Orlog, the dice game from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, is getting a physical release next year. Orlog is a simple dice game that player character Eivor can partake in with a variety of NPCs scattered throughout the world. It uses a vaguely RPG-like design, with both players competing to reduce the other’s health pool through strategic use of attacks and defensive moves.
Orlog is just one of the many side activities players can undertake in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Ubisoft’s newest open-world adventure casts players as a viking warrior, prowling the English countryside for new territory to conquer. Like the Assassin’s Creed titles that have come before it, Valhalla is a very open experience. There’s a lot of side quests, hidden enemies, and additional content to explore, even after the player has beaten the game.
The strategic dice game of Orlog is just one of many side content features in the game. And, according to board game news site Dicebreaker, it won’t just be a side activity in a video game for long. Ubisoft is partnering with PureArts to produce a physical version of the minigame, which will hit shelves sometime next year. Ubisoft didn’t share too many details about the release window or the details of the game, instead speaking with Dicebreaker about the development of the Orlog minigame. Apparently the game was originally designed with a deckbuilding angle; Eivor would find newer, more powerful dice throughout the game world which would be added to their collection for the next match. Unfortunately, this approach offered considerable design issues, so the collectible and customizable aspect was scaled down to just a few special dice, representing the power of the gods themselves.
Orlog is significant because it has considerable historical precedent. Archaeologists have known for some time that dice and board games have been an integral part of society for many, many centuries. Back in May of this very year, researchers found bone dice and gaming pieces from an early Iron Age cremation pit. Orlog is not an authentic ancient dice game; archaeologists have yet to recover any of the rules for such a thing. But as Ubisoft co-development lead Benoit Richer said, “The goal was to have a game that would be ‘credible’ rather than historically accurate.” Orlog certainly looks like an authentic Viking board game, even if there’s no real way to tell if it plays like one.
The worlds of video games and board games have gone hand in hand for a long time now. Just a few months ago, a full board game adaptation of Monster Hunter World was announced, which should be appearing on Kickstarter sometime in 2021. Since Orlog was already designed as a tabletop experience, it seems like a natural fit for real-life tabletops the world over. Players who’ve been enjoying Assassin’s Creed Valhalla since its release earlier this month can look forward to putting a little bit of the game on their shelf sometime next year.