Top Critic Average
All Bad North needs, really, is a little bit more consistency within the random, because currently it’s an experience that I want to go back to, yet am frustrated by.
A slice of Viking strategic combat right out of the heart of Scandinavia's indie development scene, Bad North joins the likes of Element at the vanguard of a new wave of smart yet intrinsically accessible real-time strategy titles. With enough enemy variance to convince you you're playing an interactive episode of the Vikings TV show, this endlessly entertaining sea of bitesize battles will teach you to fear - and love - the sound of the oncoming horde.
It's a rare example of where the randomisation of the roguelike structure doesn't feel like a lazy excuse to ignore level design. Rather, it provides a canvas to allow some of the cleanest and engaging tactical action that we've seen in quite some time play out.
All in all, Bad North's gameplay is very engaging and keeps you on your feet. Despite some weakness in the narrative department, most design choices pay off. It is a polished experience that has kept me entertained for a good amount of time.
On the surface, Bad North is a simple puzzle game, that gets increasingly challenging and emotional with each island you defend, resuting in an addictive strategy roguelite.
Not to be confused with a phrase Kanye West might use when addressing his eldest daughter, Bad North is a real-time tactical roguelike game designed and developed by Plausible Concept. Now, while Kanye references may be less and less appropriate as I divulge my experiences with this title, some excellent links can be made in the opening.
Small flaws like the lack of customisation and differing styles in enemies can be overlooked if you treat the game as it comes. Bad North is a game that manages to balance the fine line between puzzle game and simulation delivering a tactical roguelike which constantly feels refreshing.
Bad North is a good strategy game which combines tower defence and roguelike elements. The game has decent soldier upgrades, a big map and enemy varianty, but lacks repeatability.
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Bad North feels a lot like a mobile title in terms of its limited scope, tight focus, and simple controls, and that makes it a fantastic fit for the Switch in portable mode.
Bad North succeeds in making real time strategy accessible to everyone with easy to grasp controls and a straightforward set of tactical choices. However, some may be put off by the difficulty of the latter half, and with just one mode of play at launch, it's a pretty light package. Aside from the occasional bug, the game runs very well, and the miniature battles make for a compelling experience. If you're looking for a streamlined strategy title you can play in your downtime, Bad North is an imperfect but solid solution.
Bad North is, broadly speaking, a hard game to recommend even if I came out the other side enjoying it. The style and thoughtful minimalist reworking of the real-time strategy game is exemplary, but the unrelenting back half of the roguelike adventure can sour a good time. I can wholeheartedly recommend Bad North if you fall into either of these camps: someone who's into a novel RTS twist on the good old-fashioned hard-as-hell roguelike or someone who can chill out to a brutal yet serene RTS that has some rough edges.
Bad North is a fun game with light RTS and tower defense mechanics. The levels are short enough to be played in small bursts, which do lend themselves well to the handheld mode. However, the lack of meaningful tactics and strategies left me wanting more.
It’s a shame because the game is fantastic, mechanically speaking, and is very enjoyable to play. It leaves you hungry for more and it nearly feels unfinished with its lack of archetypes or skill variety. This makes it a little difficult to recommend for the full price despite how excellent Bad North plays.
A minimalist's take on the real time strategy genre, with a strong pick and play quality that doesn't quite do enough to bridge the gap between novices and veterans of the genre.
Endearingly minimalistic and simple enough without compromising potential depth, Bad North works surprisingly well with its premise, but is ultimately held back by from reaching the greatness it easily could have attained. A roguelike RTT is an interesting concept, but the title does suffer from a lack of traditional level design once the difficulty curve begins to spike. On top of that, freezing can occur when returning to the world map after a mission. Autosave ensures progress is never lost, but it's nonetheless frustrating. Bad North is not a bad RTS by any means, offering a fairly strong first half, but a lack of cohesion between difficulty and level design makes its back half less palatable.
By taking a genre that thrives on its deep mechanics and attempting to streamline it into something anyone can pick up and play, we're left with an experience that doesn't wholly appeal to anybody. It sucks because there was so much potential here, and it ends up shooting itself in the foot before it really has the chance to bear fruit. With some updates and balancing, Bad North could, one day, deliver on its promise. Right now, however, it just feels like a wasted opportunity.
Bad North has a lot of potential, but it wastes most of that by doubling down on simplicity over depth. In many rogue-lite games starting a new run is an exciting prospect, as you know your newly acquired player skill will carry you through, but the slower pace here makes it feel a lot more like having to do the hoovering again because someone ate a pastry with no regard for your nice clean carpet.