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Fight other Vikings in a battle-royale against up to 4 human or CPU players. Even when no human players are left the CPU will continue to fight it out until the bitter end. First time players are recommended to read instructions first.


As this game is a passion project in Pico-8 to remake the original game, Viking Raiders by Mark Lucas, and published by Firebird on the ZX spectrum, which I loved as a child.

Game Controls:

  • Arrow keys to select direction or change menu option
  • X or V to confirm action
  • Z or C to cancel action
  • Ctrl+M to turn off sounds

Mobile Controls:

  • Very similar except in the virtual handset the O button represents the Z key


  • You can use any game controllers recognized by SDL with PICO-8


Game Breakdown:

2 to 4 human/cpu players

  • guide to graphics alike to original
  • menu/enter to reload game
  • cpu players only game will play by itself for you to watch


  • over about 30/40 turns water will freeze and unfreeze
  • catapults and army units can move over frozen water
  • boats can only move across unfrozen water
  • any land units found in unfrozen water drown and die

Army units

  • can board boats
  • can get drunk (drunk units move by themselves)
  • can pick up gold
  • can recruit/sober drunk army units
  • can recruit empty boats
  • can destroy adjacent occupied boats


  • can only move when units onboard
  • can only move on unfrozen water
  • can recruit empty boats
  • can ram other boats to sink them


  • uses ranged combat
  • cannot directly fight

Victory conditions

  • defeat all the enemy castles
  • requires an army unit to attack castle
  • game ends when no other players remain
  • short delay to give player chance to review


  • ai is easy to beat, provides minor challenge
  • picks random choice of:
  • return gold (priority action)
  • board friendly boat
  • target closest enemy castle
  • target closest enemy unit
  • target closest drinking horn
  • target closest gold chest
  • (catapults only) move away from enemy units
  • (boats only) head towards enemy castles

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graphics make it hard to understand but good game anyway

Brain small can't figure out but seems good

I like the part where they raid Pico”s house

I've never played VIking Raiders before, but if I can learn to play Dwarf Fortress, I can get a grip on this! I love games that are almost tech demos in their ambition (like POOM, for an extreme example). I think this is a brilliant game!

KJScott responds:

Hah, I wish I could do something like POOM but slowly learning and adding more to my knowledge and repertoire so who knows what I might do in the future! Also, Dwarf Fortress rules!

Hmm, this is a tough one for me. On one hand, I do think it is very ambitious of a game, being a strategy game, to run on PICO-8, and is pretty cool with the way it captures that old-school DOS/Atari/C64 feel and style quite well. Has some neat little touches like the animation for the sinking boats and such, and I did have some fun skirmishing with the units when I could figure out how it worked. On the other hand, I feel it is too ambitious for the system its running on as, while I was able to figure out some aspects, the game just seemed way too complicated and PICO-8 just isn't able to tutorialize enough aspects to get all of the intricacies and rules across (had no idea how many of the units worked, like boats and such, and wasn't sure whether there was a strategy for army unit attacking an army unit, nor if catapults can kill a castle, etc). Controls were a bit annoying as well: so many times I'd select an army dude with the intention to move him: I'd hit move, but since I wasn't holding a direction before I did that, it'd treat it as me skipping and I'd lose the ability to move that unit (argh!). Also, that cool animation for the sinking boat starts to get real annoying once you've seen it for the hundredth time and it just makes the wait for your turn even longer. Anyway, it's a neat game, but it might be a bit too much for me, not being a big strategy fan. Felt like you, unfortunately, recreated everything about old-school strategy games too faithfully, as that included the outdated design bits, haha!

KJScott responds:

It was originally a 48k spectrum game which I tried to recreate and was right at the edge of how much I could put it before I reached the code limit so I was unable to provide any clear instructions (which I knew was going to be an issue). Yeah, I totally agree with all your comments about the controls, instructions, animations, etc, but as your figured I was trying to recreate all the old design choices. The controls was the biggest obstacle as I needed to port over full keyboard support to effectively a controller scheme which I know needs more work but hit the limit of the code to refine it further. I do have a game on the back burner which utilises a lot of the ideas but reworking it hopefully for the modern era but will see when I get time or motivation to finish that off. Thank you for the comments!

Credits & Info

3.71 / 5.00

Feb 4, 2021
3:58 AM EST
  • PICO-8