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Land Of The Vikings Preview: Already Thriving

In a saturated genre, the search for a quality city-builder game is never-ending. So many games try to capture the all-encompassing fun and end up falling flat. There is a particular joy that comes from playing a game that allows you to build a village that turns into a town, that grows into a city, before eventually turning into a metropolis that is the envy of the world. Even in its early build, "Land of the Vikings" gives you the chance to do exactly this. And it does it very well.


The tutorial is brief, but informative. Controls are easy to pick up and all of the different options to build your village and gather resources are pretty self-explanatory. Creating a village is a breeze and it's easy to become completely invested in the success of your village. You are starting from scratch, so establishing all the necessary buildings and gathering resources has you scrambling to get your village viable quickly. However, while you may feel like you're doing a decent job of getting everything established, it's easy to get lost in the process and fail to notice important things, such as the looming (and deadly) winter. As such, it's highly advisable to pay attention to the objectives, rather than just rushing to get things done. Thankfully, villagers are smart enough to work through a lot of player oversight. If you manage to survive your first winter, your village should be ready to grow, with you leading the charge.


Surviving together

Once you have a feel for the game, time flies by (in a good way). There is always something to do. Unlike some survival colony games, the tasks don't seem monotonous at all. It helps that "Land of the Vikings" hones in on the strength of its villagers. This is a great element of the game and reading the details given about villagers is in-depth and enjoyable. They are not individuals, but rather families each living in their own house. Their survival is tied to your village's survival. The children in your families grow into the adults you need to help your village thrive. It's satisfying to watch a village house and family grow from two to 12 and keep expanding from there. The personalization that "Land of Vikings" gives to the villagers is a nice immersive touch that helps this game stand out from others in the genre.


The building options for this game are also well thought out. It's important to read the details about what each building does and how it impacts its surroundings, but the game doesn't punish you for building first and figuring it out later. There are numerous options for establishing food, storage, health, happiness, and resource gathering. There are even multiple housing options to prevent every house or building in the village from looking the same.

Solid progression system

The way that everything interacts with each other is also a nice touch. "Land of Vikings" is similar to other strategy sims in that, for example, you need iron from a mine in order for the blacksmith to produce weapons, which you need to train warriors, which you need for exploring, raiding, and protection. The progression flows well and if you plan properly, it functions like a well-oiled machine. If you don't properly plan out your strategy, well ... you become your own worst enemy, which is always a fair component to have in any decent colony survival game.


Progression for new buildings is determined, at times, by how far you have explored the Tree of Life. This is a popular trope in many world-building games, so it was more or less expected in this game. The Tree of Life's interface and its different branching options are fun to explore. As with everything else, it's easy to get sucked into playing for longer than planned as you work toward unlocking the next branch. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with unlocking a new building or ship, and "Land of the Vikings" captures that perfectly.

Building a better tomorrow

"Land of the Vikings" operates as advertised and does not disappoint, even in its Steam Early Access phase. Other players seem to agree, considering its "Very Positive" rating. There tends to be a fear nowadays that a game as grand and far-reaching as "Land of the Vikings" is not going to be developed enough to be worth playing, but that's just not the case here. This game is fun. It's a great experience right away, ultimately leading to plenty of hours of enjoyable world-building as it captures your attention and never lets go. "Land of the Vikings" is a breath of fresh air for an Early Access game and a title that fans of the genre will likely be spending plenty of time with as it heads toward its official launch that is tentatively scheduled for roughly a year from now.


A Steam code was provided to SVG for this preview. "Land of the Vikings" is available now for PC via Steam Early Access.