Sons of Valhalla Review

Developer: Pixel Chest

Platform: PC

Genre: Action, RPG

Publisher: Hooded Horse


Sons of Valhalla is a Viking RPG strategy game. The game is developed by Pixel Chest and published by Hooded Horse and Hooded Horse Inc. Games that are similar to Sons of Valhalla are Kingdom: Two Crowns, Kingdom: New Lands, etc. This review was done for the PC, but the game is also available on GeForce Now. 

Sons of Valhalla is a single-player game. You start off the game with a cutscene that sets the story for the game. A brother is writing a letter to another brother and telling him about how he needs to save ‘her’ from Valgard. Valgard was last seen heading to England, and he believes the woman is still alive and wants to go rescue her. You play as the brother, Thorald, who is off to find Valgard to pay for what he did to his father and village.  It’s a promise he makes to his brother, but he does not realise that bigger problems have come upon him. Their ship sinks due to a storm, and it is up to Thorald to rebuild everything in Asgard.


The controls for Sons of Valhalla are simple and minimal. Once the game has begun, you start with a tutorial, which can be skipped if needed. The controls are through the keyboard and mouse. The mouse is used for attacks and blocks, and the keys on the keyboard are for interaction and such. There are no noticeable delays in the control. Sons of Valhalla is a side-scrolling game, meaning that you go from one side to the other, only moving controls are moving to the left and right. Overall, the controls work very smoothly. 


The art style of this game, in my opinion, is alluring. Everything is very minimalistic, but it works so well with its beautiful pixel art aesthetic. The theme for this game has to do with Vikings, and it’s seen really well through the details of the character design, the ships, the environment and many other things. Even the characters are well-detailed for a simplistic pixelated game.  For example, the beards and the little animations really do add some aspect of realism. The detail in the environment is everything; the layering of the foreground background creates a 3D feel within this 2D game. The attention to detail put in this game is also incredible. The backgrounds are extremely vibrant but also bring so much character to the game. Everything in the game looks so calm and wonderful. This game is hectic, but it’s hectic with elegance.


On top of that, the soundtrack and the sound effects are fitting, too. I do have to say that the art style and sounds complement one another to create this chaotic yet proud environment. Sound effects like the painting of Thorald, the shooting of arrows, and the construction of buildings really help the players feel like they are actually in the game. The music is also so settling: it’s mellow mediaeval music that daunts over a true Viking-like mood. The aesthetic of this game is beyond wonderful and so pleasing to look at and play with.


The game offers two modes: campaign and horde mode. Completion of campaign mode allows for the unlock of horde mode. Horde mode gives you a massive unit cap to begin with, which differs from the starting of a campaign run. Campaign mode has three difficulties that allow for the players to truly challenge themselves: Normal, Hard and Hell. Hard and Hell mode also comes with modifications to ease players into it. 

What I like about Sons of Valhalla is that, at first, it does seem like it would be similar to the Kingdom series games, but it is quite different. This game focuses heavily on combat and colony sim management, which makes it much more challenging, meaning that players really need to strategize their upgrades, builds and more. It definitely is difficult, even in normal mode, but I quite like the challenging aspect of this game. The game is not just upgrading builds but also incorporates roguelite elements, which makes it even more interesting. In a way, there’s a mix of a lot of different mechanics and elements, which makes it complicated, but you eventually get used to it. 


The game also has stages, and after each stage, there is a cartoonish-looking boss that you need to defeat to progress with the game. I found the combat was balanced at times, and at other times, the enemies were a bit too tanky, which did not entirely level out the playing field and was a bit frustrating. In addition to this, some commands allowed for controlling your troop, which were wonky at times, but past this, the game was fun. It was fun to build up the area and try to upgrade buildings and troops whilst figuring out the best way to take down enemies. The game is highly inspired by the Kingdom games but tries to set itself apart by introducing different elements/mechanics. 

Sons of Valhalla is an extremely enjoyable, pleasant, strategic game that has a great story-driven appeal with an exciting Viking mediaeval theme. The game gives a wondrous experience, which dives into a journey where you meet people and try to save to build up a colony to take down Valgard. If this is a game that sounds good to your liking, then definitely go check out Sons of Valhalla! 

Overall: 8/10

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