Review: Tribes of Midgard lands as a standout cooperative survival endeavor

The year is 2016. You wake up in the morning to find that the world has changed. The last year was one of the most aggressive you have ever seen, and it has left the world in ruins. Most people have simply perished and the few lucky enough to escape are struggling to rebuild their lives from the ground up. In the midst of this suffering, a group of survivors has banded together and decided to make a new life for themselves. This is their story.

Few games have successfully managed to capture the scope of the RPG genre the way that developer Red Hook Studios created with their collaborative effort Tribes of Midgard — a game that caught the attention of Quester Vani. In an effort to provide our readers with a better understanding of what Tribes of Midgard was all about, we reached out to one of our contributing editors, Caleb Ahles, to answer some of our readers questions about the game. We also asked him to provide some additional insight on why the game is worth your attention. Here, in addition to the editorial, is Ahles’ review of Tribes of Midgard, which can be found at the following URL: http://battleofbanners.com/blog/2017

The world of Narnia needs more games like it.  Tribes of Midgard is that game.  It’s a game about the nature of society.  It’s a game about the nature of faith. It’s a game about the nature of survival.  It’s a game about why we fight, and why we also live in peace.

Norsfell’s Tribes of Midgard is a difficult survival game in which cooperation is required and stretching oneself too thin is anticipated. There is seldom enough time to collect sufficient resources for your town and prepare it for Ragnarök’s last days. Thankfully, everything can still be accomplished with the help of your character’s strong abilities and planned preparation with your friends. 

Tribes of Midgard’s gaming cycle is constantly gratifying. When you start a new session in the procedurally created environment, it seems fresh enough that things don’t feel like they’re repeating themselves. Tribes of Midgard keeps you engaged in the game just long enough before it gets tepid, much like a warming brew. You can play this game by yourself, but it’s ideal to play in a group of four people.

Keeping up with Sköll and Hati

Norsfell Games provided this image.

Each game will need you and your party to collect resources in order to equip your characters with magical equipment while also constructing fortifications for your town. You’ll be protecting the heart of your town, which is home to the Yggdrasil tree. You lose when the tree collapses and the souls stored inside it reach zero. Every night, Helheim’s troops come to besiege the village in order to cut down the tree. On day 14, Fimbulwinter arrives, bringing with it a perpetual darkness that allows numerous Helheim troops to assault until your defenses are overwhelmed.

Every few days, a terrifying Jötunn appears in Midgard and spawns somewhere near the map’s boundary. It takes many days for the enormous monster to approach you and your town, forcing you to confront it at some point – preferably sooner rather than later. They have the ability to completely destroy your tree in a matter of seconds, making them a constant danger throughout the game.

Defending the tree at night and fighting the invading Jötunn divert your attention away from the time-consuming job of collecting valuable resources, forcing you to choose between the two. Furthermore, some of these materials are only available at night. With so much going on, teamwork is essential to guarantee that everyone is on top of at least one job. The sun and moon become important characters in each session, altering the mood as they appear.

Roll the bones in your hands.

1629328577_188_Review-Tribes-of-Midgard-lands-as-a-standout-cooperative-survivalNorsfell Games provided this image.

Specific resources may seem to be more difficult to locate in your randomly created environment than others. Thankfully, the merchants and sorcerers with whom you may barter for any hard-to-find goods balance the random creation. It’s a mechanism that doesn’t completely abandon you if things don’t go your way as the game progresses.

Some RNG elements, such as when a higher-level area spawns closer to the town, may be aggravating. It may close off whole sections of the map until you return with far superior equipment, which might be an hour later. There are, however, workarounds, such as sprinting across it to the other side to activate quick travel spots. 

All players have access to an open-world construction system that allows them to build ramps to reach bridges or platforms to stroll over them. While the platforms are great since they’re flat, the ramps you use to reach cliffs may get quite complicated due to the pathing and the restrictions of putting them down. We mostly avoided them since they were more trouble than they were worth.

Einherjar is a big fan of teamwork.

1629328578_732_Review-Tribes-of-Midgard-lands-as-a-standout-cooperative-survivalNorsfell Games provided this image.

When I concentrated on a particular job and saw how it helped everyone else in a team, it felt very gratifying. During a Tribes of Midgard session, there’s a lot to accomplish. It’s possible to see a whole team collapse and the Yggdrasil become dust without someone working on village upkeep, Jötunn duties, resource management, or night defense.

A simple goal could be to sprint from one end of the map to the other, unlocking all of the fast travel stations along the way. These make it simpler for your whole squad to move around the map, hunting down the materials they need and putting the final touches to a gate or an arrow tower. Unfortunately, without good team management, a Tribes of Midgard session only lasts a few days until a Jötunn comes. 

In a single-player or two-player session, this approach makes it difficult for games to run effectively. You can make some progress, but you’ll always feel as if you’re drowning and have no means of getting to the top. You can fit ten people into a game, and although the enemies scale, four players is the sweet spot.

The final decision

1629328578_18_Review-Tribes-of-Midgard-lands-as-a-standout-cooperative-survivalNorsfell is the source of this image.

A typical Tribes of Midgard session lasts around two hours and fifteen minutes. From start to end, that’s the ideal length of time for the gaming cycle to never outstay its welcome. Survival games may be intimidating when they continue for many hours, and much more so when you hop in and out with pals over several days. 

While the RNG components may get you into a lot of difficulty, you can rapidly get out of it by adjusting to the circumstance. However, you’ll very certainly come into additional problems with the construction mechanics, which should be improved.

Tribes of Midgard is best played with three other people, and if you can put a group together, it becomes a gratifying experience that never gets old. Skol!

+ A satisfying roguelite survival loop
+ A game that emphasizes teamwork and makes working together seem rewarding.
+ The sessions are over in a decent amount of time.
The importance of having a dependable group of companions throughout the duration of the adventure
Minor gameplay and technical flaws, such as the ramp construction flaws

This review was produced with the use of a game code supplied by the publisher.

Getting lost in a sea of role-playing games can be difficult, but here’s a game that’s a little different. In Tribes of Midgard, you’re not the hero, but a member of a tribe that has banded together to survive. The game is inspired by Norse mythology, which makes sense, given the game’s art style. The gameplay is similar to other survival games: you scavenge for resources, craft weapons and build defenses, and explore dungeons. The key difference is that instead of fighting against hordes of hostile creatures, you’re competing against other tribes.. Read more about tribes of midgard golden egg and let us know what you think.

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