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Flower crowned sapien hunting in Meadow biome.

I started a new Valheim playthrough, worryingly in Hard mode, thankfully with my friend Artwo, so here is a list of gameplay streams from my Twitch channel accompanied by notes about the game that will eventually blossom into a full review.

The challenge is difficult, but you can change difficulty settings on the run, and risks are low as this is a video game and facing it cooperatively is fun!


The sound effects and the music in Valheim are some of the best I’ve heard in a video game. Wind, rain, deer, boar, water, noises in the forest, magic tinkles and faint footsteps in the distance.

Graphics use current lighting technology and particle effects combined with 1990’s textures, sprites, and low-polygon graphics to make the game world a visually stunning place. I enjoy just sitting and watching sunlight, time, weather, and animals pass by. Tip: Ctrl-F3 turns off the user interface HUD.

Controls are precise and responsive, with jumps and follow-up touch-jumps, melee swings, dodges, thrown spears and released arrows feeling weighty, real, rewarding. Wish: Sling-shot and pebbles.

Rolling in the forest light.

Enemy creatures are interesting and varied, initially quite tame, then progressively more dangerous, especially in groups. They are fun to fight, and there are tricks to discover to handle particularly pest-like ones.

Cooperative play is easy and the server host can easily turn off damage between players. Playing in Hardcore mode, you lose everything, including your player stats, if you die. I think this may make Valheim viable for players joining later in the journey to help, instead of needing to play together from the beginning. At any rate, you can change the difficulty at any time.

Procedurally-generated biomes are gorgeous and unique. The first biome is a particularly lovely place to be.

Building systems are detailed and physical systems like smoke have effects. You can build tents, huts, houses, castles, entire towns.

Trees and plants are present and abundant and important in Valheim’s world.

I am thankful for this Valheim video game.

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