Bad North: Jotunn Edition is Idyllic Strategy Carnage Fun

Bad North the indie game
It’s bad.

Bad North is a super charming, brutal as all hell real-time tactics thing where you have to fend off ransacking Viking maniacs.

From indie team Plausible Concept in Malmö, Sweden, it launched in 2018 and has been a mainstay of minimalist fast-paced action games ever since.

Bad North Provides the Need to Defeat Marauding Vikings

Righto, in Bad North: Jotunn Edition you control a rag-tag group of island folk. Your mission? To flee from the relentless onslaught of those lunatic Viking invaders.

There are a series of “levels” in the form of procedurally generated islands.

And it’s your job to control various units of swords dudes, bow and arrow chaps, and spear-wielding sorts. As the waves of Viking invaders reach land, you must battle them off.

Despite its bloody carnage, the game has a charming visual style and minimalistic approach to it. We can only describe it as ISLANDERS (2019) meets Townscaper (2021), with added gore.

It’s a popular visual style, but one that works very well. It has a kind of cell-shaded quality that’s charming and wholesome.

But, again, it’s set to this sort of defensive carnage.

Every time you protect your land, you get loot to spend on upgrading your units.

As things start off easy enough, but before long the invasions become quite overwhelming. And you really need to channel your inner Napoleon to fend off those brutes!

Quick thinking strategic decisions are what the game is about.

However, its minimalistic approach is never overwhelming. Compared to something such as Settlers III (1998) and the more complex Tooth and Tail (2017) and Bad North is much more simplistic fair.

If you want a more cut back experience then, yes, this is for you.

It looks great! Beautiful, even, much like relaxing puzzle Sizeable (2021) in its dinky island structures.

Complementing that is the soundtrack by Martin Kvale channels that Nordic sense of time. The good old days, as it were, in the back in my day (and all that).

Bad North is well thought of now, but the initial reaction wasn’t great.

Destructoid, a publication whose reviews we admire a great deal, handed over 5 out of 10. Oh dear!

Other sects of the media were more welcoming, though, and it seems since the Jotunn update (reviewed here) a number of issues have been addressed.

The game is now generally thought of much better. Nintendo Life, for the Switch review, handed over 9/10 for example.

And we enjoyed it a great deal. Its core strength is its accessibility—you pick up and play the SOB. Anyone can deal with that!

And with its looks, and fine soundtrack, we can’t argue with Bad North’s efforts to make real-time strategy mikill. By which we mean proper belting.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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