402924_largerFact. Everybody loves vikings. Miniature vikings escaping dungeons? Even better. And there’s a lot to like about Utopian GamesLittle Viking Dungeon Of Doom [$0.99], but a bunch of small annoyances hold it back.

In Little Viking Dungeon Of Doom, you control the titular lil’ viking as he moves from room to room (100 total), collecting coins and keys to unlock doors to the next level. At the end of every level, the lil’ viking does a lil’ viking yell that is simply darling. Darling, I tell you!

A virtual controller moves the viking left and right and shifts gravity in four directions. You avoid spikes, monsters, guillotines and pits, and use boulders and pulleys and quick gravity shifts to get to those beloved golden keys. Levels start out incredibly simplistic, but gain in difficulty. Figuring out and finishing the later levels feels tremendously good, as that viking yell feels more and more earned.

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The gravity mechanic is cool, and the best stages require thoughtful consideration and nimble movement. It takes a fair amount of futzing with each level, followed by some solid strategy, and finally, solid execution of the strategy. Unfortunately, the virtual buttons are way too small and close together, so after thirty attempts at one stage, losing because that gravity button is way too small and too close to the “move left” button makes the game feel like a dirty cheat.

This is the kind of casual game the iOS was made for. It’s got a nice, colorful art style reminiscent of Dungelot, the levels are quick and low commitment, and the concept is incredibly simple, but will have you constantly coming back as you further refine your technique- A similar impulse that classic puzzlers provide.

And yet there are so many issues that keep Little Viking Dungeon Of Doom from achieving casual bliss. All 10 levels need to be completed before gaining access to the next 10, meaning if there’s just one obnoxious stage that’s impossible to finish, tough luck. Keys don’t reappear after beating a level, meaning going back and replaying a level is useless. And there’s no Game Center support. So many little bummers.

The 100 stages are fun, and the gameplay gets more complicated and interesting as it goes along, but the look and music are stagnant. The visuals may be nice, but after 50 levels of the same color scheme, it’d be nice to see a change.

It was just released (with no IAP or ads), so hopefully Utopian Games could remedy some of this in an update. Bigger buttons alone would improve the experience immensely. As it stands, Little Viking Dungeon Of Doom is an imperfect but charming time-waster with lots of potential. And that viking yell. Seriously, someone needs to add that to a soundboard. So darling!

TouchArcade Rating

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  • TheFrost

    GameCenter might come soon, and if you can get past those other little nitpicks, you have a great puzzler here, recommended

  • garret44

    I'm enjoying this little game so far. Maybe the controls can be tuned up some but this game is exactly what I expected when I paid .99 for it. I think it's worth it and no iaps by the way

  • marc0313

    Is there any news on RollerCoaster Tycoon?

    • Bool Zero

      I thought all of the Atari iOS titles were cancelled (Rollercoaster Tycoon, Dungeons and Dragons: Warband and the other ones they announced last year) when Atari announced they going under (yet again)... The filed for bankruptcy in January and are currently trying to sell company name for $15million last I checked.

      • marc0313

        Oh God why.

      • Bool Zero

        Well they have to pay for all their dad, and right now they're trying to sell the roller coaster tycoon franchise as well as their other franchises right now. So I don't foresee any of their games seeing releases despite their not public ally announcing cancelations... At this point they are absolving as much debt as possible it seems before the inevitable closing of the shop. Lets hope they sell their successful franchises to some capable hands!

      • Bool Zero

        "Debt" not "dad", hehe!

      • marc0313

        Yeah. Thanks. Well, I can spend money now I guess.

  • Utopian Games

    Thanks for the review, I'm the developer of Little Viking.

    There is replay value ***Spoiler Below***

    You have to pay the gate keeper 100 coins to escape so you may have to replay some levels to collect the coin and as you've already completed them we thought it would be fair to make them a little easier the 2nd time round.

    Darren.

  • http://www.debugdesign.com/ iangarstang

    I am really enjoying Little Viking, and those little niggles don't detract much :)

  • David Clarke

    Hi Darren,
    I can't speak for everyone, but when I play this type of game (see also Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, any short-level puzzle game) I'll finish a bunch of levels, get stuck, and want to continue on anyway, and then go back and replay older ones (or show them to friends) when I'm stuck at the harder stages.

    I think it would have been nice if after you got the coin, you could revert the stage back to the way it was, maybe with translucent coins or something, just so that I could relive the challenge a month from now.

    I really did have a lot of fun with this game.

Little Viking Dungeon Of Doom Reviewed by David Clarke on . Rating: 3.5