'Legend of Solgard' Preview: Puzzles and Vikings

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Legend of Solgard is the newest freemium title from Snowprint Studios, a brand new studio under the umbrella of King, the creators of the highly-successful Candy Crush franchise. Snowprint hopes its new mid-core puzzle/monster fighter can become a smashing success and have the same gravitas as the crushing candies, which recently received its own television show and Emoji Movie product placement.

Free to download now on iOS and Android, Legend of Solgard puts you in control of Embla, a fiery Nordic sorceress who can empower allies through geometric puzzles, fighting Mani, the evil moon god. Gameplay is simple: you connect three creatures vertically to create a bigger one to use in battle. As you progress throughout the game, you unlock new abilities like building walls, creating larger creatures and unleashing combo-based attacks. It follows the "simple to learn, hard to master" formula, adding a level of skill to the basic "match" mobile game genre.

Look at these dangerous animals Snowprint

The basic mode is the Campaign, where Embra and her squirrel sidekick Ratatoskr try to stop Ragnarok and subdue the dragon Nidhogg. Traveling through all nine realms, you fight enemies like frost wolves, ballistas and trolls. Missions start off easy, but the puzzles get more complicated as you complete more missions. If you get stuck on a mission, you can play one of the game's many other modes like Treasure Cave, Bounties or Dungeons. These modes allow you to farm gold and minion gems, which you need to make your allies stronger.

You start off with a team of four creatures, from the mythical Nightcast elf to the stubborn dwarf Grimchop. There are 30 different creatures at launch, with two more added each month. Unlike other free-to-play monster collectors, you can't create the best team by throwing money at the app. Players unlock creatures by finishing portions of the Campaign, earning chests in-game, fighting in PVP and completing tasks in the Treasure Caves. "All creatures will be viable, regardless of rarity," Alexander Ekvall, CEO and co-founder of Snowprint Studios told Newsweek.

Ekvall is aware that creature balance is crucial for Legend of Solgard to be successful. If players immediately find a broken combo, that can shatter any sense of fair play in PVP. If some characters start to overperform others, nerfs will be implemented in quick hotfixes. Ekvall promised that the team won't wait until the three month patch update comes around to fix "broken minions."

Out today, Legend of Solgard will appeal to the mobile gaming fanatics of the world. The colors are vibrant, the gameplay is addicting and it has a talking squirrel. If you want to wean your mom off of playing only Candy Crush, this could be the cure.