Bad North

Updated: Sep 27, 2019

This is a game I took a huge risk on, as I didn't know anything about this game until the trailer was released. I first thought this looked like an interesting strategy game, a genre I really like but have never found a good one on a console. Let me explain a little bit about this game and what I think now after buying it.

The game

This game has you control groups of soldiers in order to defend an island from a Viking invasion. These are islands are randomly generate each time you start a map and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You start out each level with your groups of troops (Max 4 at a time) and have to move them around the island in real time to stop the enemies coming ashore.

Your main goal is to protect the houses on your island, as these give you coins after the level. These coins are for upgrading your troops, choosing classes, or gaining abilities.

End of level with coin collection

You start out with troops that have no class and you can choose to either upgrade them to. You have archers that can attack from a far but are weak with hand to hand combat.

Upgrade screen for each class

Swordsman are tough, great with hand to hand and can block arrows with their shields. And lastly pikeman can defend a pass with ease but have weak hand to hand combat. You will notice during this game that the Vikings that are coming to attack will get much stronger than your soldiers can be. your soldiers do however have abilities and items they can use during battle. Each class has its own ability you can unlock and upgrade throughout the game. Swordsman have a plunging attack off ledges to surprise enemies. The archers have a hail of arrows and the pikeman have a spear charge. You also gain items on some islands to help you like a bomb your group of troops can throw or a horn to get some more troops in your group. You have to position your troops, use there abilities and items to defend against the Vikings.

Game play

The game play was something I was a little worried about as these games I usually play on a PC. To my surprise the controls were easy to pick up and felt very smooth while playing. You can also use the touch screen for this whole game if you want to. You use the shoulder buttons to scroll through your troop selection and the joysticks to move the cursor to a certain square on the island. Something I really appreciated was that when doing the selection the game slows down the enemies to give you sometime to think and move troops, use items or abilities. This game will throw everything at you and I have yet to get to the end of a map. When one of your groups die in a level they are gone for good. You can however retreat on one of the enemy ships to save a group. Once all your groups are dead, the game is over. This game gets really hard very fast.

Something to take note about this game is that there is blood when someone is killed in this game. However the developers have taken the time to give you an option in the settings to turn this off. This is up to you what you want your kids to see but I am glad they included this option.

Blood setting

Overview map

The map shows only a few islands at a time, as you defend each island the clouds will clear and you will see more islands (levels). Some islands will have a "?" mark and this indicates an item is up for grabs if you are successful. Some have a colored flag and this mean there are troops on this island that if they survive and you are victorious, you will obtain them as a new troop to your army.

Overview map


This is a good strategy game on the console and has a very charming art style. I also appreciate the developers for keeping families in mind with the setting to turn off the blood. Even though I have enjoyed this game there are a few downfalls. The troop upgrades is a little bare bones and I wish there were just a few more options. I also want to see more options like an online battle mode where one player sends in troops and the other has to defend. Once you have played the one mode a couple times you are left wanting a few more things to do.

Price: currently $14.99 on the eshop

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


+ Smooth Game play

+ Satisfies strategy genre on console


- Not enough upgrades

- Needs more content

Family Approval:

  • For ages 8 and up

  • Great for kids if blood is turned off