Volgarr the Viking reminds me of Ghouls And Ghosts, it reminds me of old platforming games with brutal difficulty, few options for the player and very precise mechanics. I'm giving it a 3/5 mainly because it's not for me; It's too difficult and the lack of difficulty options - that might have diluted the game's core essence - made it impossible for me to get anywhere past the second 'stage' of the game. It's well made and I'm certain there is an audience that wants exactly that kind of game, but that audience isn't me.

Your actions in VtV are enough to overcome any challenge the game throws at you, but you have to use them well. There is a double-jump, but once you jump the direction and length of the jump are fixed and you don't have any air control. That made a seemingly simple jump very frustrating to me, one place where you had to jump away and then double-jump to the next platform. trying to double jump towards it just brought me countless deaths. You die very easily in VtV, getting hit when you don't have any items is instant death. You can get a shield to take a few hits, a magical helmet and a flaming sword, but when you get hit, you lose it all. 

You can also throw spears that have to be used at platforms in order to get places and the spears have to be thrown from a specific distance or they don't stick to walls. When wearing certain equipment, your spears can be charged into flaming bolts of death that pierce enemies. Enemies attack from everywhere, lizardmen that spawn from the ground, plants that shoot deadly spores in set patterns, spiders and snakes that lounge at you, you really need to memorize everything since you always restart at the beginning of a stage when you die, which can happen a lot if you're not always careful.

What Volgarr needs for me would've been some kind of easy mode. More checkpoints, maybe more hits before you die, but essentially a bit more of tutorializing. It's not that kind of game, I know, but just adding hints about what i'm supposed to do in certain spots would have prevented me from spending half an hour trying to understand why my double-jump wasn't working right. Adding an easier mode wouldn't have removed everything from the game since people could have still played the harder version, but the product there is right now is way too tough for me.

To conclude, I felt kinda good after finishing the first stage, but that was overwhelmed by the number of times I was instead frustrated by my inability to navigate the challenges of this game properly. Volgarr the Viking is a tough, unforgiving game for a specific kind of people. It's very well crafted, but it's just not for me.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories3/5, Platformer