From Casino Classics to Console Titans: The Epitome of Norse-Themed Gaming

Greek and Egyptian mythologies have long been major sources of inspiration for game developers who want to venture into the mythos and realms of ancient civilizations, often leaving the Norse mythology out in the cold. But, over the last few years, there has been a new wave of games inspired by Scandinavian folklore, propelled by tales of Vikings, gods, Valkyries, and great creatures that roamed the realms.

On the horizon, games featuring the Norse theme like Niffelheim on the Nintendo Switch, Rune 2 – formerly Rune Ragnarok – and the first real Avengers game since the Lego superhero game line, Marvel’s Avengers, starring Thor, have a lot to live up to due to the titles that have come before. From the most recent console sensation to an online casino classic, over to an old-style but modern take on the real-time strategy genre, these are the games that have set the standard in the Norse theme.

Northgard (Steam, soon Nintendo Switch)

Real-time strategy games are still going strong with PC gamers, continuing to evolve with the advancing technology. Northgard, however, adopts the charm and appeal of the classic games but tweaks the mechanics to make the most of the Norse theme. Starting from an arid space, a town hall, and a few villagers, you grow your settlement into a Viking stronghold that can take on formidable beasts of Norse myth and other ravenous Vikings. As detailed in the game review, much of how the game is played comes down to the clan that you select as well as how you decide tackle winter, the growth of your settlement, and your army. Boasting many ways to play, including a skirmish mode and a campaign mode, Northgard immerses you in the Norse theme and its many challenges.

Thunderstruck II (Microgaming online casinos)

Easily the most recognizable and longest-standing game in the world of online slots, Thunderstruck II has become a staple of Microgaming casinos. The first was very popular, but when the second hit the virtual shelves of online casinos in 2010, it couldn’t be shaken from the ‘hot games’ sections. While its favorable mechanics, like its 96.65 percent RTP, medium-level volatility, and 243 paylines, continue to be enjoyed by slot gamers, it’s the iconic Norse theme that is so appealing to the masses. Within the online slot, winning combinations of Valkyrie, Loki, Odin, and Thor are sought out, with The Great Hall of Spins bonus featuring the three icons of Norse mythology presenting different features within their own free spin rounds.

God of War (PlayStation 4 exclusive)

Despite being a fairly major title in console gaming since its first release in 2005, the God of War games have always been seen as more of a guilty pleasure franchise. You would play as a rage-driven protagonist, Kratos, who would hack and slash his way through Greek mythology and its deities. Then, Sony Santa Monica decided to pivot the franchise into Norse mythology, creating one of the greatest games of this console generation. Ruled as the best game of last year by critics, there is yet to be a game this year that can rival it across the board. Everything from Kratos’ evolving relationship with his Norse son, his trials to escape his past in the Greek realms, the combat mechanics used against creatures of myth, the open worlds ripe for exploring, and discussions with iconic figures like Jörmungandr is as close to perfect as you will find in a Norse-themed game.

Across gaming platforms, Northgard, Thunderstruck II, and God of War have set the standard for the use of Norse mythology in gaming. We’ll have to see if the upcoming titles can live up to the lofty standard.

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