it easy to see what's happening. The bowling is fun for younger players, but there are enough tactics for older siblings and parents to enjoy as well.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Valley of the Vikings 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Dexterity and Sequencing game with Collecting and Traversal elements. You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 15 minutes to learn. The basic setup is simple but how to be tactical about bowling and moving the Viking tokens takes a little longer. Before you play, the following can help:
  • Give players a chance to practice bowling.
  • Go through some scoring scenarios with the tokens.
  • Show how the order of token movement is important, and how to avoid other players scoring.

Play Time: This game will take between 15 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.


Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

5+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Really young children can help on a team and have fun knocking down the barrels.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Players: 2-4

Genres: Dexterity, Sequencing (Collecting and Traversal)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Board, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Developer: HABA USA (@HABA_USA)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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