Some games need the players to sing, whether your are in the realms of social deduction of the likes of Werewolf or Coup or even on a family throw down of Uno. The game has the base mechanics to make it work, but what is going to make it shine is the level of interaction between the players and how they add that little grain of sand that will eventually become a pearl. It’s such a difficult thing to achieve perfectly that some of the most complicated games I have played actively discouraged direct communication or interaction in favour of heads down and numbers up. In my opinion, it takes a bit of courage to put a game out there that relies on it.
Which takes us to Langskip from Crab Studios, in which as a Viking that fell in battle, you’ve ended up in Helheim by mistake and need to use a mixture of bluffing and card play in order to make the climb to Valhalla. The rules are fairly simple, you have two cards dealt to you plus an all important reference card. On your turn, you’ll play a card face down and then take the appropriate action based on the card you’ve played. You then take the action you’re playing and move up the main track towards the joys of Valhalla.
What’s important here is that when you play a card you might just decide to claim you’ve played another card instead, taking the action of that card instead of the one that you have actually played. If you think the player is lying, then you get a chance to call out ‘Mischief’ and if you’re right, then the fibber doesn’t to perform the action, and the catcher gets a mischief token. If you manage to trick everyone then you get to claim a mischief token. Now Mischief tokens are used as a currency for some of the cards that you can put into play, they are generally a little bit more powerful. Being part of the Loki clan has a tendency to do that.
There’s some strong artwork going on here, with solid shapes and strong line work. I can imagine that there was a real temptation to go with a familiar art style and cash in on the easy route to similarities. Every card has some well written lore on there as well to help you buy into the theme. There are some fun alternative art cards included in the box as well. If you are wanting to see what Thor might look like in a wedding dress, then you’re going to be in for a rare treat.
If this all sounds like it has the potential to be fun, then you’re right, it does. But with these types of games, it’s going to play better with a higher player count and a slightly rowdy one at that. It works better when you’re all trying to bluff than when you are all telling the truth as the Mischief tokens will fly back and forward and you’ll be climbing up and down the track without really noticing that you are trying to win. In this situation Langskip is going to be a great little starter to the night or something loud and funny to finish a gaming session on. For those who sit in quite contemplation, and like to gather thoughts before making their killer move then they might find things a bit more flat.
Designer – Niall Crabtree
This review is based on the final retail version of the game provided to us by the designer and publisher. We were not paid for this review. We give a general overview of the gameplay and so not all of the mechanical aspects of the game may be mentioned.