Experience Shameless Conquest
Norse culture has enjoyed a fair bit of popularity as of late. With Skyrim, God of War (2018) and Assassins Creed: Valhalla, Viking Scandinavia is a pretty common setting these days. In fact, modern fantasy owes a lot to Norse mythology, as it influenced Tolkien, the father of the fantasy genre. Simure Vikings is a casual RPG that follows that trend. At first glance, the game appears promising. However, players are in for a surprise—for better or worse.
This RPG comes from Singaporean developer YOUZU(SINGAPORE)PTE.LTD. (also known as YOOZOO Games.) In some ways, it feels like they did their research. The cast is fairly diverse with many characters being non-Norse, which is historically accurate. People often underestimate how much and how far people traveled back then. Simure Vikings also features a good deal of voice acting that is mostly pretty convincing. Unfortunately, the game recycles a substantial amount of voice clips which can become grating. The voices of the children are also pretty bad.
Good, But Nothing Special
The artwork is highly detailed with expert coloring, but it starts to feel uncanny when it’s animated. While the art style impressive, it’s also a bit generic. Simure Vikings just looks like countless other RPGs on the platform. Its writing isn’t exactly exemplary either with it being a stock-standard Viking story. While the writing is fitting for the setting, it really isn’t doing anything new. Those who enjoy historical fiction and medieval fantasy might find the narrative engaging. At least there are some funny lines here and there, however.
A major criticism some have with video games is that they’re largely a bunch of male power fantasies. While one can have an opinion about the medium as a whole, Simure Vikings definitely fits that characterization. One takes control of a jarl (Viking chieftain) with an army who fights for resources, glory and women. Throughout the game, one builds a harem of women along with the army. Tending to one’s harem and making children powers up your army, so it can’t be ignored. Choosing a female avatar makes no difference, which is likely more an oversight than being LGBT-inclusive.
The gameplay of Simure Vikings isn’t exactly difficult or in-depth. Making it through the game is mostly a matter of having the soldiers and strong enough heroes. There really isn’t a whole lot of strategy to it. In fact, it can become repetitive after a while. The game uses the Skinner box approach of lots of little rewards and activities to keep people playing. Of course, there’s crafting and tons of different resources, which can daunt the player. Furthermore, there’s the fact that stages require more resources the further one progresses.
With all the resource management, it should be no surprise that Simure Vikings features grinding and waiting. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that one can pay money to bypass that stuff. Naturally, the game features “charge bonuses” (bonuses for paid packs) and a premium “VIP” currency that’s needed for special content. It even throws ads for paid content in players’ faces upon login. The game is largely pay-to-win. The only challenge is having the patience to not go full whale and spend heavily. Those looking for a Viking RPG with challenge and substance should consider the Banner Saga games.
Is It Hardcore?
It’s not quite there.
Simure Vikings is a casual RPG that’s style over substance. It’s sleazy with its heavy monetization and its pandering to the lowest common denominator via the harem building. Moreover, the game lacks any real challenge. One might find the narrative engrossing, but those looking for engaging gameplay should look elsewhere.