Hey, Xbox fans! We’re here to share some information about Bad North and hopefully get you as excited about playing it as we are to see it being played!
Bad North is a minimalistic, real-time tactics roguelite where you defend a series of small islands from hordes of Viking invaders. That genre description is a bit of a mouthful, so let’s break it down and explain what this game really is.
The core gameplay is real-time tactics which (in Bad North) is a mashup of real-time strategy, turn-based tactics, and tower defense. You defend small, charming islands (and the houses on them) against wave after wave of Vikings using just a handful of adorable soldiers. Your squads start off as a basic militia, but you can specialize and upgrade them using the rewards from each successful island defense. As the Vikings send increasingly tougher and more varied enemies, you’ll need to take full advantage of all your squads’ abilities and the synergies between them to repel the invasion. Make use of the unique shape of each island is also essential, like positioning your squads to control chokepoints and restrict your enemies is key to victory.
As a roguelite, these core mechanics are wrapped up in a procedurally-generated campaign. Each island, the progression through the islands, and even your squad commanders are unique to each playthrough. You’ll need to learn to adapt and react to whatever islands you discover, and you won’t find any walkthroughs for a particularly tough island. Additionally, although your squads can survive the death of individual soldiers, if the squad commander dies, that squad is lost forever, along with any upgrades they have.
The minimalism is at the heart of everything in Bad North, from the design to the art-style to the controls. You won’t be bombarded with UI, stats, or explicit rules to learn – all this information is communicated in the gameplay itself. Character behaviors, animations, and sound effects show you everything you need to know about the battle as it takes place. Over time you’ll learn to understand your soldiers, seeing how they behave in different situations and build your tactics around this information. This “feeling out” of mechanics makes it easy and intuitive to get started with Bad North, but hides a deep, strategic challenge for veterans to sink their teeth into.
With each island taking 5-10 minutes to complete, the game is perfect to drop in to for quick sessions. But you’ll often find yourself losing track of time as you dive back into the next island with some newly upgraded troops, ready to soak the ground red with the blood of your enemies! What seems at first like a cute, simple puzzle quickly becomes a challenging and dynamic simulation and you’ll have to be smart about when, where and how you engage your foes.
The game has been a lot of fun to make, and we can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks once you’ve had a chance to play it!