Viking Invasion (DSiWare)

Game Review

Viking Invasion Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Adam

Pillage the village!

Viking Invasion by BiF is a tower defence game that puts the player in charge of protecting various castles and forts from hordes of Viking invaders. The game takes a slightly different approach to the standard tower defence set up, with foes pouring in through various waterways and rivers.

Set over three difficulty levels and offering two modes of game play, Viking Invasion offers Campaign and Survival modes. Campaign mode has a very loose storyline stringing each of the Viking invasions together with a set number of waves of enemies per level, which the player must survive in order to progress to the next level. The storyline doesn’t really add much to the game: some of the dialogues are somewhat amusing but it feels as though they are aimed at a younger audience. If playing on the easiest difficulty setting, “Meanine,” the game begins at a very gentle pace; so gentle in fact it’s quite difficult to take any damage at all to begin with. Each level begins with the player having a fixed amount of money to build defensive structures such as archery towers and cannons. These towers can be upgraded after they have defeated a certain amount of enemies and new upgrades can be bought via gems collected through killing larger, more powerful enemies.

The game progresses at a reasonably fast pace and while the earlier levels are almost laughably easy the latter ones are more challenging, with more paths for enemies to enter the area through and progressive waves containing larger hordes of enemies. Each wave begins with a countdown to warn the player of an incoming wave of enemies; during this time the player can construct various buildings and upgrade already constructed buildings in order to prepare for the attacks. Game time can be sped-up if the game is progressing at too gentle a pace, or alternatively paused altogether if the player needs time to think. These features allow the player to play at their own pace, and as veterans of this genre may find this title a little bit too easy it was perhaps a wise decision to include these time-altering options.

The game has ten maps available for play and these are unlocked by playing through the storyline in campaign mode. All of the maps are illustrated quite nicely, though a few of them are perhaps a little too similar: some more varied terrains would have been welcome. During play the touch-screen displays a zoomed-in view of the field while the upper screen displays an overview of the map and statistics such as available funds, gems and the health of the fortress. Everything is displayed in a simple and concise manner and therefore even for newbies to the genre getting to grips with the game shouldn’t pose a problem.

The game is controlled mostly with the touch-screen with the A button acting as a prompt to continue dialogue and the Start button opening the game menu – both these actions can also be done via the touch-screen however. The controls are fairly intuitive, with hexagonal spaces being tapped to open the construction menu. From here the player can construct all of the various buildings necessary to achieve victory. Each building also has its own upgrade menu where the player can improve the strength, agility and range of said building’s attacks. At the start of each wave of enemies the enemies’ names are displayed and upon tapping them the player can learn useful information about that particular enemy's weaknesses and strengths.

The game’s audio is pretty standard of the genre with some nice instrumentals featuring a vaguely militaristic backdrop. The music can however get a little tedious with the same track looping over and over in one level. The game’s sound effects are pretty minimalistic and in the case of this game this is probably a good thing – hearing a soundbite of an arrow being fired on repeat would perhaps not be a pleasant or particularly rewarding experience.


Overall, Viking Invasion is a solid tower defence title with clear and concise gameplay, varied enemies and plenty of upgrades to keep the player busy. The easiest game mode is perhaps a little too easy for more experienced players of the genre, though this makes Viking Invasion the perfect introduction for players new to this type of game. Considering the game’s relatively high price tag, Viking Invasion manages to pack just enough content and good quality presentation to warrant 800 Nintendo Points. The only minor niggle about this game is the lack of a decent storyline, though it really isn’t necessary here.

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User Comments (17)



Reala said:

300 points cheaper and I would have put on my DSIware to buy list, if I do finally get a DSI that is, but 800 points I'm afraid not, sounds fun though



EdEN said:

Hopefully it will see a release in the Americas soon. I love tower defense games and I've just recently finished Ninjatown, so I need a new TD game for my DSi.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Prochnow: LEGO Battles.

Nice review. Love me these types of games (Lock's Quest FTW!). Did you think multiplayer would've worked well for this title?



KDR_11k said:

Well, it's nice but you really have to get into the mindset of building first, upgrading later because upgrades don't give much bang for the buck (unlike some other TD games where an upgraded tower is significantly better than two unupgraded ones).

Also it's pretty annoying when you fail to kill the last boss of a stage and would have to do it all over again to get that tech rune.



Drake said:

There's really only two tower defence games I like - Defense Grid: The Awakening and (the radically different) Plants vs. Zombies. This one looks fairly interesting though, so I might check it out.



Gavin_Rozee said:

I'd like to try Plants vs. Zombies, but I'm not into gaming on a PC. As far as I know, that's the only way of playing it. Hopefully it'll be ported to PSN or something.



kirbygirl said:

@ Prochnow: Check out Robocalypse too.

I really want to try out Viking Invasion soon.



barkie_mailman said:

I got the game and it is really fun (For TD fans).

Can anyone beat the last level though? It's an absolute nightmare...If anyone has any tips, please post them!



Shakerag said:

I don't know if anyone is still checking, but I finally beat the last map (on easy difficulty - it was anything but easy!). Basically, I went with lots of fire towers and wind towers - often staggering them 1 after the other. I primarily placed them near the spawn points with the intention of only upgrading the fire towers all the way using the stake curse (the damage debuff, not the -armor one). This way, units are taking damage the entire time they're alive. Plus, many of the harder to kill units are most vunerable to fire if anything. The only thing I would have done differently was to put a lot more archer towers or rapid-fire cannons with the spike upgrade on the top-rightmost path, because in wave 24 (or 26) you get a lot of those fire-immune ghosts blazing down that path, and they take normal damage from cannon and an extra 50% from arrows. If you can survive wave 28 with at least 20-40 heath left, you're in good shape. On the last wave, as soon as the waves clear your first cannons' ranges near the spawn points, sell them and use the money to replace just about everything else with wind and fire towers where there weren't any before, due to the only enemies spawning being those shrewish valks. I didn't use any of the monoliths except for two on the bottom-left corner island, surrounded by rapid cannons. Odin likely won't be much of a worry, but try to have a fire tower or two on his path (he takes the top-right path down the right side) with the armor debuff, because his armor level is 9. Now ... to try it all again on normal difficulty...

Edit: Oh, hi everyone! First post and all that



EdEN said:

The last level took me forever to finish. I must have played it 20+ times until I finally could finish it with barely no energy left hahaha.

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