16 October 2018
A glorious debut from designer Núria Casellas
This debut title from Spanish designer Núria Casellas takes a familiar theme (Vikings! Glory! Valhalla!) and gives it a fresh spin in the shape of a small but perfectly-formed card game. It’s so good, it’s almost hard to recommend it as a game night warm-up; after a few rounds your group will likely want to stick with it right through to the wee hours.
The setting is deceptively straightforward: each player is a Viking, tasked with running a gauntlet infested by Midgard Serpent-spawned, xenomorph-ish nasties known as the Endless, hoping to win the most glory in combat. Each turn, you draw as many cards from the pass deck as your speed stat allows (three in the basic version of the game), keeping any goodies you might find and contending with the onslaught of the Endless using your small but easily refreshable hand of action cards (again, three in the basic game).
You could kill them with attack cards (or an offensive item like Greek Fire, or a rare Storm Hammer) to earn glory, or evade or defend them, which sends them skittering clockwise around the table for the next player to deal with. On top of that, you can also just straight-out attack your opponents in the hope of stealing health or glory – perhaps lobbing a Greek Fire and praying they don’t play a defend, which would bounce it right back to you and make it literally blow up in your face.
While it’s possible to win via the ever-dreaded player elimination as the last Viking standing, this rarely occurs because the constant back-and-forth, luck-pressing take-thatting is so well implemented, everyone should lock straight into the tactics. So much so that we recommend diving straight in with the advanced rules, where each player can choose a character with varied speed and action stats and its own unique special ability. This adds more flavour to each play and will make you want to keep going just to try them all out. In addition, we’d also advise shuffling the nasty Nine into the pass deck: spiky boss monsters who each have a different card or ability immunity. The tougher it gets, the more fun it is.
Endless Pass is quite simply a small-box triumph, one which showers Casellas in glory and makes us eager to see what she comes up with next.
Designer: Núria Casellas
Artist: Craig Petersen
Time: 30 minutes
This review originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products.