ASKA Early Access Review – Try Hard Guides

ASKA is a new Viking-myth-themed survival craft. While there are already a few of these on the market, I can safely say that ASKA takes it in a pretty new direction. With a focus on community building, immersion, and fantastical elements, ASKA is certainly a viable new contender in the survival craft genre.

ASKA sees you stranded on a faraway island and tasked by the gods to do one thing and one thing only: Rebuild your tribe, braving against the dangers of starvation, the cold, and undead horrors to create a thriving Norse city. As you might imagine from that description, ASKA heavily emphasizes tribe building.

Aska VillageAska Village
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Take all your standard survival craft mechanics: Hunger, Thirst, base building, etc. Now expand it to more of a city-simulation aspect, in which multiple members of your tribe take care of you in the same way you care for yourself. In return for your hard work, your workers will auto-produce goods or harvest resources on their own until there’s no more work for you to do yourself.

This is a concept a lot of survival games are playing with lately, with a notable example being my recent review of Soulmask. However, I feel like ASKA does it the best, Having to build a workstation and home for each of your tribe members makes it feel more like you’re building a city, and less like you have a bunch of slaves to do your bidding.

Aska CraftingAska Crafting
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

ASKA also simplifies the UI and methods of managing your tribe members and their jobs, which helps it stand out from the aforementioned title.

ASKA implements a feature that allows you to quickly scan the environment for resources, highlighting rocks, farmable wood, berry bushes, etc. This is an idea I really, really enjoy a survival craft game, and I wish more titles would implement it. Specifically, I think this gives ASKA the ability to create a more detailed, beautiful environment (something the game most certainly has) without worrying about frustrating players looking for harvestable materials. The simple push of a button highlights everything nearby, so you’re never lost for resources.

Aska ImmersionAska Immersion
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

There can be too much of a good thing, but I will say there are certain resources you can’t find without highlighting them in the environment. There were plenty of instances where small stones, for example, were hidden beneath patches of grass that I would have missed if I hadn’t highlighted them.

Speaking of those small stones, I found that the resource generation in ASKA was a little off. The aforementioned stones, which I needed to build any of the starting harvest tools, were so difficult to find that it took me about 20 minutes to get my first pickaxe built. On the contrary, sources of fresh water, which you think would be rare like they are in nature, were so abundant I could count four or five within walking distance of any given location. This may all be due to random generation, but if so, the algorithm feels a little off and should probably be tweaked.

If anything can be said about ASKA, it’s that the game is absolutely gorgeous. It’s far from another schlocky attempt at “hyper-real” graphics, as well, boasting an impressive 5 GB download size that was not artificially inflated in the pointless quest to obtain “realism.”

No, ASKA is gorgeous, and its visual splendor comes from a beautifully designed, stylized environment. Navigating the 3D world feels like stepping into an ancient, well-preserved oil painting. There are areas where the subtle lighting and painted textures work better than in others, with particularly great visuals coming when you pass through forests and see the contrast of shadows cast against brightly lit areas.

The greatest aspect of ASKA’s visuals, for sure, comes from the gorgeous color palette. It’s bright but not cartoony, feeling like something straight out of a Nordic fantasy, which, of course, is absolutely fitting for the game’s setting.

Many survival games have a production chain in crafting. ASKA has a harvest chain; Chop down a tree and gain a few sticks, as well as a long stick (or log.) You can then carry this long stick to a structure or harvest it to gather even more small sticks. This continues for every other resource node in the game, more or less. It’s a neat little system, and while more time-consuming, it adds a bit of charm and immersion to the harvesting that I enjoy.

Immersion really is the name of the game in ASKA; Building so much as the starter shelter requires you to carry logs to the blueprint, hammer in sticks and twigs, and form the building through multiple stages of building that require their own resources, tools, and animations to complete. You can even get a splinter while building, which applies a very minor bleed debuff for a few seconds.

Aska ShelterAska Shelter
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

While overall, I enjoy the harvesting and building in ASKA, it can certainly feel slow, and even as you begin to build momentum, you really feel the game’s lengthiness.

Little glitches persist here and there in ASKA. You can take fall damage from minor falls, about the distance of stepping down a step in a staircase. After being shot by an arrow in one encounter, I was left with a said arrow stuck floating in an invisible part of my hitbox, which persisted after death / respawns.

Though the concept of a survival craft game based on Norse mythology has certainly been done before, ASKA stands out with its emphasis on immersion and village building. With amazing stylized graphics and a good balance between survival gameplay and city building, ASKA is a title that’s as fun to play as it is beautiful to look at.


  • Great graphics
  • Solid survival gameplay, mixed with some engaging and fun City builder mechanics
  • Incredibly immersive


  • Slow to start, and can feel tedious at times.

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