A rental at my local video store that I just couldn't stop playing. Once I figured out it was a puzzle game anyway. I've been a big fan of solving puzzles in games and I'm a big fan of platformers. Put the two together and you get The Lost Vikings. It has silly dialog between the three characters and an ever changing amount of levels. Seriously, it seemed like every time I turned the game on I could be anywhere. Underwater, in ancient prehistoria, or outer space. Then you'd get really weird candy factory levels too. The gameplay is what attracts me to it, but the storyline is actually humorous enough to keep me paying some attention to it. Your three vikings are just hanging out being vikings when suddenly aliens abduct them. Lost Vikings escape. They bumble their way into a time machine and well, the adventure begins. That is really the plot of the game.
Lost Vikings lets you switch between three viking warriors. Eric the swift, who can run and jump, also rushing in headfirst to break walls. Olaf the stout, who has a shield that blocks enemy attacks that also lets him glide, and Baleog the fierce who attacks with an arrow or his sword. The three of them bicker back and fourth at the start and end of each level. What makes the gameplay so solid is how each of their abilities is used to solve the puzzles, often making you switch between them and combine their abilities. Like having you move the shield above Olafs head so Eric can jump on it. And don't even get me started on all the switches being flipped. Maybe I'm old fashioned, well obviously, but a good amount of flip switch puzzles always makes me happy. I can solve those. And that feeling of "Oh that's how you do it." when you finally figure out how to maneuver your vikings through the level is wonderful. Also wonderful is watching them die horrible deaths. Some of which are particularly jarring like falling a few hundred feet and just splattering. My favorite though is when you just die from regular wounds, your hero turns to bones nad falls to pieces. Keeping their facial hair and helmets.
Lost Vikings had one sequel, Lost Vikings 2. Upgraded gameplay by making each of the Vikings into half robots. Even cooler than that, and slight spoilers even though they're both on the box: You can get two extra friends, a werewolf and a dragon, who switch up with the regular vikings depending on the level your on. Interestingly about the sequel, is the 3D version available for the playstation and saturn. It was renamed Norse by Norsewest and has this cute 3D But that's an article for another time. It seems like Blizzard (or silicon & synapse) hasn't forgotten about their vikings. They appear in World of Warcraft as a mob. Over in Rock N Roll Racing Olaf is a playable character. I'd hoped for an announcement of a new game a few years ago when a GBA port of Lost Vikings came out, but seems like the vikings are lost except for these cameo appearances. It's a shame really. I used to love renting this game and then when I finally got my own copies, I played them to death. I'm going to recommend the super nintendo version if only because you can easily switch with the L and R buttons between your heroes.
Did you ever play Lost Vikings? Read about other Old School Games by clicking here.