Monday, August 20, 2007

Retro game of the week: Hammer of the Gods (PC)

Hammer of the Gods is a turn-based strategy game published in 1994, developed by New World Computing for DOS. The events of the game take place in the Viking age, but steeped in a generic fantasy setting to make us feel more at home. The goal of the game is to build an empire through expansionism while completing a set of goals, specified by the gods of Norse mythology. Victory conditions are different for each of the four races present in the game (the usual suspects) - Humans, Elves, Trolls and Dwarves. In order to complete Odin's final quest, the Humans must possess magic weapons, the Elves must control a fixed percentage of the population, the Trolls must build a large army and the Dwarves must own a large amount of gold.

Beside capturing (grey) neutral cities, British bastions and churches are also scattered across the Civilization-inspired map. I don't remember any resource handling, but maybe you could fill me in? Anyway, when attacking a city, the combat mode is similar to that of Heroes of Might and Magic. An interesting feature of the battles is that every unit has the possibility of parrying a blow, which, according to some, made combat less predictable. It's also quite capable of irritating the hell out of you. But who plays defensive, anyway? It's all or nothing. Hammer of the Gods also featured basic diplomacy, a random map generator and some decent multiplayer options.

The game disappeared quickly from store shelves (weak marketing campaign being one of the culprits), but Hammer of the Gods is, to the few who enjoyed it back in 1995, one of the most underrated strategy games.

Download it here. I reckon you'll need DOSbox to run it.


gnome said...

Ah, excellent write-up and a game I had never truly heard of. Gotta check it out then. Cin + HoMM in a lovely Scandinavian package? Oh, count me in matey.


David said...

Hehe, thanks Gnome, problem is, I don't think this game will be very good today, but it's still very dear to me. I'm gonna try it later, and get all sentimental...

(Fixed the link and added some words.)

Critical Failure said...

Hammers of the Gods is one of the games that really brightened some dark swedish winters for me and my mates. Good stuff.

I remember kicking ass with my stunty little dwarf and bringing harsh punishment on the sissy elves my brother controlled.

Ah... good times... good times.