Hammer of the Gods by Holistic Software is probably one of the best pre Heroes of Might and Magic games available. Granted, in today's world of high end graphics and Hollywood budgets, it doesn't really compare to current games, but you have to remember when this game was created and how it fit into the market at the time.
The game-play for this game follows the Heroes of Might and Magic style. You have a group of Vikings that you control, and you fulfil quests for the various Norse Gods.
When you fulfil the quests, you gain various rewards such as experience for your party or even new party members. Similar to Heroes of Might and Magic, your party will fight other parties of monsters or even other Vikings. You get to choose how your Vikings will attack, and who they attack. There are various unit types such as Viking berserkers, warriors and even Valkyries. You move around within a world where there are cities to overcome, caves to explore and other Viking bands to attack. When you attack a city, you have to attack the various defenders, but once you win you can decide either to raze or pillage the city. What other game allows you to completely destroy a city after
you defeat its defenders?
The graphics for this game are fairly advanced for its time, and one of the funniest parts of the games is the voice acting used to announce the various gods and their quests. As you choose which quest to partake, the game will tell you which god you are working for...such as Odin or Tyr or Thor. Of course, before you can do the quests for these higher gods, you have to do the quests for the smaller gods such as Ratatosk, the Squirrel Tale Bearer. As you complete the various quests, it will open up the tree for harder and more rewarding quests.
This game is an instant classic, and should be enjoyed by all who relish classic gaming. Similar to the original Westwood Dune series that sparked the RTS game genre, this game sparked the small party/turn based game genre. If Holistic Software had decided to create a Hammer of the Gods 2 game, then I would have immediately picked it up. Unfortunately, the game ended with this release, and no further releases were created. This is a must play for any classic gamer!