Vikings: War of Clans is a city-building game that follows on the tradition set by Plarium and a few other developers. It’s a game about expanding your realm and fighting for supremacy, but it’s not a groundbreaking design that and doesn’t push the genre forward. However, there are millions of fans of the genre and this is one of the best games that they can try.
I decided to give Vikings: War of Clans a go to discover what is so appealing about the genre. A few hours in and it was easy to see why so many players are hooked to the game.
Vikings: War of Clans is meticulously designed to grab your attention from the outset, beginning with the ease that you can start a game in your browser. The appealing graphics and easy to read user interface contribute to a solid world that is immediately tempting to casual players, with its simple tutorial and initial rewarding sense of progression.
Everything you do nets you some sort of reward; it’s a feeling that keeps you wanting more, as you develop your village and see it come to life. There are plenty of little animations to make it feel lively, with your shiny purple oracle standing out in the middle of the village. The distant snowy peaks are made of a few different graphical layers, adding a nice sense of depth to the bastion. Your troops cheer and train, your little workers are always busy mining and cutting wood, the druids are concocting mysterious potions in their cauldron, and while you may nitpick that the animations are made up of short endless loops, they manage to look good.
Constructing buildings and upgrading them is one of the focus of Vikings: War of Clans and similar strategy games such as Sparta: War of Empires. It’s a satisfying but somewhat repetitive gameplay loop, one that isn’t meant to become your main occupation during the day – this is a game that works best as an alternate way to occupy your journey, as a background task that you’ll check into several times a day to see your progress and unlock further options. It’s like a Tamagotchi of city-building, where you need to take constant care for your village and inhabitants.
There are several systems for hero customization, with various skill trees, gear, and more to constantly spend your hard-earned skills on. During the first hours you’ll find yourself clicking away at more notifications than you can stomach, but progress will eventually iron out this kink. After all, it’s not like you are the only player earning all those rewards, you are just another Viking hero in a mad, mad world.
As your village evolves, there is a whole mass of land out there ripe for exploring and conquering. Training troops is crucial, amassing a respectable army that will set out to capture farms, fighting centurions and monsters, all in a bid to get more resources to use with your people. The process is mostly automatic, with the player allocating the troops for the battle and getting a final report about the clash. It’s a tried-and-test formula that is spruced up when it comes to player-versus-player combat, the core of Vikings: War of Clans after the initial hours of introduction to this world.
Ultimately, Vikings: War of Clans goes from casual to hardcore, as your character and village climb experience levels and engage other players. There is a ruthless competitive side to the game, one where certain building upgrades take several weeks to conclude. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff, with some players unable to withstand the lengthy process of leveling up their hero and village, while others take pride in showing their achievements and power.
While Vikings: War of Clans is a good choice if you plan on dipping your feet into the city-building genre, Nords: Heroes of the North is a viable alternative. Both games share the Norse mythology theme, albeit Nords does so with a cartoon aesthetic.
These games are designed with extreme care and based on a winning formula, although it’s sometimes difficult to pick the better game from such an assorted offer. While the genre could do with some sort of breakthrough, the existing titles should be more than enough to keep you busy for hours.