Every good Norse boy grows up hearing the stories of his ancestors. The lore of Vikings that have come before, the history of their people and the strength of those warriors. The narrative of Jormungandr is one of those stories. The Midgard Serpent who has his hordes of creatures called the Endless scattered across Midgard awaits a final battle. Some of these serpentine creatures live in the depths of the Endless Pass, awaiting Viking seeking to gain glory. But none of these Vikings have ever returned to our people they tell the young warrior. They leave him wondering-will he conquer the Endless Pass? Will he be the greatest Viking?
Endless Pass: A Viking Saga is the newest game from Wizkids designed by Nuria Casellas with art and graphic design by Craig Petersen. It is recommended for 2-6 players ages 14+ and is 30 mins on average to play.
Endless Pass is a small box game with the following contents:
-6 Double sided player boards
-68 Action cards
-78 Pass cards
-9 The Nine Endless Hunters cards
-6 Health trackers
-6 Glory Trackers
-6 Player aid cards
The goal of the game is to be the last Viking still alive amongst your competition or the first to 10 Glory and survive. If no one survives than the player with the highest Glory will be honored as the most worth Viking in Valhalla.
The game is setup by taking the Action deck and Pass deck and shuffling them seperate into two draw piles. Each should have room for a discard pile. Each player takes 3 Action cards, 1 Player board, and 1 each Glory/Health tracker.
Each turn, the player will either Walk the Pass or Hide
To Walk the Pass you will search the Pass by flipping cards from the Pass deck as your speed. You must fight or avoid any Endless you encounter. To fight you must use an Attack card or a Greek Fire card to deal damage to the Endless. Each one you defeat will earn you one Glory. If you chose to Defend that card will protect you from 2 Endless and they move to the next player. Evade cards will allow you to avoid one Endless. Runes can be collected to recover health or gain Glory depending on the number you collect. Steal cards will let you take cards at random from another Viking or the Pass deck.
You can also perform a Viking battle by attacking the Viking next to you with short range attacks or those at any spot on the table with long range attacks. You can use the defensive cards in this battle as well against other players. These attacks allow you to steal the Health or Glory of another player on the board and give it to yourself instead.
If you choose to Hide, you play the Hide card and ignore the Endless that are in the Pass and move the ones there to the next player or back to the previous player to reverse the order of play. This can build a large army of Endless within the Pass that someone will have to fight or lose to on their turn.
Things that could be better:
-The design. I like the idea of a gritty Viking art style, but I think these cards could have been done better overall. A little splash of more color and a sharper image style would be great and really spice up the detail on these well done cards.
-Swingy. The nature of this game really seemed to dogpile on one person or two as the cards came out. If you drew a lot of Endless characters without anything to take care of them, you are going to take some serious damage. It seemed like players were quickly losing to that in early games more than you would expect.
Things we liked:
-Theme. I love the Viking in the Pass theme of this game, and the challenge of trying to fight your way through not only the monsters but your own fellow rival Vikings trying to climb to the top of the pack and win it all before you can. There are not a lot of good Viking themed games in my collection so it is nice to have one with that skin to add for people I play games with.
-Speed. This game plays quickly and is easy to set up and tear down. It is one I can see getting played over and over when it is already out, and one that often lends a game to coming out more often in house.
I enjoyed having a chance to play this game with family and friends a few different times. Although there are parts I would like to see have been done differently, it is a fun The Viking theme with a thematic trip through the gauntlet of Endless monsters and fellow Norse warriors, all seeking to come out as the top champion. If quick, card based multi-player hand management and press-your-luck style games are among your favorites, then Endless Pass is certain to be one you will want to add to your collection!