Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Valknut Gameplay Review

I'm playing Valknut, a city building simulation by Dyrnwyn Games.

The game features a ten-mission campaign, randomly generated skirmish modes, and a three-scenario tutorial (although you can’t access the third mission). The interface is entirely too small at high resolutions, there a limited keyboard hotkeys for performing actions, you have to manually rotate buildings (it won’t figure out the correct orientation on its own), and informative tool-tips about population and resources are not present (I have no idea what half of the icons mean, nor how many people work in a building or live in a house). Raw resources (wood, iron, stone, clay) are collected at certain buildings and processed at others (pottery, jewelry, rope, tools); only certain resources can be produced on each island (typically limited to specific crops), which may have had interesting strategic repercussions if the rest of the game was better. People randomly die due to hypothermia or starvation before you have a chance to build the appropriate buildings and even if sufficient supplies are available. Also, resource stocks can fail to grow (especially wood) with no indication as to why (is the wood being used? do you not have enough population to collect wood? is there an extra processing step?). Valknut is an unfinished game that doesn’t provide enough information on how your town is running.