The Great Whale Road sallies forth to raid this month

Paint your faces, shieldmaidens. Viking age pillager The Great Whale Road [official site] is arising from the dark winter of early access on March 30. It’s the one set in the sixth century – a mix of turn-based battles, sailing to find quests and plunder, and managing the people of your own settlement when the ice comes and the crops wither and Helga dies from pox. Would you know yet more? All right. They’ve made a trailer to show off some of their most angry Danish men with beards.

“The March release finishes the Danish story and completes the core feature set of the game,” we’re told by developers Sunburned Games. “It also includes improvements to combat and resource management, adding new mechanics for deeper gameplay.”

That’s encouraging news. I prematurely evaluated it last summer and found both the combat and the wandering a little underwhelming. The card-based tactical battles didn’t have many interesting cards or possibilities and the neat cartoon animation style was undermined by a samey trudge through towns and encampments that all looked and reacted more or less identical. Since then they’ve had a combat update and with any luck this final release will add some meat to the version I played.

Two more updates are planned for the future, adding other playable cultures like the Franks and the Frisians. Right now, you’re limited to those rowdy Danes.


  1. bramble says:

    The sixth century is a couple centuries too early for Viking raiders, let alone longships, the keels that revolutionized sailing, or complex wooden ship construction in northern Europe.

    I haven’t been this upset at a historical anachronism in gaming since my spearman defeated a tank!

    • House says:

      The game appears to be set before the Viking Age, and their site and the trailer make no mention of Vikings. It seems to be a RPS mistake.

      That said, it’s close enough to make this look really similar to Banner Saga.

    • EkoAzarak says:

      Its not too early. Just because the english start to record viking raiding of the British Isles in 790’s, that doesnt mean the norse werent out “viking”; there were norse sailors before lindisfarne. I like the title of the game – like maybe this a previously unknown saga – a possible forerunner to events like lindisfarne; if they called it “VIking Warzzz, Bro” ya i guess its out of place. clinker boat build design had been around for centuries. meh just a game.

  2. Eightball says:

    I want to play a game where you’re a Saxon thegn and you have to repel these Scandinavian vermin. Remove Scandi! 1066 never forget!

    • Imperialist says:

      Well…theres Mount and Blade: Viking Conquest. That will allow you to do just that.

      And the fabulous Age of Vikings mod for Total War Attila can scratch a strategy itch in the same timeframe.

  3. GrumpyCatFace says:

    Haven’t I seen another game about pre-medieval Danes with hex-based combat? hmmmmmm

  4. cpt_freakout says:

    Not that this doesn’t look cool, but I wish devs would start picking up on other histories. I like Vikings and Romans and medieval Japan as much as the next guy, but there’s so much more that’s also very interesting…