A game about Vikings has to be pretty brutal right? Well, Bad North does have volumes of violence but its implementation is not overly excessive. Bad North is a minimalistic real time strategy game by developer Plausible Concepts and publisher Raw Fury. The game is described as a real time tactics roguelite and once you start playing it, you’re going to have a hard time putting it down.
s will be introduced to the game mechanics in a tutorial level which is fairly straightforward. In Bad North, you command a medieval military squad to defend themselves and their island homes from murderous Viking invaders. Each level takes place on an island that needs to be protected.
Moving your soldiers is an incredibly simple task thanks to the tile based movement system. Grab a squad, select a tile and off they’ll go towards it. This can be done via the touchscreen of the Nintendo Switch or by using the face buttons. Your field of view can also be rotated and you can zoom in and out to quite a large extent to help plan your moves.
After the tutorial, you’ll be able to play through some basic levels where you’ll gain another soldier squad and slowly unlock far more difficult levels on the game’s world map. As you play through levels, depending on how successful you are at defending your island homes, you’ll earn coins. These coins can be used to upgrade your squads with new abilities.
As you play through the game, more squads are made available to you. Additionally, as your coffers fill up, you’ll soon be able to upgrade your lowly swordsmen into skilled archers or powerful pikemen. Since each level is different to the last, defending your island can be quite an intense task. Especially when multiple enemy ships show up and you have to protect multiple different homes on an island at once. Thankfully, the game slows time down to a crawl when you are issuing commands. This is extremely useful in later levels when things become chaotic.
Losing a squad is something you never want to happen because once they are completely defeated, there’s no bringing them back. Tactics therefore plays an important role since you can replenish your ranks by ordering an injured squad to recover in a house. This however requires time and leaves you vulnerable to attacks while they are recovering. Players will have to juggle their squads around as they try to find a balance between offence and defence.
Graphically, Bad North is whimsical and cartoonish in nature but packs a punch with animations that are quite a spectacle to behold. The gorgeous procedurally generated islands and the added level of complexity from the roguelite features of the game makes Bad North incredibly addictive. The music and the environmental sound effects are incredibly on point in Bad North. Sword fights and arrow volleys sound great along with the disgruntled groans of vikings clashing with your military units. The soundtrack used in the game is well suited to both its aesthetic and its gameplay.
If you are a fan of tower defence style games where the odds are stacked against you, Bad North will appeal to you. It’s a Nintendo Switch title that works perfectly on the go and since the game is just so addictive, you’ll find yourself struggling to tear yourself away from playing it.