When you wake up in Valheim, in the middle of the rocks, you get the basic tutorial you expect from most games, especially in the survival genre. You learn how to gather basic resources, how to eat, how to survive, and how to build a shelter. Valheim’s tutorial doesn’t teach you how deep each of these systems goes and how diverse they become as you discover new biomes in your world. The level of depth delights those who stop and make their way through Valheim. It all sounds fascinating, even as you repeat the same actions when the copper ore is pushed out of the ground and back home.

It’s the first game from Swedish developers Iron Gate Studio, and it’s safe to say they’ve made it stand out from the crowd.

What is Walheim?

Valheim is a survival game similar to the world of Runescape, but the developers wanted to make something closer to Minecraft. The graphics are pixelated enough to not look very high-resolution, and your computer doesn’t have to use all of its internal processes, but it’s fun in its own way to set you apart from other games you’ve played in this genre.


You are a Viking warrior chosen by Odin to survive Valheim and free it from the Five Forsaken, enemies of Odin whom he has failed to destroy. It is your duty to drive them out of Valheim. If you do, you will be chosen to ascend to Valhalla, a place from northern mythology in Asgard, a room full of the best warriors chosen by Odin to eat, drink and fight as they please. But that’s what they must do until Odin calls them to fight in Ragnarok, because.

Fighting against abandoned bosses and defeating them in battle is your main goal, but you must also survive on land. This includes gathering food, hunting animals, building shelters, and crafting various weapons, armor, and equipment to prepare for deadly encounters. You won’t be able to learn all the sinking recipes at once. You will have to discover a number of ingredients that usually fall on some of the most complex enemies and creatures that populate Valheim’s many biomes.

Leaving is essentially about checkpoints, and overcoming them is a way of signaling that you are ready to move into a new area and give yourself a new tool. For example, the first Survivor boss you fight, Eiktyr, is a large moose that shoots lightning bolts from its horns. Once Eiktyr is defeated, he drops a resource called Hardened Horns, which gives players access to picks with which to gather minerals to begin smelting and using the forge.

Is Valheim all right?

The formula is excellent. You repeat the process of finding new ingredients, building new and improved craft stations, making new upgrades to your favorite gear and exploring. Valheim has a huge map. There is a lot of water between these areas, and traveling by boat becomes a necessary process in which all players must invest if they want to get away from the starting point.

What makes the process so reproducible is that in many places you are starting from scratch. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably find a good place to settle down, settle in, and make it your base of operations. After defeating the first boss and maybe even the second, you’ll explore the entire area and discover that there’s another important island across the ocean. When you get there with your boat, you have to start all over again and build a new base from the ground up. There is a system that allows you to create portals to both your bases, but you cannot bring precious metals or minerals through them, so each new location becomes a mining outpost.


You can create as many portals as you want, allowing you to explore any part of Valheim that you discover. These unique bases you create can have different personalities, each reflecting the way you have populated them. Some places may be more dangerous than others because of their proximity to biomes, but what’s really compelling is that valuable resources you may have overlooked have become useful again, meaning you’ll want to return to the areas of origin. You might discover a brand new recipe that requires two ingredients from a new biome, but you need something from the original area, so you go back or find another recipe in a new part of the map.

It’s not like you’re jumping from one region to another and forgetting the previous one. You want to keep replaying these regions. They continue to feel relevant, which is why it’s important to explore the entire map of Valheim. Exploration is enjoyable and rewarding, especially when you are traversing large chasms and looking for a new place to settle. Repetition is good and everything fits together.

Is the Valheim worth its price, and is it worth buying?

Valheim costs $20 per pair. For $20, I’ve now played the game for almost 60 hours, and I’m still fighting the third abandoned final boss. My group of friends and I have created several networks of portals and small outposts around the world, and we still feel like there is a lot to explore. We can’t just explore and find ways to survive the difficult conditions we face.


Despite the fact that Valheim is in Early Access, it doesn’t look like it. If this is the beginning of Iron Gate Studio, we are curious to see what they have in store for us in the next stages of development. It’s a good time to get into Valheim, and it will expand from there. A little over a week after its release, Valheim passed the one million copy mark. We expect that number to increase with the additional content and creativity of the developers.

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