Valhalla Hills (Funatics Software)

Valhalla Hills (Funatics Software)

Facebook
Like Valhalla Hills on Facebook
Like Funatics on Facebook

Twitter 
Follow Valhalla Hills on Twitter
Follow Funatics on Twitter

Website
Check out the official Valhalla Hills Website

Discussion
Give the developers feedback on the Steam Discussion Page

Purchase
Buy your Early Access copy on the Steam Store page 

Vikings are normally associated with fighting, pillaging and sailing, but Valhalla Hills from Funatics Software drops these Germanic Norse seafarers in a city building setting instead. In place of raiding and trading, the Vikings are trying to get into Valhalla after Odin decided to close the gates. The Norse god was clearly in a bit of a bad mood as he also exiled his son Leko for being more interested in building than the family business of battles and booze. This is good news for the Vikings though, as with the help of Leko they might attain enough honor to get to Valhalla.

Valhalla Hills is currently out on Steam Early Access and is already in a very playable shape. The developers behind this title has worked on The Settlers 2 and Cultures series, which definitely shows. Although it is a city-building strategy title, it is very accessible and gets straight to the fun without having to micro manage everything. Instead, you are given randomly generated levels where your goal is to reach and open a portal to move on to the next island. Before doing so you’ll want to prepare your Vikings first as they’ll have to deal with the portal guardians before they can move on.

Building your village is as easy as selecting structures from the production, logistics or military menus and then letting your Vikings get on with the construction. You don’t have any direct control over your Vikings and instead they will automatically assume whatever job openings are available. All you need to do is create housing, harvest resources and keep your Vikings fed. If you want to take the exit portal by force you also need to amass an army, but with sacrifices it is also possible to move on in a more peaceful manner. The game features three speed settings, so you don’t have to sit around and wait for things to happen either. Completing each level unlocks a bunch of new buildings, skills and variables to make the next one a bit more challenging and interesting. There are tutorials that explain everything, but it doesn’t take very long to master the basics.

Since the game uses the Unreal 4 engine it looks impressive and features some very detailed visuals. The randomly generated islands look great, as does the Vikings and animals roaming about. The day/night cycle really shows off the lighting effects and you can zoom in to really appreciate the attention to detail. The map can also be rotated to a limited degree, but always snaps back into place. We didn’t encounter any major bugs or glitches during our time with the game and the developers have already released an extensive update to address issues reported by players.

Valhalla Hills is definitely shaping up to be a very entertaining game and there is already plenty of fun to be had in the Early Access version. The game is streamlined enough that even players who are not normally fans of complex strategy titles will be able to appreciate it. This doesn’t mean that the game is dumbed down though. Since the basics are already in place it will be interesting to see how Funatics Software continues to build upon the idea.

*Preview based on Valhalla Hills Update 0.10.16.

Related posts

Freaking Meatbags (Wild Factor)

Freaking Meatbags is set in a world where puny humans are even lower on the food chain than lowly cleaning robots. You don't play as a human in the game though, but as the lowly cleaning robot, named Chip by the way, who has to wrangle the meatbags into performing some labor. Chip is given this unpleasant task after getting on the wrong side of his boss and to make matters worse, he is ordered to protect the humans under his command. This is not an easy feat seeing as his job is to gather resources from planets in a solar system that is on the brink of exploding. Then there is also the small matter of roving bands of wild robots that attack at night.

Wrack (Final Boss Entertainment)

Wrack is an arcade style first person shooter that provides you with plenty of guns, aliens to use them on and then lets you get on with the fun. It is also a game that doesn't believe in weapon carry limits, hiding behind cover or regenerating health. The result is a lean and mean shooter that doesn't get bogged down in scripted sequences or boring quick time events.

Press X to Not Die

Press X to Not Die

Combining quick time events with nothing more than full motion videos sound like a recipe for disaster and yet Press X Not To Die is way more fun than it has any right to be. Designed to be a throwback to the “interactive movie” titles of the early 90s, the game throws you headfirst into what seems to be a zombie apocalypse. The whole town is in chaos, people are viciously attacking each other and the only advice you got from a friend before he is murdered is to “press X not to die.”

Drifter (Celsius Game Studios)

Drifter (Celsius Game Studios)

While I never got into Elite, I spent countless hours playing Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters. As much as I enjoyed the open world aspect of those games, the combat was really a pain, not to mention the bugs. There have been other titles, such as Privateer and Freelancer, but Drifter reminds me the most of those Frontier titles.

Super Toy Cars (Eclipse Games)

If you didn't play Micro Machines on the 16 bit consoles or Re-Volt during the Playstation era then you have missed out on some quality arcade racing. Fortunately, Eclipse Games can help you to redress the balance with their Early Access title, Super Toy Cars.

Next Car Game (Bugbear)

I still have fond memories of epic LAN games involving FlatOut and its sequel so when Bugbear announced their intentions for a new car game it was hard not to get excited. A failed Kickstarter did nothing to diminish their passion to deliver an uncompromising racing game with sophisticated physics and damage modeling and the game is now available on Steam Early Access.

1 Comment

  1. Eerikki September 1, 2015
    Reply

    Big Viking fan so this is going straight to my wishlist.

Leave a comment

sixteen − eight =