Are you ready for a wild ride full of undead creatures, some funny jokes, some terrible jokes, an eye catching plot and well-crafted characters? Well look no further than Zoink Games’ Zombie Vikings. The hack-n-slash, side scrolling killing fest is one that fails to grow dull. Although not perfect, Zombie Vikings delivers a fun and unique gaming experience.
Odin’s eye has been stolen. The evil doer Loki has taken it from the crazy old man and has run off. The now blind Odin cannot chase Loki alone, so to do his bidding he resurrects four undead Vikings: Gunborg: the muscle, Seagurd: the nicest zombie ever, Hedgy: the crazy little daredevil that eats anything and Caw-kaa: the level headed zombie. The four set off to reclaim the eye for Odin and to stop the wretched Loki, but there is more evil afoot. Death itself has manifested to claim the eye to awaken a great beast to destroy the world. Get ready for a fight!
The plot is straightforward enough, and if anything, leads you through some unique settings that really create a great backdrop for the action and interesting characters. This is not your typical hack-n-slash. The game does a good job of developing the characters while you pursue Loki. You get a good feel for each viking and why they are the way they are. It provides some nice backstory for each viking and really fleshes out each aspect of their character. It’s a nice touch that I really appreciated. While the four Vikings take the limelight, you also cross paths with several well developed side characters. One of my favorites is “ugly troll in the pot” lady that is infatuated with Loki. You first meet her in her candy house in the woods trying to court Loki. Of course, Loki is trying to play along to stay safe although she is a sight for sore eyes and it proves to be a difficult task. The whole scene is filled with some funny and gross sexual innuendos. The entire game is filled with characters such as this, adding some depth and creativity to the game.
To have a successful hack-n-slash you must have fluid controls. This is a key component to ensure that players enjoy the gameplay and keep playing. Zombie Vikings does a good job at creating smooth controls and some interesting gameplay mechanics. Each Viking comes with a set of unique skills and abilities, so no two Vikings play the same, giving the player some variety. I think my favorite Viking so far is Seagurd. His skill set is so fun to use when slaying enemies. One of his attacks unleashes a flurry of octopus tentacles dealing heavy amounts of damage and ripping through the baddies. Another cool trick he has is where his octopus tentacles grow very large, grabbing nearby enemies and hurling them across the map, giving you some time to breathe and power up for your next attack. While playing through the story you will be forced to play as each Viking. Each viking has their own play style. Gunborg is the biggest of them all so she packs a punch but moves around a little slower. Hedge and Caw-kaa are very quick with their strikes but are not as powerful as Gunborg. I enjoyed giving each Viking some play time and it felt refreshing to switch it up and play as someone new.
The game offers a wide variety of weapons and magical stones called runes. The runes grant you special bonuses like being able to double jump or have the ability to vomit on your enemies which can poison them dealing extra damage. The weapons can range from normal viking swords to cats strapped to a stick, plus some weapons come with their own bonuses such as being able to gain health on each hit or slowing your enemies after you strike them. It’s a bit of strategy as to how you play the game and a nice touch that just adds to the awesome slashing nature of the game.
One cool thing I noticed were the boss fights. Each boss fight was different from the next resulting in some creative fights and interesting tactics. One boss is jumping around throwing green goo at you. One is massive and fighting you on rotating platforms. One is even an undead game of Socker! Yes, one boss fight is a game in which you must pick up a little gnome and throw him into a giant fish (or the goal). Towards the end you will face a string of bosses, each with their own unique abilities and a unique way to kill each one. One flies through the air forcing you to throw barrels and enemies at him to make him fall to the ground and thus being susceptible to attacks. Another one’s main attack is running straight out you and the only way to damage him is to make him run into the surrounding lava. It causes you to approach each boss differently. During one of these boss fights I did notice some issues. Sometimes when I would power up for an attack my character would not execute the attack and just hold on to it, forcing me to run away instead of unleashing a powerful ability. It made one of the fights much more frustrating than it already was. I did enjoy trying to figure out how to go about killing each boss. Each boss fight was awesome and some required help from friends, so not only was each fight different, but some were really challenging.
The main draw to this game is the multiplayer aspect. Up to four players are able team up to control each Viking and slash their way to victory. Playing with friends definitely has its benefits. Throughout the course of your journey you will open chests that give you gold and some of the chests are only accessible with more than one Viking. In the game you can pick up just about anything, including your teammates. This is very useful when trying to grab a chest up on a high ledge. The idea is to stack up Vikings until you reach the chest and this technique can also be useful in battle. You pick up teammates to hurl them across the map to attack the enemies or to flee the fight and conserve your health. You also pick up enemies to throw at other enemies to hurt them. It is a vicious cycle. Playing through most of the game solo was fun, however tag teaming the game with some friends made the experience so much more enjoyable. Plus, when playing with friends there are more enemies so the chaos is enhanced on the screen. It’s a riot.
While playing with friends the game did suffer some frame rate issues caused by too many things happening on the screen. You also struggle to find your Viking in all of the action going on. There is a way to highlight your character but this does not really help. Multiple times while playing with friends I found myself trying to kill nothing or following another Viking thinking I was another player. These issues did not entirely pull me from the experience, but did happen often enough to make me notice them.
The settings and music that accompany this game are spot on. Zoink Games aimed to create a fun atmosphere and they nailed it. The upbeat jazz style score does the game justice. Every area is different, opening up the player to new areas and new side characters. Most of these side characters are jokes inside of themselves playing on the fact that they are ironic in nature. One that you will meet along the way is a cat that has a cat popsicle. I know, right? The game is jam packed full of jokes and innuendos (some which may only be for adult ears). Around every turn is a crack at modern society or a joke about this generation of technology. Some of the jokes seem misplaced or poorly delivered, however there are so many that the next one can make up for the last one. Sometimes I found myself growing weary of all the puns, but something else funny came along to put a smile on my face.
All in all Zombie Vikings was fun. It was an enjoyable experience that was only enhanced when playing with friends. The comedic style of the game that went alongside the hack-n-slash gameplay fit very well together. Although not without its flaws, Zombie Vikings offers a fresh take on slasher games. I recommend you go play it right meow!
+ Well crafted characters
+ Nice fluid controls
+ Fun combat
+ CAT SWORD
– Technical hiccups while with friends
– Some gameplay issues while fighting bosses
– Some jokes are poorly executed
Zombie Vikings is a fun experience that offers some well-developed characters, solid gameplay, tons of jokes, and interesting settings. Although the game does have some technical problems when playing with friends, it is still enjoyable. If you are looking for a game to play with your friends and have fun killing a bunch of stuff, Zombie Vikings is your game.
Jon Moore is the General Manager at The Game Bolt, and loves a good Oreo cookie. For more useless knowledge and nerdy shenanigans follow him on Twitter.