Blood Rage: Digital Edition

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Blood Rage: Digital Edition Game Poster Image
Viking board game is pillaged by bad design and glitches.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Pits Viking tribes against each other simply to gain "glory" in battle before mythical end of world, "Ragnarok." You're essentially fighting for the sake of fighting, pillaging to gain resources and leverage over opponents, trying to survive long enough to earn the gods' favor.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players control Vikings in midst of tribal war. They're driven by loyalty to their gods, desire to prove themselves as superior warriors, to gain power and glory. No high moral ground to be found here.

Ease of Play

Virtually unplayable on numerous levels. Tutorial even states that it doesn't explain procedures as they would appear in the game. Technical bugs also run rampant, often forcing players to have to quit and restart from beginning.

Violence

Combat is represented through the figures and cards; no graphic depictions of violence shown on-screen.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Blood Rage is the digital adaptation of the physical board game of the same name. Extra content is available for the game as downloadable content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blood Rage: Digital Edition is the official digital adaptation of the board game of the same name, available for download on Windows- and Mac OS X-based computers. Players take on the role of a Viking tribal leader fighting against other tribes for glory and supremacy, seeking approval of the Norse gods in the moments before the end of the world, known as Ragnarok. Players can compete solo against computer-controlled opponents, or against five players in both local hot seat and online multiplayer matches. In its current state, the game does have a lot of technical issues, many of which can cause the game to occasionally crash or freeze, forcing a hard restart of the program.

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What's it about?

BLOOD RAGE: DIGITAL EDITION takes the apocalyptic action and strategy of the Blood Rage board game and brings it to computers in this official digital adaptation. Ragnarok, the mythical Norse end of days, is coming, and its up to you to lead your Viking clan to eternal glory. You'll curry the favor of the gods by invading Midgard's territories, plundering the villages, summoning great monsters to do your bidding, and conquering your foes in epic combat. You'll further boost your glory by completing grand quests, proving your worth to the pantheon. Players will face the fury of Ragnarok alone in single-player gameplay or challenge up to five other tribes in both local and online multiplayer matches. With the end of the world looming on the horizon, do you have what it takes to earn your place within the halls of Valhalla?

Is it any good?

If there's one thing that can be said about this board game's switch from physical to digital, it's that the game looks good. The visuals of Blood Rage are crisp and colorful, and the virtual miniatures are exceptionally detailed. Unfortunately, that's about the only thing good that can be said about the game in its current form. Plagued by various bug, glitches, and just plain poor design, the most challenging thing Blood Rage has to offer is actually completing a match. Right from the opening tutorial, things start to fall apart. The tutorial barely explains the mechanics, taking for granted that players should already be somewhat familiar with the board game. Also, the in-game camera can be unwieldy, often blocking game pieces and hiding options.

Those are just a few of the design problems. Things get even worse on the technical side. Sometimes gameplay elements can pop up awkwardly and won't leave, with the rest of the game taking place on top of or under that layer. Players can frequently get trapped in odd loops, where the game prompts players to make a move when they can't, while not allowing them to pass or move forward. Sometimes the "Exit Game" option even disappears, requiring players to force close the program from the desktop. While these technical hiccups might not occur in every game, the fact that they happen more frequently than not leaves the overall game little more than an unplayable mess.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about taking board games to the digital realm. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that digital versions of physical games bring to the proverbial table? How faithful should digital versions be to their physical counterparts?

  • How can families use games to come together? What are some of the best games to play as part of a family game night?

Game details

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