Volgarr the Viking is a side-scrolling action platformer, and the debut title of Crazy Viking Studios. It irritates me when studios name themselves after their flagship title. This team’s next game is titled “Eternal Helix”, and is a science fiction game bearing no relevance to Nordic history. This is inconsistent. Crazy Viking Studios’ ineptitude in nomenclature, however, is made up for by their game design, as Volgarr the Viking possesses good gameplay, well designed levels and a pleasant pseudo-16-bit aesthetic.
The player progresses through a sequence of linear worlds, each culminating in a boss fight. Volgarr is equipped with a sword for melee combat, and an infinite supply of spears, which are thrown. These spears can be stuck into walls and stood on, which provides the basis for some simple platforming puzzles found throughout the game. Volgarr’s movement is relatively slow, but he is able to crouch, roll and double jump. The jump mechanic is of the Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts variety, whereby velocity cannot be changed in midair.
The armour system is also similar to that found in the Capcom franchise. The upgrades are found in chests, and each one adds a visual effect such as a shield or helmet (the shield also has a practical effect). If you take a hit, you lose your helmet. Take another and you lose your shield; take another and you die. There are infinite lives in Volgarr, but no save system and very few checkpoints.
The enemies are varied and different strategies must be learned to deal with each. Most do not respawn, and they all have predictable attack patterns. This does not stop some of them being infuriating, with level 3 in particular making me hate skeletons with such vitriol that I considered having my own surgically removed.
There are no notable flaws in Volgarr the Viking, and at £9.99 it’s an easy recommendation.