This Viking survival game provides addicting play thanks to its balance of resource management and role-playing game elements and its interesting tale. Dead in Vinland is really like a civilization simulator in a dangerous land on an extremely personal level. Characters can learn new combat and resource skills or uncover new areas to explore. There are even people to recruit to become part of the community, if you say the right things; otherwise, you may make new enemies that constantly threaten you. It sounds like it would be confusing, but the gameplay works: You care about getting these characters to survive in their exile, to forge new friendships, and to survive incoming attacks. If there are any drawbacks to Dead in Vinland, they come with the pacing. It starts slowly and seems almost on the verge of lulling players to sleep with its gentle pacing and musical score, then suddenly jumps forward and displays an urgency that's compelling.
Also, dialogue choices don't cover all options and can seem pointed to drive the story in a certain direction, like fights, or certain characters that will be unhappy regardless of what you try to do. Finally, segments of the resource gathering can feel repetitive, but the impact of bad decisions can sometimes feel too intense. For example, mismanage your resources, and characters can die quickly. At least the cartoonlike visuals are bright and work very well, which keeps bringing you back into playing for a few more minutes to see how your characters and community will fare based on your decisions. But it's the balancing of the combat, the character interaction, and the resource management that's really Dead in Vinland's biggest selling point, and it gives players so much to do that it can sneak up on you and draw you into its story.