Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization.
User reviews: Very Positive (6,103 reviews) - 90% of the 6,103 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A wonderfully realised Viking adventure with in-depth tactical combat. Roto-scope style animation leads to a beautiful world. Ends a bit abruptly though"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (14)

November 12

Banner Saga 2 and Warbands

Hello All!

Just giving you a quick update on The Banner Saga 2 and The Banner Saga Warbands!

First off - development for Banner Saga 2 is coming along nicely and we're very eager to start showing off more of it. Soon you'll start seeing more info shared via our website and our social media links about Banner Saga 2.

Secondly - The Banner Saga Warbands Kickstarter is now live! This exciting miniatures board game from Megacon Games does a great job of caputuring The Banner Saga in boardgame format. Check out their Kickstarter here:

As always - huge thank you for your support during all of this! Looking forward to seeing you all come back for Banner Saga 2 and pick up your story right where you left off!


9 comments Read more

June 29

Localization Update


We're about to do a small update that includes the addition of the Italian language and revisions of Spanish & Brazilian Portuguese,

• Added Italian Language translation
• Revised and improved Spanish Language translation
• Revised and improved Brazilian Portuguese Language translation


23 comments Read more


“Game of Thrones Meets Vikings Meets Disney. The Banner Saga is blindingly lovely and arguably just as intriguing to play. Built atop a world that all but demands the attention of travel documentaries, it's epic in the literal sense of the word.”
100% – US Gamer

“With a refreshingly unique aesthetic, well-written story, and challenging gameplay, The Banner Saga is an excellent adventure well worth your time.”
90% – Games Radar

“The Banner Saga deserves commendation for the strength of its art and music experience alone, which shatters conventions.”
86% – IGN

Coming to SteamOS/Linux

The Banner Saga will be available on SteamOS and Linux in March 2015.

Digital Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition – Combines The Banner Saga with the official soundtrack which includes 29 tracks by Grammy nominated, and two time BAFTA Award winning, composer Austin Wintory, performed by the Dallas Winds orchestra plus a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: vocalists Peter Hollens and Malukah and violinist Taylor Davis.

About This Game

Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization. Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds. Not everyone will survive, but they will be remembered.

Key Features

  • Player choice that drives your own narrative – every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds.
  • Over 25 playable characters from 2 different races, human and varl, the horned giants – embark on your epic journey with a variety of characters from 7 different classes, each with unique abilities and upgrade options to fit your play style.
  • Strategic combat with consequences - victory or defeat and even the permanent loss of a character depends on which characters you choose to take into battle and what decisions you make afterwards.
  • The journey is as important as battle – your role in building and managing your caravan as you travel the vast frozen landscape is critical to not only your own survival but the survival of an entire civilization.
  • An epic Viking saga brought to life in 2D glory – beautifully hand drawn combat sequences and animations, accompanied by an evocative score from Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, will immerse you into a fantasy realm inspired by Norse mythology.
  • Multiplayer Combat Enhanced – sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game “Factions”. Compete against other players with many of the character classes you see in The Banner Saga.

The Banner Saga is the first part of a planned trilogy. If you complete this game, your unique progress and storyline will carry over to the next part of the story.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Memory: 4 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
104 of 118 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
The gods are dead. The sun never leaves the horizon, shining on boundless wastes of tundra. The land is torn between men, giants known as varl and armored creatures known as dredge, neither carry any reason to trust each other. A new day dawns, and the world is at the brink of turmoil, weary of old wars, always anticipating new wars; nearly void of hope. In such a time, you take the role of leading a caravan across frozen wastes to its destiny.

You play the parts of many characters, make their choices and endure the consequences while discovering the beautifully weaved tale of the realm. Each and every character that you lead tell a story of their own in this Nordic, war-thorn saga. Each choice that you make affects your chances of survival, and makes you approach one step closer to your destination. The setting is incredibly rich, expected from any proper RPG game. Every road, landmark, settlement, mountain or forest; every region depicted on the map contains its own local history. The lore is complete and refreshing.

To begin with, the game contains a diverse gameplay, bringing together elements of adventure, role-playing and strategy games. The adventure elements are directly affecting the story, and the outcome of your choices twist and turn to present you alternative destinies. Combats are turn-based in isometric maps, and gameplay is fairly easy to grasp. Yet 'fairly easy to grasp' quickly turns into 'hard to master'. You are able to level up your characters with renown, a kind of currency that you may gain through heroism either in adventure choices or by slaying your adversaries in battle field. Alongside leveling, you are capable of gathering minor and major items to enhance your heroes furthermore.

The Banner Saga presents a direct example for my reason to become a gamer: a story to be told. The game satisfied all my expectations thoroughly. I do not wish to present any spoilers, but it is safe to declare that the story of the realm is not finished in this game. Good news is that The Banner Saga 2 is in development. Cheers!

Please also check out Completing the Backlog's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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109 of 148 people (74%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
30.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
An exellent, albeit linear, narrative constantly interrupted by flawed turn-based combat. The Banner Saga boasts great visuals and beautiful soundtrack, character design is spot-on, reminiscent of older cartoons, while still being true to the nordic theme and as historically accurate as a fantasy saga can be.

The flaws lie in the gameplay, particularly in the fact the game concentrates too much value on Renown. It's the currency with which you buy food, amulets and level up heroes. It's also not that easy to come by, since it's mostly rewarded from killing things and winning battles (although you, very rarely, gain some for a choice).

The game alternates between frequent combat sections, where you and the enemy alternate in turns, regardless of numerical advantage. Combined with the fact strength is both HP and how much damage you can deal, this system encourages the player to not kill oponnents, but, instead, harm them until they all have low HP, only then should the player start the killing.

The fact renown is used for everything also limits character choices and story decisions. You'll be encouraged to be a psycopath, partaking as many battles as possible to gain extra renown. To make matters worse, there are no real consequences for such choices.

Morale is almost meaningless, only awarding a few extra willpower points at the start of the battle. Supplies are also meaningless, seeing as fighters aside heroes have no effect on war outcome, as long as you win your battle (usually a charge, since it puts you against more enemies, which equals more renown), a team of 5 heroes could win a war against thousands of dredge.

Downed heroes come back with injury whoose duration and severity depend on game difficulty setting. Ironically, these same immortal heroes can die arbitraly during text-based events while travelling.

While I haven't been able to finish the game yet (always get bored by the game before being able to do so), I've seen users complain the story actually ends abruptely, leaving space for an obvious non-advertised sequel. The Banner Saga is actually just a first episode, despite not being advertised as such.

EDIT: I have finished the game on a new playthrough, and the ending is indeed abrupt, with a short (non animated) cutscene right after a rather easy boss fight (just ignore every dredge and focus on the boss). Even if it's part of a trilogy, a game must feature a relatively complete story (compare it to a movie such as "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and you can see how this kind of ending is unsatisfying). A bit more recently, the store page was updated to reveal banner saga as the first of a trilogy, despite that not being the case on release date.

To summarize: The Banner Saga has great visuals, soundtrack and (linear and relatively unfinished) story, but it's held short by bad gameplay which ranges from silly to frustrating, removing almost all immersion or tension the well written story can create.

If things don't get better in the sequel, I think stoic should give up on making games and start writting novels or animated short films.
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52 of 67 people (78%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Mesmerizing & unforgettable // Recommended even at full price

+ Top-shelf voice-acting (what little there is, unfortunately)
+ Gorgeous environmental visuals; backdrops have clearly been painstakingly created
+ Spectacular toon-inspired animations; work well in practice, & contrast well with the somber tone of the game
+ Soundtrack is quite moving, & is implemented perfectly
+ Rich in lore; the world map is a great place to read up on different regions and their history
+ The need for balance of supplies outside of battle adds significant planning & depth to the meta game
+ When the caravan is moving, the player is confronted with myriad choices (similar to Oregon Trail), most of which are difficult; one's decisions often have large ripples that deeply affect the course of the narrative
+ Combat system is superb; simple & easy to learn, but rife with nuance that makes for a satisfying experience (& encourages practice & experimentation)
+ Competent & well-delivered narrative; dialogue is uniformly well-written
+ Does well to showcase adult themes & the gravity of difficult decisions
+ The 'War' mechanic is well-handled, & adds another layer of depth & challenge to enemy encounters; choices made here will affect the enemy strength that you encounter, as well as casualties along your entire caravan
+ Balance of morale & willpower, on & off the battlefield, will keep one on one's toes

- Occasional, momentary drops in framerate during caravan marches

If you enjoyed this review, please follow my curator page. Feel free to join my group, LockeProposal's Big Day Out for discussion and announcements, and I also have a budding YouTube Channel for those interested. Thanks for reading!
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41 of 51 people (80%) found this review helpful
87.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
My review of The Banner Saga will be based on 4 categories: Performance,Gameplay,Graphics, and Story. As a summary, The Banner Saga gives its players one of the most tactical gameplay to ever grace the indie scene as well as delivering a story that's comparable to its AAA counterparts. A bit disappointed on the game length though as I found myself wanting more after each story revelation and battle. Nevertheless, this gem is still a well-made game and is definitely the shining needle in a haystack full of lousy, unpolished games.

Being an indie game, The Banner Saga just gives you the bare-bones required to run it. No graphics options to tinker with, no resolution slider to adjust, Just your typical indie with the option to toggle sound effects, background music, and subtitles to on or off. Performance on a FX-6300 processor, R9 270 GPU, and 8 GB of RAM at 1080p yields a constant 60 FPS with no hitches whatsoever.

No bugs or crashes experienced during playthroughs but be wary that no game is ever bug-free. Note that the game uses auto-saves and checkpoints as a saving mechanic; there is no save option to be found.

Tactical RPG is basically digital chess - you've got a king, queen, and pawns that you move through the digital field in a battle to either wipe out all of your opponents or follow a specific objective that will require absolute knowledge of the mechanics. The main difference between the two is that you've got the RPG element to it in which you level-up your pawns, distribute stat points to your king, and choose the equipment that your queen will wear for battle. The fusion of chess' tactical difficulty and the customization features of RPGs are what made games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and X-COM so memorable and fun to play. The Banner Saga adopts these mechanics and made it more simplified and casual-friendly but it doesn't compromise the gameplay and even adds in some innovations of its own.

The Banner Saga's gameplay consists of management, combat, and customization of your fighters. The whole game is spent traveling with a caravan along a linear path and making sure that they last the journey by managing supplies, winning your battles, and making the right choices that will affect your caravan in a very big way. Along with the caravan comes the morale mechanic which helps give you extra willpower in battle at higher statuses. While it is possible to win battles even with low morale, the extra advantages given by a high morale will surely help in winning the game. For those wanting to have the perfect caravan with people from the first day of travel surviving until the end of the journey, you may have to work harder than your average casual player because the game has a limiting factor to it. First of all, the viking-themed world of The Banner Saga lacks towns and shops that you can visit - which is kind of weird since you'd expect a traveling caravan would find a lot of settlements on the road. The severe lack of places to visit means that you get less opportunities to stock up and buy supplies which in turn makes the members of your caravan leave or picked out one-by-one because of hunger. Second, the currency of the world uses renown; basically, Stoic games' name for experience points which actually adds a lot of depth to the game BUT the potential isn't exactly realized because renown is very hard to come by and the price that the traders are asking for supplies is abysmal. I mean seriously, 1/4 of my hard-earned renown just for a day's worth of supplies? LOL! No thanks! GFY and KMA you MoFo! And again, another weird situation because gold exists in their world. Heck, the traveling caravan from the beginning of the game is collecting fief from a human settlement. I guess traders just like the sweet taste of a day's hard work and the sweat coming off warrior's bodies. Let me clarify though that traders are entirely optional and you can go through the game without ever buying from one but I can already imagine the frustration of some players deciding between the caravan and their character's levels.

While half of the time is spent on looking at your caravan slog through lifeless snow-filled backgrounds, the other half is spent on strategic battles that will test your wits and cunning. Now, The Banner Saga's combat is just like any tactical RPGs out there. It's just that the main focus this time around is the need to balance an armor and health meter - and what's amazing is just the two of these is needed to make the game so strategic. It's a game of critical decisions, a high armored enemy can take more damage so you have to try and break his armor and hope that you and your teammates has a high enough attack power so you can defeat him, an enemy low on health will do less damage to you (and vice versa for the player character low on health) but still won't bode well if the opponent has a very high armor. Very simple mechanics for the casual player, very hard game to master even for the veterans. Customization is limited to choosing your warriors and arming them a single solitary equipment from the game's limited number of items that can be counted on three hands. While the effects of each item can vary from being really good to not actually worth the price, the inclusion of such items helps with the game a lot even in the tiniest degree.

The cartoonish art style in this game is very unique in comparison to its peers. The Disney-inspired aetethics of The Banner Saga is very beautiful and it really feels like you're watching and playing a Disney movie through all its glory. The artists also captured the viking elements of the world perfectly; the people, weapons, and the locales show the uniqueness and individuality of the nordic people and its a real treat to play through the whole game with this kind of art style.

The story may seem like a journey through barren fields and war-torn lands based on first impressions but its actually an epic tale of beings who are just misunderstanding each other because of past events and war but in the grand scheme of things are really destined to to exist with one another in a fight against a common threat. The varl - giant, towering beings with horns growing in their head and the humans must fight an old enemy called the dredge - creatures with human-like intelligence as they believe that the mysterious beings have come to the human and varl lands again to raise war once more. But things soon take a turn as a surprising revelation that involves all races may decide the fate of the whole world.

Each character's goals and motivations are believable and they really show the situation in a land where the sun suddenly stopped moving. You have fathers who just want to protect their daughters, varl trying to be the leader that he thinks everyone deserves, and people questioning whether the enemy that they fight really is the enemy. All of this is set-up in a very nice pace which lets players know what is needed to be known without revealing too much for that perfect moment of awe and surprise.

The game also lets you choose choices with severe effects that affect both your characters personally, your caravan, and the future events that will happen to your team. Some of them make sense, some have the same outcome masked by pretty clever wording, and some are just plain annoying - especially that one with the backbiter (*wink). You'll come across these choices at regular intervals and every choice is important. Choose a wrong one and suffer forever through the game as that choice haunts you while you think that it may have turned out differently.

The mythology that they've created is just an amazing pice of work - and there's much to be explored in this huge world that they've established. I personally can't wait for more.

And there you have it
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40 of 51 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Amazing game. Good combat system, nice visuals and sound. Excellent 1440p support, everything is very crisp.

The game itself is worth purchasing, i launched it only to test it for a few minutes and before i realised i was playing 6 hours. If You like SRPG's give this a shot.
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