Bad North is a real-time strategy game where you defend your island kingdom from Viking invaders who have killed off your king. Each level is a uniquely generated island populated with 1-3 buildings that you can defend with up to 4 armies. Viking raiders attack in waves from the sea using a variety of counter measures to breach your defenses. You will need to decide where to position your troops to give them the best chance of fending off the waves of incoming enemies.
You begin the game by choosing two commanders, game difficulty and if you would like the ability to restart levels. I recommend choosing this option in the beginning because it allows you to learn from your mistakes and not have to retrain troops every time you lose the game. After making your selections the game generates different islands that you must defend. Each level or island contains 1-3 houses that you must protect from invading hordes of enemies who attack via boat. You can strategically place your troops anywhere on an island to give your commanders the best chance of defending each house or the ability to escape if things do not go your way. After each level you can train your troops, learn new abilities and equip any items you may have found.
The game is over once all your commanders have fallen during combat. To avoid losing you can use the houses on each island to heal mid-battle, acquire more commanders to replace fallen comrades or flee and regroup if things get too hairy.
The game features 3 types of troop upgrades. You can choose between knights, archers and pikemen to defend your islands. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses and can be upgraded by spending money you earn at the end of each level. You can also assign different abilities and items between islands.
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Bad North uses a lot of adjectives to describe itself but it is a pretty simple game. There isn't much in the way of strategy, position your archers high, and pikemen where they have an advantage so they do not have to fight on the run. Choosing how you use your upgrade gold is also important. The procedurally-generated islands offers some replay value but the lack of troop options and upgrades lessens the replay value. Having to restart the game from scratch when you do lose becomes a bit tedious.
Bad North is availble for only $5 on the Apple App Store. It's not a bad price, and you'll get your moneys worth, but if you're looking for a deep strategy game that offers a lot of playing time this is probably not it.