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Northgard

After years of tireless explorations, brave Vikings have discovered a new land filled with mystery, danger and riches: Northgard. The boldest Northmen have set sail to explore and conquer these new shores, bring fame to their Clan and write history through conquest, trading, or devotion to the Gods. That is, if they can survive the dire Wolves and Undead Warriors roaming the land, befriend or defeat the giants, and survive the harshest winters ever witnessed in the North. Build your settlement on the newly discovered continent of Northgard Assign your vikings to various jobs (Farmer, Warrior, Sailor, Loremaster...) Manage your resources carefully and survive harsh winters and vicious foes Expand and discover new territory with unique strategic opportunities Achieve different victory conditions (Conquest, Fame, Lore, Trading...) Play against your friends or against an AI with different difficulty levels and personalities
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

This review is for single-player only...
When I first saw the 'Northgard' store page, it reminded of games like 'Age Of Empires', 'Civilization', and 'Settlers'. These types of games are my favorite, so I bought 'Northgard', and all of the DLC clans.
PRO
It's a nice game. I like the graphics. I like the scenarios. Controls are fairly easy to work. Each section of land you conquer has limited space for constructing buildings, so resource management is VERY important. The game clock runs through the seasons, and you need more wood and food during the Winter, so plan accordingly. Most of your regular citizen jobs are "set-it-and-forget-it" types. For example, assign a citizen to chop wood, and as long as things are going good you'll never have to mess with that citizen again. Just check on your "job slots" now and then to make sure they are still filled.
CON
I wish I hadn't spent so much money buying all of the DLC clans. Game play doesn't seem to be that much different when using another clan. For many players, just playing the base game would be satisfactory enough without the extra clans.

Review from Steam

Decent game, but the last thing I want to see after purchasing a game is a bunch of "Buy Now" buttons on the title screen.

Review from Steam

Fun game, Wish the Ai didn't just auto target the player all the damn time tho.

Review from Steam

Innovating the genre
I played a lot of RTS games in the past, and have experienced firsthand many different skill levels and sources of joy from these games. But eventually, like most people, I gave up on them. There are multiple factors to explain why they have fallen out of favor, but to me the biggest of all is how input-demanding they all were if you really want to get good at them. As a kid you could simply play the campaign, build an immense army and then win the game all in one go. Against friends at that age, no one knew what they were doing so it was usually a simple but chaotic fun game. But nowadays everyone has access to basic strategies, and the players got much better. The amount of strategies possible in these kind of games are really cool but all of them require you to play really fast, having a lot of actions per minute (APM). It gets to the point it's actually stressful playing a match and I'd get tired from a short play session.

Northgard solves the problem I mentioned above and many others from this genre. It's a modern take on RTS games and many mechanics changed dramatically from classics, a lot of them for the best. By modern I mean not only innovative but also accessible, and it's orders of magnitude more accessible than any other game from the genre. The accessibility comes primarily from eliminating a lot of the required "micro" actions the player would have to manage in a regular RTS game. Note though that it IS NOT in any way a dumbed down version of the regular gameplay loop, the engaging gameplay is still there but now you can actually take your time executing your strategy and if you really liked the micro then don't worry, some of it made through and still feel really meaningful while also not overwhelming the player. The simplest things like villagers being generated automatically changes so much how the game could be played and as soon as you try it you won't want to go back to the old way.
A few mechanics were added to compensate this change, and they were all really well thought out. Winter is one of them, and it affects two of your main resources and usually your military power. So 1/4 of the game is spent in this state with harsher conditions and it's something you have to actively think about and accomodate within your strategy. Another mechanic is making the environment hostile. You'll find plenty of creatures, hazards, neutral factions (that can become either allies or enemies depending on how you treat them) and even events. Events are some specific occurences that happens to all players and is announced ahead of time so the players can react and adjust to. These are overall great additions and it adds a layer unexplored in the genre, making you to deal with the environment as well as your opponent.
I want to go more in depth about adapting and there is a crucial mechanic that makes it work so well. The map is divided in tiles, and you'll gain territory by gaining control of these tiles one by one. Starting out the game you'll have only one tile, and no vision of what's around you. The darkened tiles are equivalent to the fog of war, and must be scouted before you can conquer them. In these tiles there will be multiple different resources that you need and even the tile itself could have some special effect. Resources location can be adjusted with map generation but are pretty fair by default while also not being the same every single time, so that the player has to adapt and play the cards they were dealt. One last thing about tiles is that they prevent the conventional "rushing" which was a big part of being forced to play fast in older RTS games.
Another thing this game explores much further with impressive results are alternate win conditions. It's not a new thing but here there are 4 default win conditions and could have a 5th depending on the map you're playing. Some of the clans will have a specialty but by no means they are forced to go for that specific win condition. The important takeaway is that they're all viable, and most clans can go for most of them under certain conditions. It's a cool element to consider and strategize, especially in team games.
This also brings me to the next topic: the clans and the variety among them. In the base game the clans are simple, but still pretty distinct from one another. The additional clans (which unfortunately are extra content you have to pay for, although they are not expensive and often go on sale along with the game) are really fun and introduce a lot of unique mechanics, making the game experience a lot more varied. Some of them turn base apsects of the game on its head and their strategies can vary wildly from more conventional clans. Another one of the things that differentiate one clan from another is the knowledge tree, one of the two talent trees in this game that are also great additions to make every match feel different. The other talent tree does not change but help accomodate different strategies, allowing for more ways to play the same clan.
Even in game modes this game can bring something new to the table. Conquest is a 2 player co-op campaign where every level has permanent buff during the campaign for each player and wildly different objectives and game rules. These are a lot harder than regular matches against AI because of the different obstacles and goals and also play pretty differently, making for a really fun experience where team play is essential.
To top it all off, the norse mythology theme is such a good choice as it ties itself with the mechanics and make for a very easy to present game, with familiar creatures and relics that also allows the team to have some creativity and create some different units with fun effects. The rest of the presentation also makes the effort to keep things simple but still very effective and it's very clear for example in the UI where a lot of useful information is available at a glance and simple tooltips complement them very well.
With all of these steps in the right direction, Northgard really is, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air and the future of RTS.

Review from Steam

Over 1000 hours. It's a great game that you will get hours of enjoyment from. The Dev's are very active years after game release. A rare gem. 10 out of 10.

Review from Steam

I'm now creeping up on 1,000 hours in Northgard over about two years, so it seems I like this game.
The other day a friend asked how I've racked up so many hours, and at the time, I answered that it was easy to jump in and do a match without too much investment. I'm a chronic procrastinator, and I feel like I can't start a game with a long campaign bc I should be doing other RL things. Ironically, I still spend a lot of time in this game when I should be doing other things, but I feel less guilty about it, since it's just one match here, one match there, lol.
Part of it is me achievement hunting. Part of it is, when life stresses me out, this is my go-to game. It scratches my relaxation itch with the city building aspect, and my accomplishment itch with the contests, domination and achievements. I can play easy or hard depending on whether I'm wanting more relaxation or more challenge at the time, so it's versatile in regards to what I'm looking for in a game.
I'm also a sucker for pretty graphics and good music, and this game has both. And I just really like Viking stuff.
The devs are also very active. They release a lot of content updates, so the game is constantly evolving. Getting new mechanics to learn every now and again keeps things fresh. I really appreciate that.
I did get the bug on the Krowns and Daggers update that reset my profile victory stats, which was depressing since I've been working on my clan mastery achievements, but the devs were pretty quick about releasing a patch. When that patch didn't fix the profile for me personally, they also let you know who to contact for individual help, and my profile was successfully restored this morning. (Thank you, Boris!)
I'm not competitive, so don't play online matches except with friends, (I'm sure I would be crushed immediately if I attempted ranked), and my current taste in games is largely sim / management type, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone with similar tastes who's also looking to add a little challenge and variety to gameplay. Challenge varies widely from being a complete breeze on personalized easy mode to being near impossible on Conquest extreme mode (I've managed to finish only 1 extreme conquest).
As far as being an RTS, it's may not be as versatile and technical as you might want, but I think it has solid strategy mechanics, with enough flexibility to allow for different play styles.
Overall, def recommended, one of my favorite games, and my go-to for the last few years.

Review from Steam

a rough calculation says I've spent ~2.7% of my life playing this game in the last 4.5 years
please buy it so they make more content for me