Vikings, vengeance, and victory. The battle is upon us, and it's time to avenge your father's death, retrieve his Regal Horn, and recover your kinghood once and for all. It's everything you can possibly want from a game, and it's finally available on the App Store. I'm talking about Northgard, an RPG and strategy title developed by Shiro Games and published to the App Store by Playdigious.
Right from the start, you need to know that even if you're more into action games and you don't like playing strategy, you'll still enjoy playing this game.
What is Northgard essentially?Sure, you won't fight big enemies and mythological beasts by yourself as you would in God of War, for example. Still, that doesn't make Northgard any less exciting and fun to play. Northgard is a real-time strategy game, where you guide your Vikings to expand throughout the land, find treasures, fight enemies, and gain recognition.
There's a ton of stuff you can do in this game. You can start by embarking on a solo campaign where you need to choose your clan, with each one having different benefits and drawbacks, before setting off to explore a brand new continent. Or you can start the Rig's Saga, where you'll help Rig avenge the death of his father alongside his Vikings.
No matter where you start, two things are for sure: you're going to have fun, and you'll have no idea what you're doing at first. Whether you've played real-time strategy games before or not, you're going to spend some time getting used to how everything works, mainly because the game doesn't teach you everything you can do at first. Sure, you'll have some help throughout the game, but sometimes you'll be wondering what to do next and even screwing things up.
No tutorial is a winThat's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Who loves long in-game tutorials anyways? Plus, having the liberty to win or fail on your own terms is refreshing since they are many games that hold your hand way too often. That said, you need to keep track of many different things at once, including the vacancy, food, your village defense, and the happiness of your crew. As I said, it'll take a while to get used to it.
One thing you need to take into account is the size of the game. Yes, that's a thing. If you're playing on your iPhone, the game might be a bit too small for you. You can play around with this in the game's settings, but even with the largest option available, it might be hard to see what's going on, and you might have a hard time selecting your villagers, even more so if you have big clumsy fingers like yours truly.
Plus, the controls glitch a little bit when you try to move across the map. This might be because of the size, and partially because it is better suited for iPad or probably because this is a port and initially created for consoles and PC. Still, it's just a minor inconvenience, and the game is truly worth it.
No autosave during chapters eitherAnother thing I didn't like about Northgard, which was more than a minor inconvenience, was that it didn't autosave my progress during chapters. I had to close the game a couple of times before finishing a chapter, only to find I had to start said chapter all over again. And they can be pretty long, for that matter. Fortunately, once I discovered the power of manual saving, I didn't have that problem anymore. Still, I was afraid to close the game before saving at least three times in a row.
Story, music and visualsThat's basically everything "bad" I have to say about Northgard. Everything else exceeded my expectations by a landslide. The story is great and compelling. Even if you have bits of the story after every chapter, playing through each area on the map is extremely fun, and you have to figure out the best way to survive and thrive against different beasts, humans, and the weather each passing month brings.
The music is also amazing. Not only is the soundtrack well made and immersive, but the voice of the characters and narration are out of this world. Kudos to the voice actors involved in Northgard; you took the game to a whole different level.
The visuals are top-notch as well. And I'm not talking just about the graphics of the game, but the art style is beautiful and a joy to look at. I spent more time than I should've choosing a clan because the art of each animal was just perfect. You can clearly see how much love was put into this game.
Overall, the good things in Northgard outweigh the bad things by a ton. Northgard is entertaining to play and even relaxing if you just want to create your own little world. Plus, the aesthetics, narration, and art style make this game a joy to play through over and over. If you haven't, I strongly recommend trying Northgard for yourself. Just be warned, you might end up having trust issues when saving.
And once you're done, you can always try other strategy games for iPhone and iPad.
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