Published on October 30th, 2023 | by Boouya
The Land of the Vikings Review #PC
Summary: Overall I was very impressed with Land of the Vikings, it has a learning curve that always felt manageable without being too easy. There is enough in the game at the moment to keep you busy for a while and it may take a few restarts but once you get settled and you figure out the best way of doing things, time both in game and out will fly by. Obviously there are small issues like a few spelling mistakes and pathing issues but in the 15 hours I put into the game before writing this I never came across anything that was game breaking. The developers come across as very active and are looking at adding more content in the future.
The Land of the Vikings is a game that sees you take on the duty of a Jarl, where you must invest time and patience to build your village from a collection of poor wood buildings, all the way to a bustling trading Town. But like everything things are not as easy as they look on paper. You must put the feelings and wants of your villagers against your collected resources and more importantly you must please the Norse Pantheon of Gods or they will smite you down!
The Land of the Vikings takes the tried and tested survival colony sim genre and adds its own unique spin. You start off with your Longhouse (Town Hall), three houses and a carpenter, you have limited starting resources so your first job is to assign laborers (Villagers without specialized jobs) to cut down trees and collect stone. Your newly acquired resources will allow you to expand your village, in both Story Mode and Freeplay or Freeply as the typo on the mode settings menu calls it. You have the option of having the tutorial, I would advise first time players to follow the tutorial. It will help you understand which buildings and resources are most required in your first year and especially leading to your first WINTER.
Winter is coming!
Just like in Game of Thrones, players are always reminded that winter is coming. This is the most dangerous time of the year and the hardest time to find food, hopefully you will have built a Hunting cabin and maybe the Fishery before winter set in and you were able to collect a decent food stockpile. Now you have seen the season dial turn and the snow begins to fall, the true test of patience begins.
To go alongside the Winter there are numerous natural events in the game, these include earthquakes, blizzards and thunder and lightning these can cause devastation to a village both in man-power and buildings and can be brutal if they hit during winter where a villager without a house will die off very quickly.
Who knew Vikings whined so much?
Just like in every Survival Colony sim your Villagers are never happy, we have images in our heads of Vikings being hardy, but unfortunately these Vikings are whingers and at times the game can be slow to pick up that you have rectified their issue. One prime example is cold housing. This is fixed by placing a woodshed that creates firewood, numerous times through my playthrough, I had all the resources and enough firewood close enough to my villagers’ houses yet still they complained. I found a work around where if you pause the game and then pressed play again that fixed the issue.
The only other major issue I had was villager pathing; quite a few times I had villagers get stuck in the edges of buildings and they could spend upwards of 2 in game days running into the same edge until they finally realize they could make two steps to the left and be free.
Tree of Life..
To advance your village and unlock new buildings and gameplay, you level up and gain points; these points can be traded into the Tree of Life (Tech Tree). In the Tree of Life you have two main variations of upgrade, Larger upgrades that normally cost 3 or more points include giving the ability to mine for Coal and Iron or the ability to build better housing. For a smaller amount normally 1-2 points you have upgrades that affect the Villagers increasing walking speed, happiness and productivity etc. It is good to think about this because you do not want to upgrade your village before you have the resources to keep up.
Villager traits can also affect how useful they will be doing certain specialized jobs, thankfully all jobs have a best trait symbol so you can match the job symbol to the right villager. Symbols include a fist that is for manual labor like making firewood or mining. Another one is a Brain that is for jobs like Healer. Whilst any villager can do any job it is most prudent to match the villager to the right jobs both for efficiency and for overall happiness.
Graphics and UI
Graphically Land of the Vikings is very beautiful, it has a simple yet effective design that shows the Nordic flavor without being all looks and no substance. Villagers and animals have a decent amount of animations including for cutting trees and mining stone. Even decorations that you can add around your village match your family crest something that other games would have left as default.
Now the UI I have a love hate relationship with this, I love how simple and clean the overall look is with clear indication of how many raw resources you have, how many villagers the season you are in etc. Where it falls down is the many small submenus you have to navigate to get to more crucial information like how many laborers do you have or how much firewood do you have. This is information that is very critical in games like this and I wish the developers could find a way to make this more accessible.
Overall I was very impressed with Land of the Vikings, it has a learning curve that always felt manageable without being too easy. There is enough in the game at the moment to keep you busy for a while and it may take a few restarts but once you get settled and you figure out the best way of doing things, time both in game and out will fly by.
Obviously there are small issues like a few spelling mistakes and pathing issues but in the 15 hours I put into the game before writing this I never came across anything that was game breaking. The developers come across as very active and are looking at adding more content in the future.