Iron Tides is a Kickstarter success story, currently in development by the new and small Canadian indie developers ‘Crash Wave Games’. The kickstarter had a goal of CA$19,000 (£11,386) but ended up with a grand total of CA$32,756 (£19,630). The campaign ended a little while ago but unless you’re reading this sometime late in to next year, it’s not too late for you to contribute. I’ll post a link to the Kickstarter at the end of this article so you can help fund the game and be rewarded for doing so. Now, without further ado, on with the review! (Hey, that rhymed.)
Unfortunately, the game is not fully developed but I did get my hands on a demo to try out and I must say I had a great time. The goal is pretty simple, be the fiercest Viking leader that you can be!
In the campaign mode, you start off on your ship, the only one of your fleet left after a powerful storm took you by surprise the night before.
You remember your quest though, it’s all that matters now. A mad warlord named Jahargal needs to be taught a lesson, he’s been a very real pain to your Viking brethren and many others for far too long. You must defeat him once and for all in his fortress to the east but the task will not be so easily accomplished unless you play it very smart.
Each move you tell your ship to make costs stamina, a very valuable resource used mostly to sail your ship but some random treasure finds while out at sea may also require stamina to store away for transport. You can always restore some stamina if you have food or mead on hand but that’s not always easy to come by out at sea so it’s best to try and use as little stamina as you can. It’s because of stamina that you’ll want to plan ahead and make sure you’re taking the most effective route to your destination, but it’s not as simple as it sounds; many obstacles lie in your path, be it rocks or enemy ships. If it’s rocks then the obvious choice is to sail around which is perfectly fine so long as you have the stamina to do so but if it’s enemy ships you’ll be forced in to a fight and then the second major part of the game comes in to play, combat.
When in combat, you control all of your Vikings separately, at the beginning of the game you have only four to choose from. The Vanguard, The Berserker, The Hunter (my personal favourite) and The Valkyrie.
You start off combat by first summoning in the four Vikings you wish to have fight, once summoned you then get a to move a few squares until you’re in range to attack. Each of your Vikings all have their own range and abilities to utilise so it’s smart to keep your archers at the back of the fight while keeping your melee units a lot closer so they can attack. The creators have promised us a few more classes coming out soon including ones that could effectively be your ‘Tanks’ and others ‘healers’ so there will be tonnes of strategies you could use to get past your foes.
Everything I’ve described so far is based on what I actually got to try in the demo of the campaign mode but I did also get to try out a few skirmish mode maps. As the name suggests, on the skirmish mode you do just that, skirmish! You forgo the sailing aspect of the game simply jump right in to the action to fight waves of enemies. Each level has a unique layout and some only allow you to bring in less than your average four Vikings so they make you think a little bit about who to bring in since you already only have four different unit types in the games demo.
One thing I would really like to see from this game is an online skirmish mode but to do well that would require the game to have a fairly large following (something which is becoming more and more common in indie games these days). I really enjoy playing and helping give games like this a way to get noticed and I hope in my own small way these reviews and interviews I do help.
There are some seriously good games out there that get hidden away in obscurity because they have yet to be noticed by some big youtuber or promoted with millions of dollars by a big triple A publisher and I think Iron Tides is one of those games that deserves to be noticed. More than regular games, indie games and developers live and die by their communities and its crowd funding that helps them get their projects off the ground.
If Iron Tides sounds like something you’d like to get behind be sure to check out the kickstarter. The campaign has already ended but it’s not too late to still contribute and earn some of the rewards promised to all those who have backed the project.
The game is due to be released publicly in early access at the start of the new year on steam and if all goes well the whole game will be released by the end of 2017.
To keep up to date on the project and to know exactly when it’s released be sure to follow @Irontides on twitter.
Want to win some prizes and try out the same demo I played? You can do just that or follow the games development by checking out the official website.