I don’t ever remember playing a RTS game like Bad North before. It’s honestly the most laid back game in the genre I have ever played. It’s a simple game with an easy to grasp control system but I thoroughly enjoyed playing it.
In bad north you are placed in charge of defending your home islands from an invading army that hurtle towards your coasts from all angles, using your own strategy place your units where you want them and move them around wherever you like to defend the buildings on your island. You start with two units both of which are swordsmen. Whenever you successfully defend an island from the invaders and depending on how much damage your buildings take you get given coins. You can then give your units these coins and upgrade them to different units such as archers or pike men, you can also use these coins to buy abilities for you units. You then have the option to move onto one of a few next islands around the ocean, some may have another home guard unit that will join you if you win, or some may have items like Warhammer and such that you can give to one of you units.
In a nutshell that’s what this game is. Defend and upgrade. Simple as it sounds and as boring as it sounds it really wasn’t boring. Relaxing is the word I would use, which is a bad thing as well as a good thing. It’s a good thing in the sense that I can boot up the game and chill out after a stressful day at work and enjoy playing the game, bad in the sense that like in most RTS games I didn’t get a sense of worry that I was going to lose. There are no “OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO LOSE!” moments. I played hours and hours of this game and I didn’t lose once, I don’t think I’m being cocky or anything and I’m not particularly good at games. Your units auto aim and target the closest enemies so all you really have to do is position them in the right place and pit strength vs weakness.
I think however ultimately it was the graphics that made me enjoy this game the most. The cartoony design and the gorgeous colours really pop out and make it a pleasure to look at. I had zero drops in frame rate during the time I played and I’m on a gen 1 console. The music and sound effects were brilliant. The music on the title page gives the game a more foreboding feel and was a bit misleading but it was a great track. All the sound effects fitted perfectly with the feel of the game and I can’t fault it.
The game is quite repetitive in its game play the only differences being the size and shape of the Island you are defending. However essentially it is exactly the same, playing to upgrade units and finding new items is really the only motivation to keep coming back to it. Or if you’re like me and just need to relax. The price of the game is good I think, and worth the money.