Review Northgard (Switch)

Game: Northgard
Genre: Real Time Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Xbox, PS4)
Developer|PublisherShiro Games|Stride PR
Age Rating: EU 12+|US E10+
Price: €34.99| $34.99|  £31.49
Release Date: 26th September 2019

Review code used, with many thanks to Stride PR

Originally released on Steam in 2018 Northgard is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game based around Norse mythology and the fearless warriors, the Vikings.

Let’s meet our brave Viking Clan

A brave Viking clan set out on a long and dangerous journey to discover new land, after many years of exploration they discover the ideal land they have been searching for.

They plan to conquer, explore, trade, conquer some more and make a name for their great clan in the history books. However, many great obstacles stand in their way, Giants and undead warriors and not forgetting the many wolves that roam the land. Their biggest obstacle could be Mother Nature herself as the seasons changes and very harsh winters  become the norm for the Viking Clan. Can they survive?


Victory conditions like in Civilization

After the opening story of Northgard you get to pick which Clan of Vikings you would like to lead. There are 6 to chose from. Each Clan has a different starting bonus similar to other RTS games such as the Civilization series. Once you have chosen your Clan it’s up to you to make the most of the sparse land you have arrived on. Expand your borders and provide for your clan with the end goal of reaching one of the victory conditions such as conquest, lore or trading to achieve a win.

Your clan starts off with not much in the way of resources. Building a woodcutters cabin for wood and building a field  to grow crops for food is the first order of the day. Having a fishing hut is a must as during winter crops don’t grow in the fields and you wouldn’t want your Viking to starve to death come their first winter, now would you?

Sparse conditions, let’s get to building

The  building menu is pulled up by the press of a button and appears on screen in a wheel, flick the joy-con to the building you want and you get to chose where to build it. A scout camp is important as you will need scouts to find new areas of land. Once the resource buildings are constructed a military camp to train some Vikings is the next step to take. You can train some of the members of the clan into warriors to defend your land from evil threats and conquer new land.


Arriving on Northgard, it’s just a small portion of land that you own. As your population grows and you claim new territory, your land of course increases in size as does your population. You can understand there is always something needing to be taken care off. Some tasks take a while for your clan to complete and unfortunately there is no speed up option which is usual for this style of game. Just don’t be expecting things to be done in a big hurry.

As you complete the objectives you earn skill points. Or in this case, staying with the Norse theme, it’s Lore you earn, using this on the Lore Tree you can have added bonuses, like increasing your military attack power during battles.


Learning at a steady pace and multiplayer

The seasons in Northgard play a big part in the game as during winter, when the snow is on the ground, the food production of the clan drops dramatically and you need to plan ahead for this.

Each element of Northgard is introduced to the player through the story mode at a steady pace. Never too quickly, so you won’t feel overwhelmed. You are given a few objectives to complete on each level and there are various obstacles put in your way.


Disasters can occur, it’s not all plain sailing for your clan on Northgard. For instance, a plague of rats and some Norse inspired calamities like Draugr warriors and valkyries may come visiting. However Northgard does let you know in advance when these disasters are going to occur so you can plan ahead for them.

Northgard offers a solo story mode and single player mode where you can chose the game settings  such as the size of the map to victory conditions. Multiplayer is also an option where you can create a game against the AI or join a game with a friend.


Heavy use of the zoom function on the Switch

The music and sound effects fit perfectly with the Norse theme though the music does get a bit repetitive after a long play session.

Similar to other RTS games there can be a lot of icons on the screen at once all with various information in them however it never distracts from the gameplay.

The same can’t be said for the size of the font used in the writing, it may not look very small in the pictures attached to this review but on the Nintendo Switch screen the writing is minuscule especially during the story cut scenes. The zoom feature on my Switch sure does get a work out when im playing Northgard.


All joy-con controls work seamlessly and the menus are easy to navigate and easy to pick up. There are no touchscreen controls and I feel this style of game would benefit from touchscreen controls.


Indie Developer Shiro Games has made an engaging and fun real time strategy game. Other than my complaint about the size of the writing, Northgard is an enjoyable and challenging game. Its different modes of play offer the player lots of replay value.

If your a fan of the RTS genre Northgard is certainly worth a place on your Nintendo Switch.

I like it a lot!
I like it a lot!

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