|a game by||Plausible Concept AB|
|Platforms:||XBox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4|
|Editor Rating:||7.3/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 3 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Best Roguelike Games, Tower Defense Games, Sailing Games, Games Like Polytopia|
We’ve been blessed with hundreds, if not thousands of real-time-strategy (RTS) games over the years. If you’re going to stand out, you need to make sure you’re coming up with something unique but is also fun to play. In 2018, developer Plausible Concept attempted to follow that recipe. Let’s take a look at what sort of game their creation Bad North ended up being.
Simple and Savage
Graphics certainly aren’t everything when it comes to a game, and Bad North is a great example of that. Behind this game about war is a beautiful art style with simple, cartoonish characters leading the way. See, that’s the first thing about Bad North that you’ll take away. All of it is quite simple, starting with the graphics. Now I do believe the game could have used a bit more color as they tended to favor brown and grey, bringing down the overall happy mood of the art style. However, watching the bushes and trees blow in the wind while you defend your land is peaceful - in a weird way.
The animations that drive character movement and fighting are once again: very simple. There’s little to no variation, so you’ll be watching your units battle the same way for multiple levels on end. It would have been nice to see various animations while fighting. That way the fights are more exciting to watch and you’re more enthralled in the gameplay.
Tower Defense Meets RTS
When you think of Bad North after playing it, you’ll more than likely describe it a few different ways. It’s a puzzle game with RTS elements, or a tower defense game with RPG elements. Technically, Bad North is all those things in some way or another. In this game, your goal is to protect the remaining houses on an island from Viking invaders. To move, you’ll select one of my spaces on a grid system. When moving, it’s done in real time, but it slows down to give you little time to plan your next move. Luckily, a lot of the game is planning, rather than in-the-moment decisions. Once the Vikings land and start heading towards the remaining homes, your troops will automatically start attacking. From here, it’s a game of attrition as your goal is to wipe out the remaining troops and eventually their flag-bearing leader.
To progress through the game, you’ll use a world map that expands as you defend the islands from the invaders. If you’re looking for a story to go alongside the gameplay, look elsewhere. Bad North has no story to share, no matter how little. Now you can most likely take a guess as to why these Vikings are attacking all these islands, but it still would have been nice to be told an interesting tale along the way.
Defend, Upgrade, Rinse, Repeat
Since you won’t be playing the game for its story or characters, you’ll want to know what makes the gameplay loop fun in Bad North. To start, the game has a simple, rouge-like, system when it comes to your troops. They’re organized into regiments, which are then controlled by you during battle. Each of these regiments are full of the same exact troop type, either an archer, infantry, or pikeman. Each unit type has a specific advantage over the others in certain situations, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when planning your defense.
What you also need to keep in mind is that when a regiment dies in battle, it’s has perished forever. You’ll have to train a new regiment in its place. With a max of four regiments, there’s always a chance you’ll lost a regiment. These losses hurt, but I can only think of how much more it would hurt if there was a story behind those troops.
As your regiment takes on battles, they grow and become more experienced. With this experience, you’ll be able to upgrade them. This includes their base stats, but also the ability to learn a new skill that can then be used in battle. For instance, you can learn the Plunge skill, which is where your troops drop from the cliff above with bad intentions, doing more damage than usual.
My time with Bad North was short, mostly since the game doesn’t have too much to offer outside the main mode where you progress a world map of randomly generated islands. I was having fun until I realized there just wasn’t much else to do. I’m assuming this will be the case for a lot of players, but that’s up to you to find out.
- Calming and relaxing graphics
- Addicted gameplay loop
- Intuitive, easy-to-learn controls
- Lack of story
- There isn’t much depth to the unit’s skill trees
- Need more variety in troops types and objectives
- Lack of color and animations