PC Gamer

Bad North is easy to pick up, but it's a fiendish strategy game

Austin Wood

The final wave of vikings is about to land on my tiny blood-soaked island. If they destroy my last remaining shelter, I’m finished. I move my few surviving archers closer to the beach to help thin the vikings as they approach, then move my pikemen to plug up the narrow cliffside path leading to my camp. These vikings have shields so my arrows don’t do much, but my long pikes have better reach than the viking swords. My island gets a lot bloodier, but my pikemen get the job done.

The island, and its soldiers, are mine. Bad North sparkles during photo-finish gambles like these. It's a strategy game in which you defend procedurally-generated islands from waves of vikings using the few soldiers you start with and the squads you find on your journey—similar in some ways to Into the Breach, though realtime. And while its minimalist art gives it a cute look, Bad North is a vicious game. The waves of invading vikings ramp up quickly and you don't have much time to pre

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