Trail by Viking is a single player side scrolling adventure in which you are called upon to help the Norse gods defeat Loki. The game introduces you to its world with something nice and easy before gradually increasing the difficultly level, this being said you still have a choice of difficulty levels before you begin. As well as running through the levels you also get to fly through levels curtesy of a Valkyrie. There are 27 different boss battles and 80 different enemies to fight within the level. Not all enemies have to be fought though sometimes it is possible to avoid them whereas other times the enemy’s death unlock passage into another area.
The character design is good the small Viking still has a certain look of strength about him and even though he is towered over by everything in the game you still don’t feel out of place or out matched in anyway. The level design is great the use of colours gives the feeling that you have been summoned to another realm the contrast between the light and the shadows is well thought out. The overall feel of the game is that of the golden age of side scrollers, with sonic the hedgehog 2 and super Mario, this game wouldn’t look out of place or pale in comparison to those that paved the way for this. Not bad for a one man team.
The game supports both keyboard controls and the use of a controller, so you can plug in and digress back to those long summers as a kid when you stay indoors all day and would sit in-front of a small screen with an 8-bit character running from left to right. Before the game loads you have the option to customise the controls to your liking. The original keyboard control layout is good, it is easy to grasp and no complex at all allowing you to spend more time enjoying the game rather than worrying about finding the right key to press.
One of my favourite things about this game is if you stand still for an extended period of time the character breaks the 4th wall and tells you that he doesn’t have time to stand around, which is great and it‘s also a nod back to sonic the hedgehog and his scowl of disapproval when you didn’t move for a while. The soundtrack for this game is great it’s subtle but very good, it doesn’t over power the game of scream listen to me but you know it’s there and you can enjoy it as you bound through each level. The characters voices overs are good they fit well with the characters they represent. One thing that caught me off guard was that when your character speaks you are given the choice of what to say in some cases thus influencing the conversation and i liked it, it’s not a big part of the game but it is still a very nice addition.
Throughout the game you collect gems that you can use to buy upgrades for you character, each of the 130 levels, yes 130, has replay-ability because of the gems and the puzzles within. By this I mean that once you have completed a level by making it from A-Z you are given a fastest time but you are also told how many gems you collected. Sometimes you will need to back once you have upgraded so that you can attempt puzzles that you couldn’t finish earlier. Also as well as gems you can collect keys which help you unlock areas within that level. Inside some of the breakable objects or chest you may come across a potion some of which bestow you with health, whereas others give you the ability to shrink. Think mini blue mushroom from the Mario series. There are other puzzles that include the use of levers and cogs, which add to the enjoyment and fun nature of the game.
Overall, Trail by Viking is a great game, it is fun to play the enjoyment will continue to come while playing this game, Via the extensive upgrades and the many boss battles to the tricky puzzles that you encounter as you charge head first through the numerous levels as Odin trusted soldier to defeat Loki. If you enjoy platformers then this is definitely a game you should play and it may even become one of your favourites. If you have never played a 2D side scroller then try this it may just be an introduction to a world of catchy music, little people beating big things and endless enjoyable frustration as you try to find that one last item you have missed every time you bound through the level. Trail by Viking is available from Steam now for only £9.89 with the special release 10% discount and at that price it is a bargain.
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