Coming off RPM Racing, I think it’s time to cover the next game our friends at Blizzard produced that started the chain reaction towards where they are today. Given the fact that RPM wasn’t the success it should’ve been despite having some reasonable ideas, and pushing the company’s credibility towards ‘that team that does Amiga ports’ makes The Lost Vikings more impressive, after all this is the game that made them consider going it alone.
There’s a level of confidence here that shouldn’t exist from a developer with such sketchy past, especially when combining the puzzle, action, and platforming genres. As for the games main hook, it’s simple.. you control three vikings with their own unique skills. One can use a sword or bow to vanquish enemies and hit switches, One is defensive using a shield to protect himself and everything behind him, while our third character can run and jump. The shoulder buttons introduced the idea that you could swap between vikings quickly to let you solve the various puzzles and find the exit on each stage. Hell, the variety above is enhanced further in The Lost Vikings with the items you can find during your journey, but it never becomes a chore to travel through each section.
The only fault I can give the game is perhaps a fault of the puzzle genres early days where a task may have to be repeated multiple times to solve a puzzle, or realistically as you’ll soon find out, the loss of the point click option to automatically move your characters to a set position isn’t here. Which when your cycling through each Viking to move them manually to an exit feels like more of a game padding exercise nowadays, than an oversight in programming.
Of course there’s always 2 player mode than enhances the experience, and if you’ve never played this gem it’s well worth a look! I won’t go into the plot line in great detail, purely because its a simple tale of Vikings are abducted, and are trying to get back home. And that’s just all you need when the rest of the dialog makes the game a charming romp!