๐Ÿ›ก️ Bad North: Jotunn Edition | Review | XBOX | "Mega-Lo-Mania in 3D?" ๐Ÿ›ก️ #GameDev #IndieGames

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This is an odd game. It's billed as a "minimalistic real-time tactics roguelite about Vikings," which just seems to be missing IN SPACE or GONE WRONG. Being a gentleman of a certain age, it reminds me a bit of Mega-Lo-Mania in 3D.

The game is one of those old easy-to-pick-up-but-hard-to-master things. The concept is straightforward: you have a number of infantry units, and you need to move them around to defend your (procedurally generated) island from seaborne invaders. You do this by killing them as they come ashore by boat. Finish off all the waves of enemies and you're off to the next island.

Your units are colour-coded for ease of identification, so you can tell your skirmishers from your archers and pikemen. You select units using the shoulder buttons, which also puts the game into slow-motion, enabling you to give orders without having to panic. And panic you will, especially as you advance through the game and there are enemy units landing left, right and centre, and you're down to your last two units.

The roguelite part comes into play here. Each of your units has a commander, and if the commander dies then the unit is gone forever. So it's completely possible you'll start an island with basically no chance of winning. 

In the original game, once you lost all your units that was it, game over, bye-bye. The Jotunn Edition in the title refers to the fact that this game got a large, free content update after the original release (hats off to the devs, Plausible Concept for that). This included save points after clearing a number of islands, which makes the game less punishing. Although there is a very hard mode for the masochists out there.

There are RPG-lite elements too. Clearing an island nets you gold coins, which you can use to upgrade your units, either making them a bit better in battle or unlocking special moves, like an arrow volley for your archers, granting sustained fire on a location. Still, no matter how hard your units are, once the juggernaut enemies come into play it can quite easily be goodnight Irene and onto the next run.

Visuals are really good - simple but charming graphics. The music, by Martin Kvale, is really excellent, atmospheric and a lot more relaxed than the game turns out to be.

There's not a lot more to tell. This is a very simple game, which incidentally saw an iOS and Android release last year. That doesn't mean it's without depth, although if you're looking for a 30-hour game then you should look elsewhere. 

It's easy enough to learn that you should be able to clear a reasonable number of islands straight away, and by the third or fourth run, you'll be turning into a hardened chieftain.

Whether you like this game or not depends on what you're looking for. 

It lends itself to a quick 10-to-30 minute blast; I found any longer and I got a bit fed up with it.

 That said, I've found myself going back to it off and on, just to beef up some archers and give those invaders a quick kicking.


Ratings Explained

ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)

MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)

MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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