When I mention Blizzard Entertainment, what comes to mind? Warcraft? Star Craft ? Maybe even Diablo?
Like Valve, Blizzard is known for its big titles, and the company is among the best selling in the PC market. Retrogamers, however, have a special place in their hearts for an older game from this company that was originally distributed by Interplay. That game is The Lost Vikings.
A game for all the Lemmings fans
The Lost Vikings is a puzzle platformer in the vein of Lemmings. You control three vikings who are kidnapped by aliens who want to make them part of an intergalactic zoo. Each viking has unique abilities you must use in combination to make it to the end of each level, much like the way you turn the various lemmings into different workers to make your way to the exit. As you try to make your way home, you will travel to ancient times and alien worlds, each presenting new challenges and puzzles for you to solve.
Advancing to the end of the levels in the game takes the ability to use the three characters and their abilities wisely:
Blizzard showed with games like The Lost Vikings that it was going to be a strong developer.
Erik the Swift: Fastest member of the group, Erik has both the ability to jump and to run at high speeds to destroy walls by ramming them with his head.
Olaf the Stout: Olaf carries a huge shield with him. The shield allows him to both block attacks from opponents and, when held above his head, glide down from heights.
Baleog the Fierce: Baleog is the hunter of the group. His arrows and sword allow him to deal with the enemies in the levels and hit switches from a distance.
Though each character can make it through certain areas on their own, it’s how you use them in combination that makes all the difference.
It’s all about teamwork
The Lost Vikings is a game that makes you switch among characters to deal with the puzzles in each level. Say for example there is a wall in front of you, a chasm after that, a switch on the far end of the chasm and an elevator at the bottom. To get through that, you would bash the wall with Erik, switch to Olaf and glide down to the elevator and then switch to Baleog to shoot his arrow to hit the switch, thus turning the power on to the elevator and allowing you to switch back to Olaf and bring it up to the others.
The puzzles and humor of this game will keep you coming back.
On top of that, the Vikings’ abilities compliment each other. Can’t quite jump up to a platform with Erik? Set Olaf under it with his shield pointed up so Erik can jump onto the shield and then up to the platform. Olaf can also use his shield to hold off attackers till you can bring Baleog over to deal with them. In order to make it to the end of each level, you will have to find ways to use each character’s strengths to overcome the others’ weaknesses.
It is but to laugh
Sure, The Lost Vikings has intricate puzzles that will challenge you, but it’s the humor that will keep you coming back for more. The alien who kidnapped you is the vile emperor Tomator, for crying out loud. Each time your characters take damage, they behave rather comically, doing anything from stumbling around a bit dizzily to lighting up when shocked.
The banter among the characters is the best part. In between levels, the characters will chide each other the way only good friends can. For example, when Erik starts complaining that his head will explode if he bashes one more wall, Olaf replies “I have dibs on his helmet.” Baleog then claims Erik’s boots, and Erick is left to contemplate the fact that he has “such good friends.” This game is a testament to the humor that is so rare to find in current games.
Though it may not be the most sophisticated game in the world, this early release by Blizzard is one any fan of the company should try. The Lost Vikings gets a 4 out of 5.