Complex but enjoyable excursion into history
This follow-up to the equally interesting strategy game Kingdoms of England might not be exactly original stuff, but it does what it sets out to do with a reasonable amount of style and comes recommended for strategy lovers. As the name suggests, it's a historical slice of strategy wargaming which plays out in turn-based fashion and with up to six human or computer controlled players duking it out for glory. Each player takes on the mantle of a lord in medieval England with the overall goal of becoming King. This one might not be for genre newcomers, as right from the start things are quite complex, with players given total control over all aspects of your kingdom and which might prove daunting for some. If you're a veteran though, then the challenge offered by successfully managing both the military and economic aspects will prove satisfying and thrilling in equal measure. You can play the game either against humans or computer enemies, with the former proving more entertaining but the latter is also equally enticing as it tests your skills in slightly different ways, requiring players to use a more subtle approach to deal with the computer's blunter play style. Visually, Vikings is nothing spectacular but the interface is clean and simple, and is backed up by an intuitive mouse-driven control system which makes getting into the game a breeze. Of course, once you delve in further it becomes more difficult but the control system is never likely to hinder your tactics. As far as historical strategy games go, this is good stuff, with the right level of detail and challenge to keep old-hands playing for hours so if you're into this sort of thing and have played Kingdoms of Germany then have a good look at this one.