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Vikings is a fun but little-known adventure/strategy hybrid that was originally released for Windows 3.1, although it runs fine in Windows 95/98 with 256 colors. In this unique game, you play the chief of a Viking tribe in the 9th century. At the start of the game, you pick your nationality (Norway, Sweden, or Denmark), and pick your ruling land, then decide the difficulty level and your advantage. Then it's off to the high seas and beyond...
As the ruler of your land, you have two choices. You can stay at home and govern, and this helps your province but doesn't do affect your wealth or fame. Or, you can take your trusted men and go out to fight and gain glory. This part of the game has you sail around or walk on a large map of Northern Europe, and the graphics are still handsome-looking today, although the palette is a bit too dull. Controls are a little sluggish, but you will soon get used to them. Once you land in a town, you can negotiate with the people or attack them. Combats screens are tactical-based where you move your men as units. There are also duel screens where you slug it out with another warrior, arcade-style. In towns, you can pick a building and then talk to the people, look for clues on quests to do, or listen to local news. The music is quite fitting, and the dialogue (missing in this CD-rip) works well with the atmosphere of the game.
Overall, this is a good action/strategy game covering a topic not covered by many other games. It is VERY difficult, but bound to keep an interested gamer busy for quite a while. Best of all, the game is open-ended-- you can stay at home and rule and hardly go out, or you can try to conquer all of Sweden or Norway. None of the sub-parts of the game, like the tactical battles and the duels, are great, but when combined together and the controls learned, you have a good and fun game here. Recommended for all gamers interested in this period and/or want a good challenge.
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Vikings: The Strategy of Ultimate Conquest screenshot
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