Icebreaker is a physics puzzle game that requires the player to slice blocks of ice, containing his fellow vikings, and solve other challenges. The game is finally released on Android in all of its beardy glory. Icebreaker can be purchased here: Icebreaker on Google Play.
Smashâ€™nâ€™Bash is a delightfully fun game that doesn’t have anything really unique about it. Itâ€™s a simple side scrolling endless runner which requires players to move their Viking protagonist around the playing field, bashing and smashing bandits on his way to reclaim his glory and riches lost through poor financial management and bamboozlement. Ingvar, the hero of the story behind Smashâ€™nâ€™Bash employs only two weapons, a hammer or a battering shield, on his quest to seek gold and vengeance in this simplistic but highly entertaining game.
Everything about this title is really simple, as you only have to worry about a couple of things, mainly, what color the enemy youâ€™re about to take on is. Blue indicates you must use a shield, while red implies the usage of your war hammer. Usually, this is a pretty basic switch, where players just need to tap the right side of the screen to make the switch between the two accessories. However, there are times where opposing colored bad guys are in the same spot, which makes it impossible to take one or the other on, unless the player has a death wish or desire to end the run, killing their Norse hero.
Being that Smashâ€™nâ€™Bash is free, there are in-app purchases. However, the developers of this title have not only made this game to the point that the in-app purchases are entirely optional, they’ve also done a great job at not making them so obvious to the player. Gold coins, used to purchase upgrades ranging from more time on the rage meter to more damage on the bad guys, are easily obtained through playing continuously. Similar to games like Quadropus Rampage, the developers of this title have also made the in-app purchases pretty generous, rewarding those who wish to contribute financially (or are very impatient).
While Smashâ€™nâ€™Bash is a lot of fun, it is far from perfect. Besides copying ideas from many other games on the Google Play marketplace, the game can cause frustration for users when trying to proceed from level to level. In order to progress, players need to maintain a certain rage level, which is obtained by defeating enemies. There is no indication just how much rage is needed to go on to the next level and players will be stonewalled until they acquire the invisible plateau, usually through more upgrades or dumb luck.
Smashâ€™nâ€™Bash isnâ€™t going to win any awards for originality, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring or dull. In fact, thereâ€™s a lot to be said for a simple end runner full of animated childish violence by the hands of a Viking just trying to earn his bread. Plus, the monetary system in this game is very nice; no in your face ads and no painfully apparent begging for money or paywalls. In fact, the only real annoyance is progressing through levels, which can be passed off as just adding a level of difficulty to this title. Again, this isn’t the perfect game, just a fun one.
If history tells us anything about the Vikings, it’s that the Scandinavian terrors were far from happy with their lot. Bored with ice, snow and inventing death metal, they set about plundering, pillaging, persecuting â€“ and doubtless countless other unpleasant activities starting with P â€“ their European neighbours. Of course, games hold historical accuracy in the same contempt that the Vikings held non-Viking human life, so Happy Vikings can be forgiven for seeming a little revisionist.
The game, as the title suggests, paints the Vikings as happy-go-lucky scamps, with huge ginger beards and big smiling faces. Sure, they’re out robbing, but look how cute they are, you can’t blame them for being a little boisterous. That boisterousness takes the form of a loot stacking puzzle game, which makes perfect sense if you don’t try and think about it.
You play a lone Viking, running around the bottom of a long boat as your comrades in beards catapult the spoils of war in your general direction. It’s your job to stack the herring, jewels, lumps of meat, treasure chests and barrels of mead into matching piles of three or more. This turns them into coins, which steadily fill up the boat.
Happy Vikings plays like a mix between Tetris and a classic 2D platformer. You jump around, collecting loot as it falls, whilst trying to figure out the best arrangement for all the tumbling goodies. The more loot you burst in a single go, the more points you receive. So, whilst you can finish each level by only chaining in threes, if you’re after the big score and the adoration of your Viking friends, then you have to think on your feet and plan ahead.
For some people, Happy Vikings’ constant cheeriness might be a bit off putting, others still may find the slightly clumsy control system too unwieldy. These are minor flaws, however, in what is a well put together and immensely enjoyable game.
Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of Happy Vikings is the way it does something different. It may not be hugely original, but it’s far from a straight forward clone, unlike a lot of the titles that you’ll find on the Android Market. It’s fun, addictive and, best of all, won’t come to your village in the dead of night and slaughter all of your loved ones.