Iron Tides Preview: Pillage Like a Viking in This Rogue-Like Adventure Game

Looking to plunder and pillage like a Viking? Iron Tides might just be the game you're looking for.
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Lately, I’ve been on the go a lot and haven’t had too much time to put a dent in my gaming back log. It also doesn’t help that new, interesting, and inventive games keep coming out, putting me even further behind. Iron Tides is one of those games that has increased my back log — and I’m very much okay with this.

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Iron Tides bills itself as a “rogue-like Viking simulator” and I feel that’s a pretty accurate way of describing the game. The world has a very hand-painted and cozy feel to it, and it looks like a beautiful, living board game. The accompanying music fits well with the aesthetic.

Combat takes place in a turn-based fashion with a simple set of mechanics in place, making it easy to learn while still allowing for complex strategy. If it wasn’t for factors like critical hits, Iron Tides would play very much like a well-balanced tabletop romp.

On top of that, each quest you go on is procedurally generated but doesn’t feel clunky or random — there is plenty of space between objectives and not a ton of twisty dead ends. And it’s not random without thought; there is a story to the game which has been quite enjoyable so far (no spoilers here).


In between quests, you land at Norhaven — your island stronghold where you can trade, resupply, hire new warriors, and upgrade your longboat to better raid and pillage. Everything is based on two currencies — hack silver and glory — which can be earned in a number of different ways during your missions. 

Speaking of warriors, you have a few different classes from which you can build your raiding party — each with a varied pool of skills to randomly choose from, making no two warriors the same. One of my Berserkers — Bjorn — can heal himself, as well as throw his ax, and transfer fury points to my other warriors. On the other hand, my other Berserker — Tyr — can slash his foes into a bloody mess, fly into a rage to deal more damage, and hit enemies in an arc in front of him.

Aside from Berserkers, you can hire Valkyries, Hunters, and Vanguards, with two more classes set to be released with the full game. Although you’re mighty Viking warriors, you will experience defeat from time to time — and that comes in the form of permadeath, so choose your battles and your tactics wisely. 

While the game is currently still in early access it has a pretty polished feel to it and doesn’t really have any game-breaking issues like other Early Access titles that I’ve played. I’m really looking forward to what the developers have in store for us in the future and can’t wait to review the final release of the game.

If Iron Tides sounds like a game you’d be interested in playing, you can pick it up now on Steam for $15 on both PC and Mac. Thanks for choosing GameSkinny for your gaming news, guides, and reviews! 

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Justin Michael
From Atari 2600 to TTRPG and beyond I game, therefore I am. Can generally be found DMing D&D on the weekend, homebrewing beer, or tripping over stuff in my house while playing VR. Hopeful for something *Ready Player One* meets *S.A.O Nerve Gear* before I kick the bucket.