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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.
Bad North is an RTS that will surprise us by how simple and addictive it is, ideal for fast games, but that involves a difficulty with its roguelike elements and its permanent death. If you like RTS, it is mandatory to try it, and if you want to approach the genre in a simple and simple but effective way, Bad North will also give you the opportunity.
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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.
A "gateway game" to the strategy genre, Bad North's formula of simplicity yields a deceptively satisfying challenge.
Throughout my 10 or so hours of gameplay, I can definitely say that Bad North has a lot to offer, especially for its price point, though I feel like $10 would be the sweet spot as opposed to the $15 it asks for. With endless amounts of different islands to play with, a simplistically pleasant art style and easy to learn controls, even a RTS stranger like me can find things about Bad North to enjoy. Plus they have an extra edition of the game out right now (The Jotunn edition) that has more stuff added, so if you’re looking for an easy to pick up, hard to master RTS with a medieval flair to it, this would be a good option to consider. Turns out, Bad North isn’t that bad.
Mostly delightful and sometimes punishing, Bad North is a fun alternative to more complex strategy games.