The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Bad North: Jotunn Edition
I’m not typically a fan of real-time strategy games, and I’m only occasionally a fan of tower defense games. But I AM a big fan of roguelikes and games that utilize roguelike mechanics, and apparently when you blend all three of those together and package them up in a minimalist but stylish game, you can convert someone like me. That’s exactly what has happened with Bad North: Jotunn Edition ($2.99), which launched on iOS this week from Swedish developer Plausible Concept and publisher Raw Fury.
Your job in Bad North is to command squads of soldiers in order to defend a group of islands from Viking invaders. The roguelike elements come in the form of randomly generated islands, and because the shape, layout, and elevations of each island can play an important role in the strategy you use, it can feel like quite a different game each time you play it. It also means that when you aren’t careful and the commanders of your squad bite the dust, well, they’re dead and gone. Luckily you’ll be able to recruit more commanders and acquire a ton of different items to help you on your journey.
Each island will have one or more houses which the Vikings will try to torch to the ground the second they have the chance and, besides simply surviving, protecting these houses is crucial. You’ll earn coins for the ones you manage to save and those coins feed into the upgrade system in the game, so if you aren’t diligent with saving the houses from a fiery demise then you’ll quickly find yourself ill-equipped to take on the game’s increasing challenge.
While Bad North was originally announced as launching for mobile last year, it actually made its way to consoles and PC this time last year. The up side to mobile players having to wait this long is that the iOS version comes complete with all the additional content and bug fixes that have been released for the game thus far. It also just feels great on touch as you can easily zoom in and rotate the islands around as needed using familiar touch controls. The vikings will attack from all sides so it’s really nice to be able to quickly and easily get the proper view you need to take them on.
I think my favorite element that Bad North takes from roguelikes is the need to play the hand you are dealt and make do with what any given game gives you. There’s nothing quite like figuring out how best to use your available resources and pull a victory out of the jaws of defeat. Bad North: Jotunn Edition is a really nice blend of familiar genres and mechanics that just gels together really well, and plays fabulously on mobile and is worth looking into even if you’re like me and aren’t usually a huge fan of the genres its comprised of.