Volgarr the Viking from Crazy Viking Studios is an old-school infused 2D action platformer on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Volgarr the Viking review!
You play as titular Volgarr who, yes, is indeed a viking, and are instantly thrown into an adventure as soon as the game loads up. You will be taught the basics, such as jumping and double jumping with the B button, throwing spears with the A button (or by pressing up and the Y button), and how you can hold the button for a bit to charge your spear for more damage (if you have a special shield on you). Spears are helpful for attacking enemies as well as for being used as platforms to climb up walls. Your main attack is activated with the Y button at it will allow you to use your sword to defeat your enemies. You can also press the R button to roll to safety, away from imminent danger. If when in the air you hold down on the D-Pad and press the Y button, you’ll use your sword to attack downwards. If you feel that you need a clearer view of your surroundings, you can press the L button to zoom out.
As you explore, you’ll be able to find treasure chests with pieces of armor that will make you look and feel cooler, all while providing you with some extra defense to have a better chance of surviving. First, you get a Wood Shield shield that blocks two hits, then an unbreakable Magic Shield, followed by a Helmet that increases your attack speed, a Fire Sword that doubles the damage you deal, followed by golden items for boosts to your score, and then a Warrior Special, a special and mysterious item.
Every time you’re hit you’ll lose a piece of armor, so you’ll need to have as many pieces on you as possible at all times or else you’ll be defeated by the weakest of enemies in a single hit. When you die, you are sent to the last gigantic magical crystal you reached, but at least you’ll learn from your mistakes, so it doesn’t happen again. Oh, and every time you die you also lose some of your riches. Dying is only part of the learning cycle, and as long as you pay attention and adapt so that you don’t repeat your mistakes, you should be able to make good and steady progress until the end.
By eliminating enemies big and small, you’ll get coins and gems for your trouble, thus adding to your overall wealth. The amount of treasure you find during a stage is added to your overall wealth once you defeat the boss and return home. It works as your high score for your adventure, marking how good you did during a particular stage. Coins and gems are nice, but if you want to really bump your score you should keep an eye out for gem-incrusted necklaces, gold cups and more – some you find here and there in small sections of the game that are not part of the main path, while others you get from defeating the larger enemies you run into.
This one includes an in-game achievement system that will ask you to, for example, obtain a full set of armor with the powerful flame sword, for defeating a boss, for charging a spear and using it to defeat four enemies from a single throw, and so on. It’s a fun extra as you try to aim to get them all from subsequent runs, adding to the overall replay value.
Overall, Volgarr the Viking is a fun homage to old-school arcade action releases such as Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts and Rastan, even having the chance to throw in some Castlevania. It’s the right amount of difficulty as to present a challenge without feeling cheap or hard for the sake of being hard. It’s a solid release that plays great and that offers more than enough content for it’s asking price.
This Volgarr the Viking review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Crazy Viking Studios.