Review: Bad North

Release Date
August 20, 2018
Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
Publisher / Developer
Raw Fury / Plausible Concept
Real-time Strategy

*Originally published in The Argus Friday, September 7, 2018*

Defend your island kingdom from Viking invaders in this charmingly addictive, yet brutal real-time tactics game.

Bad North sees you command up to four units in a series of island skirmishes. Each island is procedurally-generated giving you constantly changing terrain to master and take full advantage of during battle. The simple design keeps the game readily accessible to newcomers, but still offers a great degree of challenge in the later stages.

As you progress from one island to the next you’ll be able to earn coins from the locals for successfully defending against the Vikings. Some islands will also contain items that can be equipped to your units and others will unlock new units to add to your ranks. Coins can be spent on upgrading a unit’s chosen class, skills and any items you’ve equipped to a particular unit.

The later stages of the game can really put you to the test with stronger variants of previously seen Vikings storming your shores. Planning your strategy ahead of time is always a great idea, losing a unit in battle means losing them forever. Sometimes you’ll just have to accept defeat and save the units you can by fleeing or face starting over. 

With Vikings coming from all sides in real-time you’ll constantly be moving your units to face them. Time is slowed, but not stopped when choosing an action such as moving units to another location. This is a great feature but don’t rely on its usefulness too much as the later stages you’ll need to think fast and take action even quicker.

Bad North runs smoothly on Nintendo Switch, but there has been some stuttering during a few instances when loading the victory screen or when a lot of enemies are present.


Bad North, however, continually keeps you coming back for more as its beautifully simple designs and gameplay features make it so easy and accessible. It’s perfect for a quick game here and there.