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Bad North – Jotunn Edition Game Review

Bad North Game Review

Fight off hordes of vikings in a quest to conquer your way across the ocean. Bad North has you Jump island to island diminishing your foes or getting straight rocked when the brutes decide to show their ugly faces.

I purchased this game off of humble by recommendation from a fellow gamer and honestly I do not regret this purchase. I have just beaten it after 20+ campaigns on hard difficulty, but the failure only fueled my inner fire to soldier on and conquer.


I started my first play through on hard difficulty. There are numerous clans you can choose from that all have their own strengths and definitely can come into play as the game progresses. Choose wisely! The goal for Bad North is to defend the kingdom from the attacking Viking’s whom killed the king. Each island has a unique layout and equally unique challenges to overcome. There are a multitude of different vikings, each with weaknesses and strengths that you must counter in order for victory to be yours.

Quick guide to Bad North enemy countering

Archers -> effective against un-shielded enemies

Shields -> effective against militia and high defense to archers

Militia -> weakest unit, expendable, upgrade asap

Pikemen -> effective against shielded enemies and Brutes (keep them at a distance)

Archers, Shields and Pikemen all have unique abilities that you can unlock to increase their effectiveness. The right combination comes from experience and strategy in mind while progressing farther into neighboring islands. I have found that getting archers as soon as possible is a good strategy for the beginning levels.


Bad North uses a minimalist graphic scheme. Enemies and soldiers without faces and very minimal details, yet I find it refreshing that the developer was able to create an aesthetically pleasing game without all the unnecessary, power hungry, computer crippling shaders that we see in current era games. If I had to describe the graphics in a few words.. simple, yet beautiful.

Bad North Jotunn Edition - 1

Bad North Jotunn Edition


Gameplay for Bad North is fairly simple as you only use the mouse to select units and command them where to defend. There is definitely a strong element of strategy needed to succeed and conquer making this game fairly difficult, especially on higher difficulties.

My initial thoughts were this game reads as almost childlike, innocent and soft. But the reality is a harsh and unforgiving experience that punishes you for the mistakes you make when directing your clans. One misstep and your clan leader is dead, doomed to start a new if the others cannot pick up the slack.

Character movements are fluid and I did not experience any issues with crashing, glitching etc.. even when playing for 4+ hours in one sitting. The game play while simple (physically) is so very satisfying and Bad North developer Plausible Concept has a knack for keeping you in your chair and ready to start the next battle.


Sounds / Music

The sounds and background music in Bad North are satisfying and are done well. The soldiers exclaim “Hup, Hup, Hup” when marching to their assigned vantage point. Fighting sounds are what I would best describe as child like. Not realistic by any means but yet still strangely satisfying. All the sounds in this game match well and the occasional ominous music in the background really helps to set the stage for the up and coming battle.

Time To Learn

Time to initially learn is very low. With that being said the time it takes to properly play this game and actually conquer is very long, especially on the higher difficulties. You will find that Bad North stretches the limits of your patience and aptitude for strategical thinking. I would recommend starting on a lower difficulty until you learn the mechanics and special abilities well.

Would I recommend?

I would definitely recommend!

Bad North is not a super long game, maybe an two to three hours worth of battles if the enemies just laid down and died. But if you add in the inherent difficulty and high need for strategy, I would say the play through time increases ten-fold. Overall it took me about 10-12 hours to beat this game, mainly because starting over so many times due to strategic military failure on my part. I have seen there is an option now to restart a level if you should not succeed, I would recommend you ignore this and take the punishment that is given. Starting over for the 10th time and finally succeeding is so rewarding.

You can purchase Bad North Jotunn Edition at Humble Bundle and redeem the key via Steam client.

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