Valhalla Hills [official site] - the Nordic-themed, Viking-populating god-game that currently resides on Steam Early Access - has received a bumper update that looks to have righted the few reservations Marsh had with the game when he prematurely evaluated it at the tail end of last month.
Having had a bit of a tiff with Odin, your Viking ensemble have been shown the door to the afterlife. Should you wish to return, which of course you do, you must make a fruitful living back down on Earth before trying the queue at Valhalla a second time. In order to achieve this earthbound success, you and your Nordic cohort must build thriving communities, and seek out new archipelagos by locating portals and dispensing of portal guards in your wake. Although satisfying overall, Marsh suggested this whole process was hardly challenging.
The game's update, then, informs us that the pre-update default setting was intentionally designed this way: that the game starts easy and that levels only contain game elements you've already unlocked. Whilst Normal Mode is still an option, players can now also opt for an 'Open Game' mode which "instantly offers all game elements right from the start: the mountain is more diverse, the enemies significantly more dangerous and you can construct all available buildings right away." The drawback to this mode, however, is that you can't unlock anything, nor can you accumulate Honour.
The update will also sets a number of Viking characteristics straight, such as: the hunter will now go for the nearest animal, no matter if rabbit or wolf; the lumberjack will now collect logs first, before cutting down more trees; and soldiers won't get bored anymore, they're now always on guard. On the realism front, now that we're heading towards real-life winter, perishables will now decay at a slower rate in-game. On the stats and management front, an overhauled meter system will affect Sleep Increase, Regeneration, Food Consumption and Food Generation.
Check out the full details of the update here, which is also where you'll find Valhalla Hills in its Early Access state for £15.99.