Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories Raid and Trade is a an educational viking village simulator game created by Playerthree for CBBC and BBC Bitesize. The project won a TIGA 2022 video game award.

Raid and Trade was the first such commission from the BBC to create a game for both websites. For BBC Bitesize the game must be educationally accurate in every respect whilst for CBBC it needs to be entertaining and challenging for the target audience. If the audience can learn as they play or vice versa as well as loving it then we’ve done our job well.

The elephant in the room of course is the Horrible Histories brand. We were really excited to have won the pitch to work on a show that is brilliant for children as well as adults. We worked tirelessly to recreate the visual style and animation of the characters and environments that could sit alongside Martin Brown’s unique style as seen on television. Luckily he was also available to review our art and send us some tips back and sketches for inspiration.

We researched all the viking facts and objects for the whole game and then worked with the BBC’s educational consultant to get the nod. It must be said that the BBC’s production team really gave their all for the project as well. Detailed as it was it was very enjoyable to work on it with them.

So the game itself, you adopt the role of a Norse God or Goddess and run your very own Viking settlement. You must watch over the little Viking people, the Jarls, Karls and Thralls in your village, make sure that the village is kept safe, manage resources like food, wood and iron and unlock levels and explore the wider world on a Viking longship. Just like a real viking!

Even the Norse God Loki, a bit like the Marvel one, makes an appearance. As the trickster, he causes trouble for you along the way.

Play the game with the link below and see if you can make it from 750 AD to 1066 AD!
After its successful release, we then added stage two, which were four challenge mini-games, a departure from the more strategic side of the main game.

Brynja Bloodaxe’s Chucking Challenge
Chuck axes and other deadly weapons to get the best score.

Ragnarr the Raven’s Rhythm Rampager
Swap your steel blades for wooden oars and show us what you’re made of rowing across the ocean to a viking beat.

Helga Half-Troll’s Friendship Feast
Feed all the Jarls at the Friendship Feast. Remember, Jarls don’t like to be kept waiting…

The Snorri Salmon-Face Fishing Cup
Can you fill the fishing fishing basket or get pulled in whilst trying.

Vikings aren’t always vicious.