Indie Overview: Northgard

Indie Overview: Northgard


A traditional colony management game with some serious Nordic overtones thrown in, is Northgard the perfect way to get into strategy titles?

When it comes to colony management titles, there’s one game that’s at the front of everyone’s mind. But while Northgard might not be the giant in its own niche, it has a unique charm and interesting premise all of its own. That makes it more than worth trying out for fans of the genre and newbies alike.

Themed around a Nordic, Viking-themed map, you’re thrown into the world of Northgard with relatively little ceremony, with tutorial guidance available within actual gameplay for single player mode rather than through an easier ‘tester’ campaign.

For those looking to get right into the meat of the title, the lack of handholding can be fairly liberating, allowing you to carve your own path early on in gameplay. For beginner players, a story mode is available which features more in the way of signposting, though this may not be obvious to new players from the outset.

Northgard doesn’t set itself up to be a passive title in the market. The title makes liberal use of RTS combat and strategic elements in order to keep gameplay interesting in the long-term. Not only does this make each campaign feel a little more organic, it also makes you feel more involved in the world and the lives of your villagers.

One of the ways Northgard differentiates itself from the genre as a whole is with this more active play style. Some management games can feel very much like passively watching a fishbowl or ant farm from above. Northgard strives to keep you involved in the action with this style of combat, making each choice far more meaningful, and making you fully participate in each victory and loss your clan faces.

Under the banner of one of a variety of clans, you can experience Northgard in a range of different ways each time you play. From the relatively peaceful Heidrun, the clan of the Goat, which is largely focused around food production and farming, through the far more bloodthirsty Fenrir, clan of the Wolf, whose main goal is to expand their reach and defeat their foes aggressively. These clans help to boost the variety of gameplay choices within each campaign.

Many different playstyles are incorporated within Northgard’s clan system, with DLCs further adding additional missions and bonuses to choose from. Whether you prefer to build your wealth through woodcutting and sheep farming, or you enjoy the risk and reward of heavy combat, Northgard caters for all. There are even a range of different ‘win states’ available in each campaign to help make each run feel unique.

Additional play factors, such as seasons, further add to the immersion of Northgard’s world, implementing added challenges that force you to consider your stockpiling of food and assignment of villagers to a greater degree. These peaks and troughs are part of what makes the game continue to feel fresh and new, in contrast to other titles, that can often feel stagnant over the period of your play time.

So, for fans of the colony management genre, is Northgard worth the investment? With a relatively low cost, the title is definitely worth adding to your Steam library. The title is ideal for those looking for an enjoyable gameplay session with friends, or for those who simply enjoy cranking up the difficulty and facing the challenge head-on.

Northgard is available now on Steam for just £23.79.

About author

Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Creative Digital Copywriter by day, Indie game fan by night. Give me a rogue-like, simulator or RPG to play and I'm happy.

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