Remember when games were tough? Return to the Golden Age of arcades with an all-NEW hardcore action experience that pulls no punches. Volgarr the Viking possesses all the hallmarks of the true classics - simple controls, high challenge, and meticulous design - combined with hand-made pixel animation, an epic soundtrack, and buckets of...
User reviews:
Very Positive (1,499 reviews) - 86% of the 1,499 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 13, 2013

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“'ll feel like the biggest badass of all time.”
8/10 – Destructoid

“There often comes a time when something magical appears out of nowhere and quickly battles its way straight to your heart.”
5/5 – AppFilm UK

“Crazy Viking Studios nails the concept...”
4/5 – Hardcore Gamer

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

Remember when games were tough? Return to the Golden Age of arcades with an all-NEW hardcore action experience that pulls no punches. Volgarr the Viking possesses all the hallmarks of the true classics - simple controls, high challenge, and meticulous design - combined with hand-made pixel animation, an epic soundtrack, and buckets of blood. Flex your gaming muscles and step into the arena with Volgarr the Viking. We dare you.

Key Features

  • Classic hardcore arcade action!
  • Seven worlds to explore across 30+ maps
  • 40+ unique traps and enemies, including screen-filling bosses
  • Thousands of frames of handcrafted pixel animation
  • Orchestrated soundtrack
  • Meticulous control design with full customization
  • Full controller support (including legacy DirectInput devices!)
  • Steam achievements and leaderboards
  • Multiple paths through the game and multiple endings
  • Awesome retro-style game manual!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, or 7
    • Processor: 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB
    • DirectX: Version 7.1
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: 10.6 or higher
    • Processor: Intel 2.0GHz Dual-Core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.3-compatible
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: 32-bit Steam Runtime-supported
    • Processor: 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.3-compatible
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (1,499 reviews)
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1,044 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Well it is hard, but not the kind of hard they were looking for. Challenge come from trying to control you character and get him to bloody move.

It is little more than a test of patience.
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
The game difficulty is too hard for me. When you die you have to start from the beginning of the map, very annoying
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
I don't claim to be good at video games, but I can handle Dark Souls, which this game strangely gets compared to. The thing about Dark Souls is that it's hard, but good. This game is hard, but not very good. Whereas in Castlevania the controls feel deliberate, they just feel sluggish and cumbersome in this game. Maybe I'll revisit this later, but I wasn't too impressed. It's a shame because I really like the art, it's a game I want to spend time in, but I guess I'm not good enough or patient enough to stick with it.

I loathe writing negative reviews, I can tell a lot of hard work went into making this, but I just can't recommend this one.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
240 of 257 people (93%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
Now that I'm a working adult, I rarely have the energy or time to play games. Even the most engaging epics (Xenoblade Chronicles, Skyrim, etc) can only hold my attention for a few hours, MAX, before I need to do something else. Maybe it's because they don't feel as rewarding any more, or the stories just aren't as engaging as they used to be, but I know that I peeled off the "hardcore" label from my gamer card long ago.

I tell you this anecdote because I just spent nearly 10 straight hours playing Volgarr, and didn't even realize it.

This game is a pungent distillation of everything that I loved and hated about video games in the 80's and 90's. Back then, memory was at a premium, so in order to make a game feel like it was worth the $50 price tag, developers make them hard as nails in order to extend the play time you would need to devote in order to complete the game. This meant hours upon hours of committing each level, every enemy and all the boss patterns to muscle memory, and knowing how to react in each situation. It was an arduous process, but when you finally mastered a level and beat the boss, you felt like you had accomplished something. I realized, upon completing Volgarr, that this is what I had been missing from most modern games, where victory is all but ensured.

Volgarr is hard. Words like brutal and unforgiving don't really do it justice. Its smartly hard. I had quite a bit of trouble with the game, and actually gave it up for almost a year after I got stuck on stage 2. When I finally picked it back up this weekend, I approached it as a puzzle game; each encounter, every enemy's placement and movement, was done with care - all I had to do was find the pattern and "solve" the puzzle with Volgarr's moveset. This made every advancement feel like a real victory, and this game is one of the first in a long time to elicit actual cheers of joy when I completed a stage for the first time.

Volgarr never felt cheap, exploitative, or unfair. I died hundreds of times, repeating stages over and over, but it never made me angry or frustrated, only determined. Determined because every playthrough got me a little bit further: into the next room, understanding a new monster's attack pattern, or solving a new section of platforming. Every death had an "aha!" moment attached to it. If I died at a section I had played through before, it was 100% my fault. Overall randomness is low, so it is extremely rare that a strategy you succeeded with once will fail the next time.

I could wax poetic telling you about how good the controls feel, or the quality of graphics and music, but there are lots of other reviews for that. I simply wish to convey how satisfying this game is to play, and how accomplished I felt (and hopefully, you will too) when I beat each and every stage. I experienced a range of emotions, from trepidation, anger, fear and elation, something that few modern games can achieve, even with their grandiose storytelling and advanced visual presentation.

I'm not going to assign a number value to my review, because I think that trying to quantify any gaming experience is fairly pointless. Games aren't commodities with certain valuable characteristics, like a vacuum cleaner or toaster oven. Ultimately, what each person gets out of a game really depends on what they expect, what they like from an interactive experience, and how the game meets those needs. Games, in this regard, are like art, and you can't rate art, you can only relate how it makes you feel.

Volgarr challenged me, it made me feel young again, and it gave me a sense of accomplishment.

I dig it.
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97 of 108 people (90%) found this review helpful
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 15, 2013
I've finally beaten it. And what a game it's been. A testament to classic, hardcore, do-or-die Arcade platformers, Volgarr the Viking never disappointed me. Each level was cooler than the one before and I've only even played the "normal" levels. That's right, the game has "hardcore" levels which you unlock by basically playing the game flawlessly.

It's hard and the "checkpoints" aren't generous, if at all present. Each level is divided in 2 parts, with a boss at the end of the second. If you stop playing, you can skip levels, but you'll always start at the first part. I had to replay each level from the start a few times and didn't really have a problem with it. It's that good.

I've read a few negative comments on its brutal "save"-system which isn't really present at all. But don't let that hinder you. It's fantastic, stylish and I love it. It's metal. If there ever was a present-day word to describe this game, then it's metal. It's so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ metal. Vikings are cool characters to begin with, but this guy... Just, ♥♥♥♥.
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86 of 99 people (87%) found this review helpful
149 people found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 3, 2015
Played for 15 minutes before I needed a break playing something easier, like Dark Souls or something.
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122 of 156 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2013
This game is so good that I wrote a poem about it in the style of Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf, in a bid to entice one of my friends to give it a chance.

Men of courage! Listen to my challenge!
My name is known in the northern lands and beyond,
And my deeds are famed far and wide.
Volgarr I am, the most valiant of shield-bearers,
The adventurer and slayer of ancient gods.
Let this hall's strong pillars and hearty ale protect us
From the rain's cold water, and the howling wind,
As I stand proud and alone to tell my story.

Sea monsters I have slain, and giant serpents;
Winged beasts; howling barrow-men; bloodthirsty lizards.
My mighty muscles and quick mind protected me,
As they shall serve any of you who now support my cause.
Have courage, and use all your cunning,
and overcome the fear which first strikes all of us.
Those who doubt my deeds will feel my dagger -
Yet, those following my guide will know great glory.

It's also one of very few games to score higher than 10 on my personal rating scale, which is based on how many days it distracted me from Street Fighter 4. It's a good game!
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70 of 80 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 5, 2015
Overview: Retro Style 2D action Platformer

The Good:

+ The developers intentions were to create a retro 2D action game and in many regards succeeded wonderfully. This game is easy to learn but hard to master.

+ Great controls

+ The game is hard only because it requires memorization of the level and enemy patterns to succeed at the game. With only 6 levels each only taking around 10 minutes to complete...IF you know what you're doing. If you are playing for your first time then expect each level to take roughly over an hour to complete.

+ Only one checkpoint per level. (This is an old school 2d action game after all!)

+ The game has a normal path and a hard path to complete. You can only unlock the hard path by successfully collecting treasure chests throughout the level without getting hit.

+Three different endings depending on which path you took.

+ Great sound and music

The Bad:

- Warning! may cause stress, frustration, and other bad feelings.


A game like this is difficult to review in modern times because the developers intention was to create a game a few decades earlier. This game borrows heavily from Ghosts n' Goblins. It was "refreshing" to play an old school game, it makes you realize just how much easier games have come.
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69 of 79 people (87%) found this review helpful
42.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2013
Volgarr the Viking by Crazy Viking Studios

Simply put, Volgarr is just old-school classic fun!

Volgarr is a classic (but brand-new) side-scrolling platforming/adventure game flirting with the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and the likes.
The game's look and feel is spot-on, with Castlevania-esque jumping (no turning back midair) and Super Mario's (I know it's not the real influence but whatever) health by upgrades.

The single most important thing about Volgarr the Viking is DIFFICULTY, it's hard...seriously!

Sidenote: If you want a video review I recommend ProJared's review which can be viewed here:
(Note that ProJared's complaint about the Zoomed-Out View has been fixed as it now can be set to Toggle in the Options menu)

You are a badass, crazy Viking called Völgarr and you are summoned by Odin to take out a bad guy called Fafnir who is obtaining power (of course!)
The game's plot is pretty simple and that's basically all you will absorb and without giving you any spoilers!

You can:
- Jump. Amazing, right?
- Attack with your sword, jumping, crouching or not.
- Throw spears, both standing upright and while jumping. When you get the iron shield (Thor's Shield), you can hold the spear and let loose SUPERCHARGED spears which usually skewers all enemies it passes through instead of just killing the first thing it hits.
- Dodge roll, which lets you pass through most enemies to get a better angle for attack, or for just simply getting through small enterances.

Important to note (and this is one of the games best mechanics) is that thrown spears will get stuck in walls it hit, making it a platform to jump up to. This gives you tons of possibilites and great potential to work around certain difficult places by using the room to your advantage.

When in the air you can also press down to make Völgarr point his sword downwards, making the impact you make, rather messy (if you catch my drift)

You can also double-jump which makes you pull out your sword and perform a somersault which is a good way to challenge enemies midair or secure landing on a platform. Of course it also helps your platforming as you can change direction in your otherwise fixed jump arcs.

Note that there are many ways to use these techniques in conjunction or in different ways to make for some very interesting solutions! (Example: Try jumping, point your sword down and successfully touch an enemy and immediately use your second jump!)

You start with a simple sword and later you can find chests with upgrades like a wooden shield, an iron shield, a helmet and lastly a great sword of fire!

When you are hit you lose the last gear you obtained and you have to find another chest to restore it, if you get down to only a sword left and get hit, you die.

Speaking of dying, you have in the regular levels only 2 respawn points per world and it's in the beginning of the level and one half-way through (I just call it stage/phase/part 2), so if you die you have to often play through larger parts of the level.
It sort of becomes a longer, adventurous version of Super Meat Boy, you get a level with fixed enemy positions (most of the time) and you get to learn by trying.
When you finally beat the level you will most likely have remembered every single enemy position and how you best handle them.

If you manage to play the levels without getting hit you will start finding treasure instead of gear as you hit your upgrade cap. The gold acts as a hi-score along with your completion time but what matters more is if you find Warrior's Spirits which lets you play the special levels if you complete the level without dying (you lose one spirit per death).

The game have regular levels and special levels, the difference between them is that you have unlimited retries for regular levels but in the special levels you have as much extra lives as you have found Warrior's Spirits the levels before.
If you manage to complete the special words and find all the Runes you get the best ending, if you just complete the special worlds without runes you get the second best ending and if you don't beat the game through the special levels you get the "worst" ending.
So it's really challenging to get the best ending but just completing the game for the worst ending will be a challenge enough for your first playthrough and will feel rewarding enough (believe me on this one!). Later you can try and go for death-less runs, damage-less runs, speedruns or try and collect achievements and get all endings.

Volgarr the Viking is an absolutely stunning game which will test your limits. Whether or not you have never bought a game in the "retro" section or you are tired of "another Pixel Art Indie game". I definetly think you should look past that and give this game a try.
One of the few gripes is that the game can be rather short if you turn out to be a fast learner,
Whatever you decide to do you will get a lot of hours of fun, charming and passionately crafted gaming in world that wants nothing more than to break you!

I strongly recommend this game if you want some classic fun, a good challenge or to just make blood and bones fly all over the screen.
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60 of 66 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 15, 2014
This game reminds me of Ghosts n Goblins. It is very challenging. It isn't a bad game by any means. In fact, it is very well designed action platformer; it is just very challenging. I only recommend this game, if you want a very challenging but good game. If you are looking for a game you can breeze through, stay far, far away from this game.

To give you an idea of how hard this game is, I can't believe I've been playing this game for over an hour, and I still haven't beaten the first level. I have never played a game, aside from the original Ghosts n Goblins, where I haven't beaten the first level within an hour. And I bet you it will take several more hours before I finally get good enough to beat the first level.

This game is very challenging for the following reasons.

First of all, it only takes two hits to get killed in this game. You can increase your hit points to three hits with an armor upgrade (so you can get hit no more than two times), but that's about it. By default, you better not get more than once, or you are dead.

The levels are long, and full of hazards and enemies that can kill you. The checkpoints are few and far between, so you have to last for a very long time without getting hit. Lastly, many of the enemies and hazard are VERY cheap, and there is no way you can avoid them on your first encounter. Sometimes enemies and hazard can appear out of no where and kill you before you can even react. This can be especially frustrating when you made considerable progress, and then you are sent back to a checkpoint, losing five or more minutes of progress in the process. The only way you can avoid these hazards is to first get killed , know in advance that the hazard is coming, and then avoid it.

Also, you have to beat an entire world/level before you can save, and the worlds in this game are very large. If only you can save your progress and start from each sub-section of each world. That would be nice. But no, this game requires you to beat a very long and difficult level in just one-sitting, so you better have good endurance.

Basically, the only way you can make ANY progress in this game is to play the levels over and over again until you can reach the end in one sitting. You need perfect precision to avoid getting hit in this game. In other words, you need VERY GOOD hand-eye coordination, and LOTS of trial and error before you can beat this game. You need to memorize the entire level, where each hazard and enemy is, and play almost perfectly (get hit no more than once) to reach each few-and-far-between checkpoint and beat each level.

Luckily, this game gives you unlimited continues. You can continue from the same checkpoint as many times as you want. Thank god that's the case, because you will die many times until you reach the next few and far between checkpoint. If you had limited continues, this game would go from very challenging to downright frustrating and near impossible.

Control-wise, this game is very responsive and accurate. The only downside is that, like in Ghosts n Goblins, your character cannot change his direction in mid jump, so you need to be very precise in the timing and positioning of your jumping; otherwise, you will get hit and DIE.

Overall, this is a well-designed, albeit very challenging, action platformer. It remains me alot of Ghosts n Goblins, because of its stiff jumping mechanics, challenging level design, two-hit deaths, and medieval/fantasy setting in the format of an action platformer.
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Recently Posted
3.7 hrs
Posted: October 10
Poor controls, really annoying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
173.0 hrs
Posted: September 27
It's a really nice game and in the end i still can recommend it (especially on sales) to everyone who can forgive imperfection in detail.

You can double jump, dodge, charge your spear to increase damage and range, have a flaming sword (with increased damage compared to the standard sword) and, the most amazing thing: you are a viking.

On the other hand:
- you have to press a movement-direction-button (left or right) with your second jump, because you jump straight upward without a direction-button.
- you can't move while crouching, so you have to dodge instead.
- after beating a stage and restarting the game, you have to visit all previous stages and move to the left in order to come to the next stage. There is no way to just choose the stage.
- you have to beat a stage in his normal version again in order to come to the harder versions of the stages. Also means there is no harder version of stage 1.

[Version of the game: 1.36c, just in case some things change in the future]
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0.1 hrs
Posted: September 27
Lacks the charm real retro games have. Can't see myself playing it again
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145.7 hrs
Posted: September 25
I played this game one time, but my profile says I've played it for 145 hours.

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10.7 hrs
Posted: September 25
would buy a new controller again.

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104.4 hrs
Posted: September 23
- Very difficult, but fair.
- Great, precise movement controls.
- No metagame upgrades - the difficulty depends solely on the skill of the player.
- Beautiful 2D graphics.
- Addictive.
- No plot.
- Captures the feel of the 90s platformers very well.
- Great for speedrunning.
- No in-air control, takes some time to get used to.
- Can be frustrating at times.

The thing to understand about Volgarr is that it's less a true platformer, and more a real-time puzzle masquerading as one. Each level consists of a string of little areas with some platforms, enemies, and sometimes environmental hazards. And in each area there is at least one series of actions, that, one you've found it, will allow you to path unscathed 100% of the time. At first, figuring out how to pass each area requires a lot of trial and error. But as you get used to controls, and learn enemy movement and attack patterns, you'll be able to come up with solutions on the fly. This actually makes the alternative "hard" path of the game somewhat easier than the "easy" path, as by the time you attempt to do it, you're much better at the game.
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Man with the Hex
0.6 hrs
Posted: September 22
Another game where "hard game" actually means poor game mechanics. Jumping is a nightmare, a strategy game on its own. "It's not a bug it's a feature". If people can't get through your "tutorial level", maybe you should think over stuff. Problem is, sometimes in the past, games were really as hard as this one. OUT OF NECESSITY! Or poor design choices. We should be past that, but now we make it a "feature". Dark Souls fans, here ya go, this one is a gem for you.
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