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The wild Norse gods need to be calmed. With circumspection and understanding, you must select the correct sacrifice in order to finally attain the favour of the most powerful ones. But guard against Thor's anger, because his powerful hammer Mjöllnir can make even the gods falter.
Players: 2 - 6
Time: 15 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 184 grams
Language Requirements: Game components contain some foreign text, possibly requiring occasional reference to rules translation. An English translation of the rules is provided.
- 30 Norse gods cards
- 36 sacrifice cards
- 14 action cards
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
Reiner Knizia seems to be equally adept at creating both light games and the heavier games that are of greater appeal to me. My wife, however, is more of a casual gamer and tends to enjoy sompler games with impressive components. At a Unity Games gathering a couple years back, she played the out-of-print Milton Bradley game of Quandary. This is exactly the same game as Flinke Pinke but with impressive heavy chips instead of cards. Quandary is a very nice game, but hardly deserved the lavish treatment it received. It is a filler game that was given the deluxe treatment. My wife wanted it though, and that edition remains on our wish list.
Fast forward to 2003. Flinke Pinke is now available in two editions again, and which you choose is entirely up to your interest in the base game. The cheaper alternative is called Loco, and is exactly the same game as the earlier editions. The more deluxe but still affordable editionis Thor.
The basic game is simplicity itself. Heck, if you really wanted to you could play it with a regular deck of cards, but the game designer deserves some compensation for having invented this cunning little game, and having components devoted to the game makes it that much easier to play. The basic game of Thor is identical to Flinke Pinke/Quandary/Loco. On each turn you trade a numbered card for a particular suit of cards, and take a scoring card for any one of the suits. When the sixth and final suit card is laid on its stack, the game is over and each score card is worth the number of points on the top card of its suit. In other words, if you have three score cards for red, and the last card played for red was a four, then you get twelve points for the red suit. Amazingly simple, but the angst experienced on each turn is impressive!
Thor brings more to the table with a set of action cards. RAther than taking a scoring card, a player can choose to take one from the action card stack, and later play it rather than setting down a suit card. Thre are action cards that increase or decrease the eventual total for that suit, as well as ones that allow extra cards to be taken or force other cards to be returned. There are some slightly fussy bits about removing prior cards from the table, but they really do not increase the complexity very much. The game is given an extra layer of strategy without adding measurably to the basic simpicity of the game. All in all, a worthy addition to an already nice game, and one that can be used or not at your leisure.
This is one of the better filler games on the market, easily playable by two to five (or is it six now?), and scales well to any number. Lots of fun in a little box. Recommended.
At Nuremberg the Nrnberger/Heidelberger collaboration released a set of three, very handsomely presented cardgames, two from Reiner Knizia and one from Gnter Burkhardt. This is one of the two Knizias and like its companion (Korsar) it is a revised version of a game produced by Amigo. Korsar is based on the 1991 game Pirat and this one on Flinke Pinke.
The idea in this new version is that you are trying to gain the favour of various Norse gods by giving them offerings and the cardplay revolves around trying to manouevre things so that "your" gods are the ones who end up feeling best pleased.
There is a basic game, which I am told corresponds almost exactly to Flinke Pinke, save that this time there is a theme -- and a good one at that. Then there are two sets of extra cards which will enable you to play with up to 6 players (the basic game is limited to 5) and to add in some extra tweaks.
In the basic game there are five gods: Odin, Thor, Freyr, Freya and Njord. For each of them there are five cards showing their pictures and six cards showing the offerings that can be made to them. The aim is to collect the first (gaining their favour) and to use the second to make that favour valuable. The portrait cards are placed in five stacks, one for each god, and the offering cards dealt out to the players. On each of your turns you place an offering card in front of the appropriate god and take one of the portrait cards. The portrait you take doesn't have to be of the god to whom you made the offering.
The offering cards each carry a value in the range 0 to 5 and the gods, being creatures with short attention spans when it comes to presents, take their mood from the most recent card that has been placed in front of them. The hand will end when one of the gods has all six offering cards in front of them and at that point the players score points. The value of each god card is equal to that of the topmost offering on their "altar". So, for example, suppose that I end the hand with two cards for each of Odin and Thor and three for Njord and that Odin's current value is 4, Thor's is 3 and Njord's 1, then my score for the hand is 8+6+3=17.
The suggestion is that you play as many hands as there are players and the winner is the one with the highest total score.
The first set of extra cards provide you with an extra god (Baldur) who operates just like the other five, with five portrait cards and six offering cards. Each hand will take a little longer, but the game play is unchanged. You need to use these if you have 6 players and they are optional with 4 or 5.
The other new cards are a set of 14 Action Cards and they can be used in both the basic and extended versions of the game. They form a shuffled, face-down draw pile and give players additional options in their turns. Instead of taking a God Card, you can now take the top Action Card instead. You can also play an Action Card instead of an Offering Card. Action Cards affect the values of the god at whose altar they are played. They are separate from the stack of offerings, but typically will modify the value of the final card in the stack. There can be at most one Action Card at each altar, but the cards can be played to remove previously played Action Cards as well as to affect the "value" of a god. So, if someone has played a damaging card against a god in whom you have a heavy investment, you can do something about it. Loki, the god of mischief, makes his appearance in this deck, with four cards, two to increase the final value of a god by 2 or 3 points and two to decrease one by the same amount. Others bring in appropriate effects from Yggdrasil, Valhalla, Thor's hammer and so on. All nicely tied in with the theme, in other words.
The game is interesting to play, the scoring works well, the theme fits perfectly and the components are attractive. What more do you want? Recommended.