Australia is experiencing its very own Viking invasion. 1,200 years after they invaded Britain in their longboats, the Vikings are now capturing the hearts and minds of Aussie gamers via the internet and gaming consoles.
Viking games have always had a following, but this year, they are trending in Australia like never before. Interestingly, the Viking games that have got Australians hot under the collar are an eclectic mix of old classics and brand new titles on early access. Let’s take a look at them.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – an instant classic for RPG players
The Assassin’s Creed series has always been a strong seller in Australia with a loyal band of players. Valhalla was released in 2020, and although it did not sell as quickly on its initial release as its predecessor, sales actually accelerated after the first year, making it the most popular game in the franchise’s history.
The action begins in the Norwegian snowscapes, from where you must venture across the seas to carry out various tasks in medieval England. For Australia’s thousands of RPG fans, this is manna from heaven.
Thunderstruck 2 – the casino classic that keeps on giving
Released in 2010, Thunderstruck has occupied a top-three spot among Australia’s fanatical pokies community since time immemorial. Microgaming gave the game a bit of a refresh in 2020 to sharpen up the graphics, but gameplay really hasn’t changed in 13 years. It is as popular online as it is in Australia’s big city casinos. There have been some questions about using platforms online due to threatened difficulties with Australian banks, but most users opt for online casinos accepting Neosurf or Bitcoin to avoid any potential issues.
As for the game itself – it’s a standard five reel slot with 243 ways to win. The Norse mythology theme is strongly reflected through the symbols, graphics and of course the famous Wildstorm feature, which randomly triggers. This can turn one to five of the reels fully wild. Enter the Great Hall of Spins and you can play free spin features based on Thor, Odin, Loki and Valkyrie.
Valheim – Australia gets in early again
Australia is almost as famous for getting first dibs on new games as it is for its casino pokies. This one is a survival game based in the Nordic version of purgatory and created by Swedish studio Iron Gate studio.
It starts out as fairly standard sandbox fare, but once you get started building and exploring your surroundings, the game can take off in unexpected directions. Play solo or in cooperation with up to nine players. It’s highly addictive, so make sure you’re ready to dedicate some long hours, especially if you’re going into it with friends.
Volgarr the Viking is a retro legend
From a cutting edge multi player sandbox game, we are next blasted back to the glorious 8-bit days of the 1980s. Volgarr the Viking is showing a whole new generation of Aussie fans what gaming was like in the glory days, and is available on Steam.
The game takes its retro design cues from classics like Ghosts n Goblins and Rastan. The player must guide the eponymous Volgarr on a quest to defeat a dragon with the usual assortment of treasure chests, obstacles and power ups along the way.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice scores high with female players
Gaming used to be a male-dominated pursuit, but all that changed around the turn of the millennium. Still, it took game designers a while to get the memo. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is one of the first games of its time to feature a female lead who is fully dressed and does more than sit around waiting to be rescued. Perhaps that is why it is still trending in Australia.
The game is a mixture of combat and psychological thriller, complete with an unreliable narrator, the title character, who just might be losing her mind.