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A jam submission

Tafl (Lowrez Jam 2018)View game page

Save your Viking King from the nasty Orcs!
Submitted by Pert "Vikerlane" S. (@toooldtoocold) — 22 hours, 52 minutes before the deadline
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Tafl (Lowrez Jam 2018)'s page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Authenticity (Use of resolution restriction)#44.9384.938

Ranked from 16 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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very cool idea! It's well hard to make a board/pieces game that works well, but I think you've found one here! The orcs were pretty stupid so I defeated them without too many mistakes. I think maybe the soundbytes for the orcs and humans were switched? Or do orcs cry "die" when they are killed?

Anyway, good effort! I enjoyed it!



It's actually based on existing viking-era norse/celtic board game - I decided for my first jam entry to limit the risk and take some pressure off myself by knowing that at least the game logic is solid.

AI sadly was not fully implemented, it's one of the first things I'll try to get right once jam ends to see if I can make it more challenging.

Interesting point about sounds. I kind of saw it as when they die, they want vikings to die too. I was just browsing some free sound libraries and had to go with what they had available :)

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks again for your feedback!


Excellent work! I love the idea and the gameplay. I think you got potential on this game, with more levels, and different units it will be great. Congrats!


Thanks! :)

I've been day-reaming about making some games since my dad showed me how to do Basic on C64 in his classroom.

I wouldn't say this entry was complete throw-away, but I decided to mimic existing game and my main goal was to get entry in or I promised my mate I'll forever shut up about maybe doing games.

Now that I've gotten some very positive feedback, I have to admit, it's tempting to keep working on this game and add more to it.

I think the main decider will be once I get time to fully implement my orc AI idea, if that works and makes it a challenging game, I might be persuaded to maybe widen the scope a little.

Cheers again for your feedback.


Yes, with and improved AI it is going to be very fun.  Continue with game development! :D 


Cool strategy game. Very clear design. Love the minimalistic art. I feel it was a bit too easy. Please make some gory death animation or something. That might let the player feel for his mistake when a soldier gets murdered, or satisfaction when you kill some nasty orks :) A simple celebration animation of the king or all of the soldiers from reaching the goal could also feel quite satisfying. Could also profit from a action driven or epic music tune. Really nice work!


Thank you for the feedback.

Little post-battle cheer, if vikings win, would be nice touch indeed and I do like the idea of making viking deaths more impactful, both good ideas.

I was considering Warcraft 1 like skeletons at some point that slowly break down and fade away, but due to lack of my design ability and very limited space on the grid it got way too messy for players to easily make out what was going on.


Very interesting game, the only problem I found really, was like stuart said, the orcs don't care about the king, consequently, I won every time. Good Job!

PS: If you have the time, please try out my entry (don't forget to rate it : ) )



Cheers. Yeah they are at the moment a bit clueless, a bit disappointed I did not have time to fully implement my "best next move" scoring idea. I'm planning to fix that in couple of weeks time. Will take a look at yours on my lunchbreak.


It's ok! I would be happy to play it again after the update!


Excellent board game. This is a tafl game, from a long tradition; it’s a kind of small-board version of hnefatafl. Good fun to play, although the AI is not very sophisticated; I spent time being really careful about moving my king until I realised that the orcs just don’t care about the king at all. But I suspect they will start caring in future versions, so I am right to consider moves in detail. The game maps really nicely onto the 64px layout, and the graphics are quite illustrative (I like the subtle shadows on the players); the audio is good, too, in a simple way. This is a great implementation, and I think it could become something really good with some tweaking.


You're absolutely right, I've decided to try to implement existing game with already established rules for my first game entry.

Also the fact that 7x7 grid + 1 pixel grid fit perfectly in 64x64px requirements made me think it was a sign! :D

As for AI, I have to admit it's basically just random right now. I've implemented the underlining code, but ran out of time to implement the more advanced scoring like chasing the king when considering next best orc move. Once the rating period is over (I have to say, I'm not sure with game jam customs, assumed I should not update the game until everyone has seen the original entry), I really want to at least implement the system I had in mind to see if it makes the game more challenging (some Android versions I downloaded always play same moves, so I want my version to be better than that), but if that makes it more fun, I might expand the game out of jam rules.

Thank you for your feedback :)


My favorite game so far. Pretty simple but really challenging. It's like playing a simple -but still hardcore- version of chess.  I'm curious what kind of new mechanics you could add to the game to give it a little more complexity.

Great great job!


Oh wow, was not expecting this, much appreciated!

You're not far off, it's based on Hnefatafl board game, which is basically medieval norse version of chess.

My first improvement is finish the AI to make it more challenging, right now the orcs are not trying to go for the king piece, so you could quickly find your way out and push for the corner.

Someone else's comment here made me think, additional enemy or friendly types with different moves or attacks is option, but I'd like to implement rogue-like approach with story mode maybe, there's a mission goal, and after beating each level, only surviving vikings will start next level, but enemies obviously will spawn in full force.

Original board game is also played on bigger 11x11 board, so that could add a little, I'd probably drop 64x64 pixel requirement for jam.

But it's all down to if I manage to implement my idea for AI, and if it makes game more challenging, and that will decide if I'll continue development on this one.


Simple but really really pleasant to play. AI is a bit too simplified, but UX is delicious. I love the growl SFX and the visuals. Well done.


Cheers mate. Wish I could say all SFX was mine too, but it's just some free samples I found from interwebz.

Improving the AI all the way is my next post-jam step, it's the only thing I wished I spent another hour on to fully get my approach implemented.


Fun strategy game. I like how the win screen is  covered in blood. :D


Ha ha, I remember thinking while I tried to design that screen in Asesprite, was a bit... overkill.

I suppose not ha ha.

Cheers for feedback :)


Simple and enjoyable. A good starting point for a turn-based game. It is easy because of the AI (it feels like enemies don't chase the king, they only try to escape from soldiers). I liked the visual style and some of the sound effects, but the one that plays when an orc dies is a bit loud.

- - -
You already played our game: Blind Bird, so we can't do anything but thank you. 」( ̄▽ ̄」)


Yes, there were few "AI" ideas I never managed to implement within jam schedule. I will probably revisit the AI in few weeks time, and see if it'll improve the gameplay, I might be tempted to add a bit more polish :)

Thanks for your feedback and good luck with your entry, I quite enjoyed it :)


Great little game - really good seeing a board game style thing in the jam. Art style and jam limitation actually really suits it and gives it a lovely charm. It was a bit easy, but this would fit with a tutorial type level. Improvements to enemy AI or maybe different piece types (maybe you can include a dragon who can has a different movement pattern or can attack without surrounding pieces) at higher levels could give variation. You could have a story/campaign mode... Really enjoyed it - also a multiplayer option would be good!


I made conscious decision for my first game jam entry to try and not overcomplicate it, and nick the gameplay more or less 1:1 from existing public domain game, and save some time having to play-test it. 

Also, 7x7 grid with one line border perfectly fit in 64x64 pixel grid. The more advanced Tafl game has 11x11 grid, so without lowrez requirements, might make it a bit easier, not that good at actual graphic design I'm afraid.

New pieces and progressing through levels is good idea, could make it rouge-like, every next level you only start with reminder of warriors, so you could either rush through quickly, to sacrifice vikings, or carefully manoeuvre to keep the band safe, but have more pieces on later levels.

Hot-seat MP shouldn't be too hard to implement.


I love these types of turn based strategy games. Altough I'm not quite sure how the enemy attacks, it is fun to move my soilders around. I, like others before me, feel like it's a bit too easy, but if you take on the challange of killing them all instead of just escaping, it becomes a bit more difficult and balanced. 


Thank you for your feedback. Apparently the original Tafl games are too slightly biased towards player trying to escape, so it'd be probably quite important for me to add that AI in place after voting period is over to see if I can make it more challenging, plus from my own point too, I'd like to see if my idea would have worked, if fully implemented.


I love games like this, and love the concept and context. Sound effects are nice and the highlighted tiles are a nice UI addition. The game, in its current state, is just too easy, I'm not sure if it's a bug or if the AI just needs further improvement but I played 5 times and basically just moved 2 warriors out of the way and then moved my king to the corner, the orcs didn't seem to care about killing the king?


Thanks Webow.

You are right, the underlining system for orcs to calculate the best move is there, where it's suppose to add points to potential grid places to target king first, then vikings, etc.

In it's current form AI is pretty much just random moves, while it would be quite quick to implement these rules, unfortunately I got stuck with trying to publish it out of Game Maker in HTML version, so figured it was more important to get it working in browser over all the polish, purely from play-ability point of view.

Thanks again for your kind words, few of my mates have said I should keep working on it, and positive feedback like this definitely makes me want to keep going on this game :)


Ah, I see, I did assume as much. Personally, I think you should definitely keep working on this game post-jam and I look forward to any updates.  


If what I have in mind will fix AI and make it more challenging, it's likely I might try polish it up a bit :)


Nice game, the gameplay is simple and easy to get, beat it on the first run. I had a weird bug were an enemy orc was dying and another orc moved and killed my soldier.


Cheers. There are few issues in there, sadly had to rush it out for Jam entry, I'll probably get back in few weeks time and add a bit more polish. Thanks for playing :)


That was hard! I didn't beat the game... There was just one orc on the board, I corned him and then the game froze (probably because he couldn't move). 

Nice minimalist strategy game !


Ah, I did wonder if more instructions are needed in the game, eventually. The rules are, if you move your king on one of the corners, so he can escape, you'd win too :)