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Roots of Yggdrasil Early Access Review – Promising City Builder

Roots of Yggdrasil is a roguelike city builder with deck building and is developed by ManaVoid Entertainment. The game is set for release on January 25, 2024, on Steam early access and I’ve had my hands on the game for the past couple of weeks and it’s a joy to play through. It’s a great blend of deck building that goes hand-in-hand with resource gathering with the setting based on Norse Mythology.

Raganrök is here. Stuck in a perpetual time loop, Sunna and her tribe of Vikings must explore a fractured World Tree and attempt to reach the top of Yggdrasil, the world tree. To do so, you play as Sunna to create settlements, build your deck and collect artifacts to escape the rising darkness of the Ginnungagap. Each run, you will draw a hand of cards representing buildings, and resources.

You will need to carefully manage these cards to build a thriving settlement on each floating island you encounter. Buildings generate resources such as supplies and might which can be used to play more cards and expand your settlement beyond your starting area. You can’t just keep expanding your small slice of paradise without recourse as the threat of the Ginnungagap, a fog of darkness, is ever looming.

As your settlement grows, the island will eventually become corrupted by the encroaching darkness. There are special buildings like the Eitr Prospector that will use Eitr to fight back against the cloud. However, the game’s unique twist to the genre comes in the form of the island-hopping mechanic. You will eventually have enough resources by growing villages, building supplies and nurturing sapplings to produce seedlings, to be able to build a special ship and sail to a new island, starting a fresh settlement from scratch.

Travelling between islands has random path branches that you can visit at a cost of spare time. You may come across artifacts that gain bonuses for the rest of the loop, or you may be able to return to the Holt which is a central hub and customisable home. This is the one place in all the realms that is protected from Ragnarok’s destruction. Here you can unlock new mechanics and permanent upgrades that will help rebuild your tribe in successive island loops. It’s here we get to see the personalities of other characters Lif and Thrasir come to life. There’s no voice acting but the sass and banter coming through the writing is entertaining.

Despite Roots of Yggdrasil being in early access, the charming art style and core gameplay loop is already quite addictive. The deckbuilding and resource management mechanics are well-balanced so far which drives you to get better at the island-hopping loop with each run. With random artifacts while travelling and opportunities to upgrade the Holt, the game provides a satisfying sense of progression. If you’re looking for an interesting roguelike game with a Norse twist, I highly recommend checking the game out and I look forward to seeing the game progress over the early access period.

This review utilised a key provided by Purple is Royal and Roots of Yggdrasil will launch on Steam early access on January 25, 2024.


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