Choosing a new MMO game (massively multiplayer online game, for those who haven't heard the term before) for mobile is tough. After all, it's an ever more crowded marketplace, and you want to make sure you pick one worthy of an investment of your time; you're likely to spend a large chunk of your life devoting precious hours to building your latest empire, collecting resources, and generally making sure you're in the ascendency.
With this in mind, it was with a hefty dose of excitement that we reviewed Plarium's Vikings: War of Clans, partly to capitalise on the recent suggestion that gaming at work can actually make you more productive after lunch, but also just for the fun of it. The game currently boasts a 4.4/5 rating on the Google Play Store, so it's clear that those who are playing it have enjoyed it so far.
Engaging Directives and City Names
After initially downloading the app, which is available for free for both iOS and Android, the first play through of the game does what all good games should do: it gives you a basic idea of what to do and how to best navigate around the first few challenges. The game uses a helpful, directive style that encourages you to get your city ready for the wider world and the battles you will soon undertake against other cities.
Directive openings to games can be frustrating if you're the type who likes diving into a new title, but the tutorial here really does help with an understanding of Vikings' core mechanics. You're even allowed to release any frustration as the directives demand that you attack another city before you have finished with the rundown (don't worry, no warriors were lost in our first battle!). After this, the game encourages you to take part in some more creative tasks like setting up the name of your city (this website should help you to find a suitably traditional and imposing name for yours).
Serious Graphics and Light-hearted Animations
As for the important parts, the game runs smoothly, with stand-out graphics that brilliantly highlight the level of detail required to enjoy the game. The fun little animations of your mercenaries and slayers practising their attacking moves also add an element of light-hearted entertainment. Perhaps more importantly, the screen doesn't feel crowded when you're playing and the buttons you need, including the all-important global map that helps you to see where you will next pillage from, are easy to keep in sight at all times.
Vikings: War of Clans allows for a sensible balance between being able to concentrate on getting your city to a pristine level so you can produce resources through your farms, forges and lumber mills, and allowing you the time needed to train up an army so that you can enjoy interacting with other players.
If you're keen on strategy games and have an interest in anything viking, or you simply just get a kick out of wiping out your enemies' cities and destroying the hard efforts of others (don't pretend that doesn't apply to you, we've all got a thrill from it!), this is definitely an MMO game worth your time in 2017.