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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 40 Ratings

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  • Summary: Bad North is a charming but brutal real-time tactics roguelite. Defend your idyllic island kingdom against a horde of Viking invaders, as you lead the desperate exodus of your people. Command your loyal subjects to take full tactical advantage of the unique shape of each island.

    Everything
    Bad North is a charming but brutal real-time tactics roguelite. Defend your idyllic island kingdom against a horde of Viking invaders, as you lead the desperate exodus of your people. Command your loyal subjects to take full tactical advantage of the unique shape of each island.

    Everything is at stake: fail, and watch the blood of your subjects stain the ground red.
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Bad North - Announcement Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 90
    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.
  2. Aug 22, 2018
    90
    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 bite-size battles will teach you to fear - and love - the sound of the oncoming horde.
  3. Sep 4, 2018
    80
    Bad North not only manages to bring the RTS genre to the consoles, but it does that in a surprisingly good way thanks to its minimalist philosophy and rewarding tactical combat system.
  4. May 13, 2019
    80
    A great game for "on the go“ for those that like to relax, then think and then rip their hair out in frustration.
  5. 70
    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.
  6. Sep 6, 2018
    60
    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.
  7. Aug 23, 2018
    50
    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.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Mar 11, 2022
    10
    A truly fantastic game. The "5" to "7" reviews are mind boggling. Message to reviewers hating to restart the campaign: there is a menu optionA truly fantastic game. The "5" to "7" reviews are mind boggling. Message to reviewers hating to restart the campaign: there is a menu option for level re-starts! lol. The difficulty curve is gradual, with some tough characters added in that can admittedly destroy your whole crew. That said, even not using level restarts, the game features checkpoints, so you can save after five to six levels or so. I finally bought it on sale in 2022, after hesitating because of the common 7/10 reviews. Nintendo life gave it a 9/10 and it's so deserved. Easy mode is too easy for me. I beat normal mode using level re-starts. That was incredibly fun and helped me get situated. Now I'm halfway through a perma-death run on Normal. It's so tense and exciting. Can not put this game down for three days straight now! Expand
  2. Sep 10, 2018
    10
    Hands down my favourite game of the moment.

    I've sunk at least 20 hrs into this since picking it up and I'm eager to keep playing. The
    Hands down my favourite game of the moment.

    I've sunk at least 20 hrs into this since picking it up and I'm eager to keep playing. The feeling you get when you execute a great battle plan is just amazing. When you reach the end of a final wave with all your troops alive and all the buildings saved, you're treated to such a sense of accomplishment.

    On the opposite side of that, the feeling of dread that you get when you see boats filled with the big brutes is freaky and that feeling you get as you realise your tactics haven't worked and your entire army is about to get decimated is horrifying (meant in a good way).

    The styling and art direction as a whole is sublime. The minimalist art style and sound design is just a joy to behold. I cannot recommend this game highly enough and I've never really played a game of this ilk before.

    Grab it! Worth every penny.
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  3. soz
    Nov 3, 2018
    9
    brilliant all over there can be some improvements though. You must go on hard mode for it always because it isn't a challenge at all if you don't
  4. Sep 20, 2018
    8
    Realistic review: This game is simple but great RTS. There are only 3 classes, a hand full of enemy types, but that is enough to make a brutalRealistic review: This game is simple but great RTS. There are only 3 classes, a hand full of enemy types, but that is enough to make a brutal and satisfying experience. Levels are different (randomly generated) each playthrough.
    People who love easy to learn - hard to master game mechanics should buy this game. People who want a exciting scripted campaign, complex systems and a lot of variation should stay away from it.
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  5. Sep 19, 2018
    7
    So the core mechanics of this game - the RTS vibe - are great but what's missing is a sense of progression. I know that this is supposed to beSo the core mechanics of this game - the RTS vibe - are great but what's missing is a sense of progression. I know that this is supposed to be a roguelike and what comes with that is the frankly unnecessary difficulty, random stages and starting again but after an hour or so it's just doing the same thing over and over again. I like the game, a lot, however there is only so many times you can do essentially the same thing without any actual progress or development. Expand
  6. Sep 6, 2018
    6
    Kinda cool but unfortunately not quite worth the money.

    The visuals are good (aside from the character art, ugh) but I dislike the
    Kinda cool but unfortunately not quite worth the money.

    The visuals are good (aside from the character art, ugh) but I dislike the inconsistency between beautiful 3D maps and cheap-looking sprites for soldiers.

    Sounds are pretty good, a bit clunky at times but simple and very fitting for the game.

    Gameplay-wise the core concept is amazing. Aside from slightly awkward camera controls the gameplay is brilliant: you control four units with three types to select from each with their own uses and tactically defend your island. It's a lovely idea and the the way you control your troops is quite fluid, not perfect but pretty good.

    Where this game falls apart is the insane difficulty level toward the end. As other users have said already there is no sense of reward when you put hours into a long and difficult campaign to just lose in the third last island, and then that's it. Game over, start again; no rewards or unlockables to make your next playthrough different. A "tactical rogue-lite" is how it's advertised so maybe I should've known better because I struggle with the idea behind rogue-likes... But the permadeath simply makes no sense in a game like this and after one play through with nearly unbeatable odds at the end you really don't feel like trying again. This game might be great for people who are happy to practise over and over again to do a no deaths speedrun in Celeste, or who love rogue-likes. But for the average gamer who wants to retry a level after losing, it's really frustrating and off-putting. I guess putting yourself in the mindset of an arcade game or an endless runner, where you are just lasting as long as you can until you fail, might help a little bit, but it's weird because there actually is a final island and a game could last a couple hours (you can save and continue though). Basically IMO it'd be so much more fun if the permadeath was optional or the difficulty was toned down even just on the final 3 or 4 levels. Definitely worth a go though if you are content with the mindset that it's like Tetris or something and you're just seeing how far you get, not actually thinking about "winning."

    On the plus side, there were a few game-breaking bugs that the developer promptly patched. The game is still being worked on by its developers and that's really encouraging to see.
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  7. Dec 24, 2018
    2
    Played for 2.5 hours and felt bored the entire time, it's insanely slow. The mechanics are also a bit contrived, no pause button but selectingPlayed for 2.5 hours and felt bored the entire time, it's insanely slow. The mechanics are also a bit contrived, no pause button but selecting a unit semi pauses, pain in the ass and made me throw away two runs due to the clunkiness. GOG need a refund policy like steam. Not even worth the $10 or so I paid on sale. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

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