Tribal Games Reviews - Explorers of the North Sea

Posted by Samuel Pons on

A Tribal Games Review of Explorers of the North Sea


Man the longships and take to the seas during the latter years of the Viking Age. During this turn by turn, tile placement game, players will create their own world to pillage and plunder.

Reviewer's Note: 

Explorers of the North Sea is a fantastic experience to open families up to a new line of strategic board games. Players familiar with strategic planning will find this game an enjoyable experience, while still receiving a challenge from the fast pace of the game. 
Explorers of the North Sea does not suffer from the replayability issues that many current board games present, due to the different tile combinations available during gameplay all of which can be drastically changed by the number of players. I have now had the opportunity to play Explorers with 2, 3, and 4 different players, and each time the strategic play has changed significantly.

How to Play:

During a turn, the player places a tile onto the map, ensuring that land and sea are connected in a matching way. Players then have the opportunity to complete four actions on their turn:

  • Move a ship along the ocean or Vikings (and livestock) across the land
  • Load Vikings and/or livestock onto a ship
  • Unload Vikings and/or livestock off a ship
  • Construct an outpost

The goal for players is to raid settlements, destroy enemy ships, construct outposts, and capture livestock in order to accumulate the most points and win.


8.5 Longships out of 10

  • Replayability - 8/10
    The many different tile combinations in conjunction with changes from the number of players result in a highly replayable experience. Replayability is also supported by the many different scoring options and strategies available to players. The only issue around this section is that Explorers begins to have limited replayability once a winning strategy has been devised by a player.
  • Thematic - 6/10
    Explorers of the North Sea uses the idea of raiding and constructing outposts to create a thematic environment suitable for a Viking game, however, the overall experience lacks the expected edge. Captain cards do not have a significant gameplay difference based on their themes and barely encourage a different style of play.
  • Fun Times - 10/10
    A great game to introduce people into the genre of strategy games and fantastic for families or groups of friends. The game has lead to hours of fun and intense gameplay for ages 8-80

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