Game Time: 10-20mins
Skal! is a new game from Rouge Artist Creations (www.rogueartistcreations.com) coming to Kickstarter this October. It is a quick, easy to learn, fun game of Viking dice-stacking, and lots of laughter! It can be played with the family... or as a rowdy drinking adults-only game.
Players represent the Norse gods and goddesses: Odin, Loki, Thor, Freya, Idunn, and Heimdall. Be the first to stack your dice, grab your cup and call out Skal! It's that simple, or is it?
Glory awaits! Do not let this basic summary deceive you, as the gameplay / skill varies depending on game modes. Why not pick your favourite tipple (please drink sensibly) or just play for fun? Enjoy, as we run through this dice chucking game of dexterity.
This game revolves around dexterity and physically stacking dice. Each player will take the role of one of the Norse gods, each with a unique ability:
Odin - Wisdom: look at the top two cards. Place one on the bottom of the deck, and then play the other. Rune 1.
Loki - Cunning: rearrange his four dice to be his own Rune. Rune 2.
Thor - Thirsty: call a challenge of Tyr but keep both hands free, ready to drink! Rune 3.
Freya - Call the Dead: stack the four dice in the middle of her mat. Rune 4.
Idunn - Golden Apple: start with a black dice already on her mat. Rune 5.
Heimdall - Watchful: call a challenge of Mirmir but keep both his own eyes open. Rune 6.
In Skal! you have six different types of challenge card:
Stack - Simply stack the dice as shown.
Truestack - Stack up the dice as shown except for the rainbow raven symbol, your own rune must be facing outwards.
Runestack - Stack the dice as shown but all of the dice must have the relevant rune facing outwards.
Balance - Like stack cards, but with some element of balance involved. These are tricky if you have your eyes closed.
Hodr - You must stack these cards blind (eyes closed), just grab the dice and hope for the best.
Terror - (4 players + only) In the mode with teams, each team uses one player board and takes turns placing dice in a single layer on the mat to make the shape indicated. The last dice placed MUST be a rune of the team, the first to achieve and shout "Skal!" wins two points per player.
Ratatoskr - A cheeky squirrel who runs up and down Yggdrasil the World Tree and causes mischief. You may take ANY dice (including other players') to make the shape and call out "Ratatoskr" for three points.
To start the game, everyone chooses a player board, matching dice and a cup.
Place all of the black dice in the middle of the table / play area and put the shuffled Skal! cards (use the stack ones for your first game) within easy reach of all players. Turn over a card and then all players race to stack their dice on the player board to match the pattern indicated. Take care to take one dice at a time when you need to use the black dice, once you have completed the pattern raise your cup and call out "Skal!" The first to do this wins the card. Keep doing this until you have a winner!
Overall, the production of the prototype we received was pretty good. The cards, no matter what, will probably need sleeving (especially if used for a drinking game). For the final version, the designers could consider using a coating on the cards like in Radlands (nearly indestructible, synthetic cards with a very satisfying feel). Everything else is pretty standard, including the dice. I would love a more luxurious versions of the game with stone or wooden dice, but this may not be Rouge Artists Creations' intention with this game. Either way, for a production copy, it's not the worst I have seen.
I love Skal! and I am sure it will become a popular party game in our household. Some possible confirmed Kickstarter stretch goals are neoprene playmats instead of the beermat coasters, and UV spot and linen finishes on the cards (I would prefer the synthetic cards I mentioned previously).
So, let's break it down for you in our key areas:
It is replayable, definitely a party icebreaker game whether you involve drinks or not!
The cups provided are a lovely metal and the card stock is pretty hardwearing, however they will not stand up to spillages (sleeves recommended for sure). Being a dice game, I would have liked the dice to be slightly better quality, maybe wooden or stone would fit the theme nicely. However, I am aware that this is a pre-production copy so may not reflect the finished game.
Love the theme and love Norse lore so you got me.
It's nice and simple. A quick read of the rules and you're good to go. They could probably have lowered the age range on the box, but given the potential drinking game aspects, I understand their choice in this instance.
An easy-to-understand game since it's a game involving dexterity / ability to stack dice. The rulebook is clear and precise.
It's a party game for sure, I could see this game being lifted and shifted into many different themes, but I am not aware of anything like this right now!
Unsure of the RRP due to this being a Kickstarter. However, think being a quick and easy game, as long as it's under £30 this should sell very well
For sure an awesome party game, and one we would want on our shelves for parties. It isn't overly complicated and could easily be adapted for a younger audience by having oversized dice! One for the collection for sure! Check out the Kickstarter here for details
Your Founder - Mr Chris