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Viking RTS Northgard is out of early access and available now on PC

Developer Shiro Games’ Viking-themed real-time strategy Northgard has now properly released on Steam, following a year of early access development.

Northgard has attracted a decent amount of praise from strategy fans over the last 12 months. On a basic level, it’s a lot like the classic Settlers series, insofar as you’re tasked with establishing a settlement and slowing building it up through careful exploration, resource management, and expansion. In practice though, it has a rhythm and pace all of its own, thanks to some atypical design choices that set it apart from its peers.

Its big distinction is that each map is split into separate zones, which you’ll need to individually scout, rid of enemies, and finally colonise in order to grow your settlement.

Vital workers – ranging from woodcutters and farmers to warriors and healers – must be manually hired from your extremely limited pool of citizens, and then assigned to zones by constructing specialist buildings. More citizens can be attracted by constructing houses, but Northgard’s strategy thrives on limitations, and there’s only so much you can build per zone. Already that’s a lot of tough, interesting choices you’ll need to make in order to expand.