Lately I finally raised enough money to get myself a GBA SP. To make things even better the next day one of my favourite games from long ago arrived in form of a GBA remake: Lost Vikings.
A company that we today know for their WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo titles created this little gem many, many years ago. To all our readers who I make feel very, very old - I suffer from this problem too that is all I can say to ease your pain – but back to the game, shall we.
Three Vikings from ancient times are abducted by an evil alien overlord who is locking for specimen for his “collection”. With wit and Viking manpower they fight their way through the overlord’s spaceship and travel through time holes the overlord opened, always fighting against hordes of enemies and trying to avoid deadly traps.
Lost Vikings is a classic side scrolling jump’n’run. The graphics are little cartoon sprites moving around the screen. There are different level themes, a fair selection of enemies and friends and that’s about it and I dare say more than enough. The music selection isn’t much bigger but again more than enough because of ...
At every moment of the game you are in control of all three of your men. Only by combining their unique skills and abilities you are able to solve the levels. Erik the Swift is the head of the group. He can run fast as the wind, bash down obstacles and enemies while running and is the only of your men that can jump into those hard to reach places. Olaf the Stout is the shield man of the group. He carries and indestructible shield and can protect his comrades from all harm. Alternatively he can use it to float long distances or act as a platform for Erik to reach higher places. Baelog the Fierce is the bully of the team. Equipped with a sword and a bow it is his job to kill your enemies, mostly while hiding behind Olaf’s shield. Further he can use his bow to trigger unreachable buttons and switches. If equipped with flaming arrows no enemy can harm him. Only if you keep all three Vikings alive you can complete a level. Not only will it be impossible to advance at some point because you lack an urgently needed ability but the game just won’t let you either, so watch for your men!
The Lost Vikings is mostly a puzzle game. Slowly you advance trying to remember the layout of the levels, timing your actions while bringing your men into position. Enemies may come from behind or you have to leave cover because Erik has to scout ahead or, even worse, all three of your men are separated and have to find their own way. Thankfully the game is very forgiving. At any point you can restart the level and retry it an unlimited number of times and an auto-save function makes sure that you always continue where you last left.
The Lost Vikings is a classic returning to “the small screen”. The game is still one of the best arcade classics around and will keep you entertained while riding the bus or the train for weeks or even months - that’s why I give away the gold award although it is “only” a GBA (SP) title.