06 June 2022
An easy cash grab?
Ever since Gwent, the digital TCG that stole the spotlight of the video game it was in, The Witcher 3, board games within video games have been on the rise. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla brought us Orlog, a dice game, enjoyed by Norsemen and Anglo-Saxons alike in the game, and now available in physical format for everyone to experience.
Orlog is a dice fighting game. Each player has six dice, which they can roll three times to deal damage, block opponent’s attacks and acquire gold tokens. At the start of the game players will also choose three God favours – abilities that can be activated by spending gold tokens. Despite the high level of luck, there are still elements of strategy that make players feel like they have agency in the game, while God favours add just enough different flavours to entice multiple replays.
It is simple but elegant gameplay, which, unfortunately, is undermined by the quality of the components. In the game where all you do is roll dice, the action of throwing dice into the rolling bowl should absolutely be the most satisfying action. The auditory and tactile experience of the dice roll becomes as important as the gameplay itself.
In Orlog, plastic meets plastic with the most unsatisfying rolling noise, in addition to average looking cardboard components, elevated only mildly by pleasantly smooth pebble health tokens. The fact that a plastic rolling bowl tries to imitate the look of wood, feels almost like a slap in the face. In addition, the God favour tokens are so small, you will need to squint to read the ability text.
With a little more care in its presentation and component quality, Orlog could have been something really special: a true collector’s item for Assassin’s Creed fan or an exciting first introduction to the franchise for the newcomers. Unfortunately, in its current state it feels like an attempt at an easy cash grab at minimal expense.
PLAY IT? Maybe
Designer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft Montreal
Time: 10-30 minutes
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This review came from Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.Get your magazine here
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