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[Beyond PlayStation] Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition Review

[Beyond PlayStation] Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition Review
  • On December 30, 2019

Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition is the definitive version of the Viking-themed survival management sim. Check our Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition review!


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In Dead in Vinland, you will get to experience the story of a Viking family who finds itself starving to death on an unknown island, and the game is not going to be holding your hand during this adventure! You’ll be leading Eirik, his wife Blodeuwedd, their daughter Kari, and Moira, Blodeuwedd sister, as the family sets out on a journey to survive the harsh conditions of the island, as you explore the area, set up camp, try to arm your group, and find a way to keep everyone alive and in as good health as possible. The group has escaped from death by stealing a boat and setting sail with no map and no destination, drifting for days until they landed on the island. Do you have what it takes to help them survive?


You can go with the default Survival difficulty setting for your run, or you might want to lower or raise the difficulty. If you lower it to the Nice Vacation difficulty setting, you will get a 50% boost to all skill experience gain, a – 10% boost to all states increases and a 10% boost to all states decreases, a -10% boost for the level of hydration to increase each night, a lower chance to catch a disease, and more. If, on the other hand, you go for the Extreme Conditions difficulty, you’re going to have to deal with a bigger chance to catch a disease, a higher chance of dehydration rising, as well as less experience gained for all skills, less items obtained, as well as an increase to the deterioration of the camp’s condition. There’s also the option of customizing your difficulty so that you can find the right balance for you.

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The game is aware that throwing players into the deep end without any explanation or context would be too harsh of an experience, which is why they’ve set a Tutorial that will teach you the basics as you go. Skipping the Tutorial is not the way to go since doing so is certainly going to lead to your death. The Tutorial will teach you about how Dead in Vinland is a turn-based game, which means you can take your time to decide what your next action will be, as rushing is how fools die.


Every day will be divided into Morning, Afternoon, and Night. During the first two phases of the day, your characters can take care of different tasks around the camp. Once Night hits, it will be time to eat, drink, discuss some matters, or rest a little before the next day is upon them. You’ll need to balance your actions so that you can find a way to keep your resources properly stocked, particularly your fire and water, which are key elements in your plan to survive on this new island. Non-potable water is bad for the group, so you need a fire to boil water so that it’s purified.

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Distributing enough water and food to keep the whole group hydrated as well as properly fed is going to be part of your daily routine. Most of the food you will get is perishable, so if you’re not careful and plan accordingly, there’s a good chance that some of your food will rot before the night is over. Each food type will let you know how much hunger it can reduce (within a range) as well as if it will affect their overall health, or if there’s a chance that eating that item will make anyone sick.

Pressing the B button will allow you to access the sidebar, from which you can select each of the characters so that you can assign them some tasks. You can send them to search for items, to fetch water, to craft some much-needed items to improve your camp and tools – and, therefore, your odds of survival. You’ll need to keep an eye on the overall condition of your camp since every station (except for the Shipwreck and Expedition Camp stations) will deteriorate a bit with each passing night. The lower a station’s condition, the lower its overall efficiency, which could prove to be deadly in the long term.

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Once everyone has been assigned a task, you can press the + button to have them have a go at completing their actions, so that you can see how well they do with their tasks. You will also need to keep an eye on their condition and how each task affects your characters – a depressed or tired individual is not going to be in good enough shape to be helpful! Because of this, you will need to make good use of the items you find, so that you can keep all conditions in check before it’s too late.

Each of your characters will have a sheet in which you can review their extended bio, traits, innate and acquired skills, any fight related traits, the relationships they have, and their overall statistics. A character’s overall health is composed of five elements you need to keep in mind: fatigue, hunger, sickness, injury, and depression. If any of the five values go up to 100%, then that character will die. The issue is that if any of the four family members die, then you’re going to get a game over.

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And as you discover new areas on the island thanks to your exploration skills, you’ll need to take a chance and explore said new spots to see if you can find anything to help you. You might, for example, find an ornate chest with fancy decorations, which will probably make you think that if the outside looks like that, whatever is inside will surely be of great use for your group. But what if the chest is just too good to be true? Perhaps you should check the surrounding areas to make sure there’s no one hiding, waiting to attack you when you least expect it? But what if taking that extra time to explore ends up leaving the chest unguarded, making it easier for someone to sneak in, smash the chest open, and take everything inside it?

You should also be ready for battle since you never know when some rather unfriendly and outright angry and disrespectful individuals might come knocking right at your door. These battles are turn-based as well, so you’ll have to pay attention to how each character’s initiative affects their turn order at the upper center part of the screen. Each of your characters will have two health bars, and once the fight is over, any grey hearts you lose won’t have any lasting consequences for your character. If you end up losing red hearts, that character’s chances of being injured and wounded will go up considerably.

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As for the fight side of battle, you will need to use your battle skills by moving characters around their half of the screen to be able to line up your skill just right. A melee attack is useless from a Range row, and a Range attack at close range could be bad for that character’s health once your opponents manage to counterattack and retaliate. Every skill you want to use will require you to spend some Action Points (AP), which will be refilled during every turn, so don’t be afraid of using skills to try and gain an advantage.

This is the True Viking Edition for a couple of reasons. First up is the fact that this Nintendo Switch version of Dead in Vinland offers a new and revamped interface to make it a game more suited to what the Nintendo Switch has to offer as a hybrid console. The second reason is that it offers the main game as well as all previously released DLC, giving us The Vallhund (you’ll get your own good boy!), the Battle of the Heodenings, and the Norse Side Stories DLC included with the base game, all for its $27.99 asking price. Thanks to this, you can take on the Heodening mode right from the start, although the game does suggest that you dive into that mode once you have more experience with the gameplay mechanics since it’s an endless mode in which the difficulty is ramped up.

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There’s a lot to learn and experience with Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition on Nintendo Switch. It’s one that will test your skills during each in-game day, with the smallest mistake hurting your odds of survival. You’re getting a lot of content for a great price, so you’ll be playing this one for dozens of hours as you learn from your mistakes, finding the right combination for your family – and the group that will join you – to make it.

This Dead in Vinland: True Viking Edition review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Dear Villagers.

Review Overview

Challenging Viking-themed survival management sim