Updated: Dec 21, 2019
My Humble Monthly, oops sorry, my Humble Choice for December included a game I probably would have never come across and certainly wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t for getting these monthly games and starting this blog. Dead in Vinland is an RPG, survival, turned-based strategy, camp building, management game. I usually wouldn’t have tried a game like this. While I love all those game elements, together seems like much work for little reward or enjoyment. Was I wrong!
You are a small Viking family that was forced to leave home and end up on a remote island run by a tyrant that you must pay tribute to. Every character in your family has different attributes, skills, positive, and adverse qualities. You must gather, craft, explore, and pay tribute to the dictator of the island by assigning jobs to each person to do in the morning and the afternoon.
The night is when you eat, drink, and rest. You do this all to balance and survive many characters’ needs like sleep, hunger, sickness, injury, and sanity. It becomes clear that you cannot do this alone, so you must allow more people that you find while exploring the island to join your camp.
There are more people than your camp can hold, even with expansion, so you must gamble on who will help or be a burden. Each of those people also has a random assortment of qualities and attributes. But none of this takes care of the dictator, so what next? I don’t want to spoil any part of the game, but there is a good story, and many side stories based on the interactions between the people brought into your camp. Each person builds or loses relationship points with others based on interactions that you can sometimes drive with choices; other times, it just is what it is.
Speaking of choices, while out exploring, you will uncover an area. Each area has one item you can interact with, but there can be several interactions you can have. Red interactions make the object disappear, while white ones can be for as long as the items are there or limited. It would be best if you chose which person will do the interaction. Sometimes you know whom you should pick based on the attributes need, sometimes a mystery. Either way, there is some dice rolling that happens to see if you are successful or not.
There are also battles to be had. Whoever encounters the battle must fight, and you can choose a few more to fight with you. Again, everyone is different in skills, abilities, action points, etc. so more choices to be made. The further you explore, the harder the battles start to become.
But if you chose wisely with all these different things, you can get some sweet loot that can build people’s skills and attributes or help them cure their ailments. If not, you get nothing. It is a giant balancing act. Generally, this would be a turn off for me. I make decisions all day at work, why play a game that is nothing but decisions and management? Because it is fun! This game makes it interesting because you don’t know what will happen next. Even if you find the same box floating in the lake, doing the same actions twice does not mean the same results.
There are a few things I wish I could change:
The battles being able to be automated to some degree. Or at least fast-forwarded through the other guy attacking because you can’t do anything anyways. It gets old quick. We can fast forward other areas, why not here?
I would also like to be able to queue items to craft, maybe make it an unlock to do so.
Why not be able to craft two different things at once if you have opened two people at the station? I should be able to make arrows and traps with two people.
Interaction control would be excellent. It seems silly when people introduce themselves one night when they have already been in the same camp for like two weeks together. It would also be helpful to follow a story between characters instead of hoping it randomly shows up one night.
I highly recommend this game if you are into turn-based strategy RPG games and don’t mind trying to manage many things at once. There are a couple of DLCs that I have not purchased, so not sure how they would add to the game. I am most curious about The Vallhund because it brings in a dog, and who doesn’t like dogs? Probably many people, but you get the idea. PUPPERS!!! So next time it is on sale, check out Dead in Vinland.
Game: Dead in Vinland
Publisher: Dear Villagers
Initial Release Date: April 12, 2018