Land of the Vikings review — A gridless masterpiece

Land of the Vikings launched on Steam on October 9th, and I was quite excited to jump back into the game after doing a preview of it last November. I walked away with fantastic first impressions, and thankfully the 1.0 release was just as spectacular as I’d hoped it would be!

Land of the Vikings - Official 1.0 Release Trailer

Land of the Vikings is a survival colony sim game, where you play as the village Jarl who must guide your Vikings to lead a prosperous life. It is very much along the lines of similar titles in the genre in the fact you must build, provide for, and defend your village as it grows. But, the real thing that sets Land of the Vikings apart from other titles is the gridless building and absolute ease of the controls and UI.

I was happy to see that there was a lot more polish since my preview, and they tweaked some of the difficulty that made certain things quite brutal, such as the winter season in your first year. The tutorial in story mode guides you along nicely now, and I made it through my first winter with no issues this time around! As mentioned, the ease of building up your city almost makes this game feel like it’s playing itself at times.

It’s wonderful to be able to build your city in any way you see fit, no grids. You can curve roads and rotate buildings. Placing farms is also a breeze, you can stretch them out in any shape you like.

The other thing that makes Land of the Vikings shine is how easy it is to gather resources. You click which resource you want to harvest, and your mouse turns into a paintbrush which you just sweep over the trees or minerals. Your villagers will then head over to collect them. When placing gathering buildings, such as the gatherer hut or cattle ranch, try to get the number on the map as close to 100% as possible, and your villagers will automatically perform their job without needing to intervene.

However, a big part of the success is making sure that you place the proper villager in the job that suits them best, and that they live fairly close to the job. Nobody likes to walk far to get to work, and it will result in much happier Vikings in the long run. Once your buildings are complete, you will see what talent that particular job requires, represented by a symbol such as a fist or a four leaf clover. If you click to add an employee, make sure they match that symbol, and live close by. Once that is situated, it’s smooth sailing.

Another wonderful addition to this brilliant game is that most decorations do more than just boost villagers’ happiness. They also can increase storage capacity of certain buildings, enable your Vikings to walk faster on roads, and even increase the defenses of your village when placed. With the Tree of Life, you can boost your city even more, along with choosing other talents to open up new buildings and skills.

Speaking of decorations, I have to touch on just how gorgeous this game is. If you zoom in, you can see your Vikings performing their tasks in intricate and lifelike detail. Each of them is going about their daily lives, making your little village really feel alive and fluid. The buildings, decorations, even the farms are so well done, it’s a treat to just zoom in and take it all in.

Now, make no mistake, while Land of the Vikings is a joy to play, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely too easy. You will constantly be faced with choices to make, events that pop up, angry Gods to appease. Making sure that everyone has enough food for the winters is a task in and of itself. But I love the balancing act, even if it means Thor got mad at me and struck half my village down just as things were finally starting to work like a well oiled machine. Land of the Vikings loves to throw fun little scenarios at you to keep you on your toes, so making sure you always have room for new Vikings, and plenty of wood and food for the winter is a good habit to get into.

Land of the Vikings is a game that stands out in the survival colony sim genre, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent playing. I love the Norse theming, and the aesthetics, art, and design are top notch. If you enjoy sim games, you really can’t go wrong with Land of the Vikings. It’s currently on Steam for $24.99

Holly Hudspeth is a best-selling author living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has six published novels to date; The Skyy Huntington Series, which is an epic dark fantasy adventure, and One Small Detail, a stand-alone medieval fantasy. Holly also enjoys writing fan fiction based on her avatars from games such as EverQuest, Elder Scrolls Online, and World of Warcraft. Her first major purchase at the established age of nine was the NES, and she has been gaming ever since. She enjoys fantasy games, city builders, RPGs, MMOs, SMITE, and The Sims franchise. Most nights she is in SMITE with her husband and friends, or playing ESO. When she isn't gaming, she is probably either at Disney or planning her next trip there.



Land of the Vikings

Review Guidelines

Land of the Vikings is a beautifully done survival colony sim that takes the genre to the next level with gridless building. The ease of managing your village and the simplicity of the UI are very much appreciated. It makes the hassle of doing mundane tasks for your village so much easier. The art, music, and attention to detail is phenomenal. Being able to build a village in any way I want is so much fun. You will be challenged throughout your game, all the while having a relaxing time watching your little Vikings go about their daily lives. Land of the Vikings is a masterpiece, and I highly recommend it!

Holly Hudspeth

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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