Valheim is the rare case of a game seemingly coming out of nowhere and smashing sales and player count records. It is competing with the biggest games in the world without the help of streamers and expensive marketing - it’s simply that good. Here’s what makes it the perfect game.
What’s new in Valheim? Nothing
What’s great in Valheim? Everything
“Rust walked so Valheim could run” is practically a meme at this point, but boy is it correct. Valheim steps on the shoulders of genre giants like Minecraft, Rust, Conan Exiles, and ARK: Survival Evolved, only to strip them of their fancy bells and whistles, and boil the formula down to its essentials - keep what’s fun, get rid of everything else. What a champ!
The Big Marketing Campaign
That is to say, the lack of such. Technically, Valheim was announced a couple of years back, but we didn’t pay any attention to it. “Just another survival game”, we thought - “these have been done to death”. Well, well, looks like we were all wrong. This game didn’t need to be promoted by big streamers, YouTubers, and flashy trailers at game events. It’s simply so good that everybody tells their friends to play it, and that’s the best marketing there is.
Theme, mechanics, gameplay loop. These are the three components that form this mighty Voltron. The theme is recognizable, simple, and plain cool - you are a Viking on a quest to impress the gods. As strange as this sounds, everything in Valheim is Viking, and nothing is not-Viking. That’s more than we could say for other Norse-inspired games.
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The game's mechanics are intuitive and streamlined. You need to build a chimney for your fireplace. You need to build a wall, or risk bad guys attacking you. It all comes together nicely.
Lastly, we have the gameplay - it’s addictive! Valheim is definitely one of those “just 10 more minutes and I go to bed” games, and the main reason we haven’t gotten much sleep this past week. That’s kind of impressive.
Let me tell you something about game development - it takes a lot of trial and error. It’s easy to take for granted certain features when they feel right. You smack a tree with an axe and it falls down, right? Wrong. Every feature needs to be carefully thought out, implemented, and then iterated until it hits that sweet spot. Valheim’s mechanics seem simple enough, but trust me - there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work until they felt “just right” — so much so, that we don’t even think about them.
- READ MORE: Valheim Devs React to 3 Million Copies Sold!
We can sit here all day and sing praises, analyze minute details, and get in deep philosophical conversations about the games we love, but there’s no point. In reality, Valheim is simply a competently put-together, fun, and content-rich game. It’s good and you should play it. The end.
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