Rain Games
Based in Bergen, Norway

Release date:
5 March, 2020



Regular Price:



Viking Chess: Hnefatafl is a strategic boardgame with assumed origins all the way back to the Viking era. Viking Chess: Hnefatafl uses the popular ruleset for Hnefatafl; the "Copenhagen Ruleset". Play as the Attacker faction counting 24 pieces or the Defender faction counting 13 pieces including 1 King. The game is assymetric, and each Faction has different win conditions. As the Attackers, capture the King or enclose the Defenders to prevent their escape. As the Defenders, move the King to one of the four corners to escape, or protect the King with an Edge Fort. Capture opposing pieces with capture mechanics similar to "Othello", where the attacking piece must have an ally in a cardinal direction adjacent to the attacked piece. The experienced player might be able to pull off even more fancy captures with a Shieldwall attack or a Multicapture attack!


Hnefatafl is a game in the "tafl" family of boardgames. These games were played throughout Northern Europe in different variants, and have been found on the British Isles and in Scandinavia. Boardgames in different shapes and sizes have been found in Viking graves, both in adult and child graves, and it is assumed that boardgames were an important part of the culture at the time. No game rules have been found, so the modern recreations are based on Carl Linnaeus' documented version of a game called Tablut in 1732. Linnaeus traveled in Lappland in Sweden and came across some people playing this boardgame, and he documented the game in text and in handdrawn pictures. A chess historian by the name of H.J.R Murray, author of the book "Boardgames other than Chess" (1969) believed that Linnaeus' account of the game Tablut was the game described in the Viking sagas. Modern recreations are created from these sources, and there are different versions of Hnefatafl played today. Viking Chess: Hnefatafl uses the ruleset "Copenhagen Ruleset", credited to Aage Nielsen (DK), Adam Bartley (NO) and Tim Millar (UK). Source: http://aagenielsen.dk/copenhagen_rules.php.


  • Singleplayer vs AI
  • Online Multiplayer
  • Local Hotseat Multiplayer
  • Interactive Tutorial
  • Ingame Unlockables


Trailer YouTube


download all screenshots & photos as .zip (11MB)

download logo files as .zip (21MB)

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About Rain Games

Rain Games is an independent, employee-owned game development studio based in Norway. Founded in 2010, the creators at Rain Games share a passion for crafting memorable worlds which engage curious players through a sense of exploration and discovery. The studio previously released the critically acclaimed puzzle platformer Teslagrad, as well as the 3D action-adventure World to the West, and revolution-themed social survival game Mesmer. Rain Games recently released its anticipated sequel Teslagrad 2, and the team creating Girl Genius: Adventures in Castle Heterodyne are gearing up for their own release later in 2023. Learn more at rain-games.com.

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Viking Chess: Hnefatafl Credits

Kenneth Engelsen
Game Designer, Programmer, Producer, 2D Artist, Diamond Sky Games/Rain

Lars Helgemo
3D Artist, Freelancer

Rhonan Huggard
AI Programmer, Inky Pen

Krister Berntsen
Programmer, Rain

Even Kjelby
Music, Great News

Maciek Ofstad
Music, Kvelertak

Peter Meldahl
Executive Producer, Rain

Thor Andrè Karstensen
Special Thanks

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks