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:
Recent:
Positive (17 reviews) - 82% of the 17 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,477 reviews) - 86% of the 1,477 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 13, 2013

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Reviews

“...you'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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, or 7
    • Processor: 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB
    • DirectX: Version 7.1
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Positive (17 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,477 reviews)
Recently Posted
Greenbeansoup
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 24
It seems to me that everyone's main complaint with this game is the lack of checkpoints. To them I say, this game is like an angry drill sargent, so sucked it up and grow a pair, this game ain't for ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. I have beaten the entire game (on xbox) and am now here to grace the PC version with my sheer viking manliness. When I say entire game, I mean the ENTIRE GAME. A, B, and C endings. Yes, it is possible and yes, you can do it. Amazing game.



ps You will cry a little


Helpful? Yes No Funny
MaFooBar
( 12.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 23
as nice as difficult
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pixelatedduck
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 11
Even though most say this game is too hard, it's just like the old NES-SNES games. When you get the control and mechanics, the game is so much more fun to play. Even though it's tough to beat, it doesn't build any stress on you, you just keep on trying the level you couldn't pass.

Pros:
+Rare checkpoints
+"upgrading" from chests
+The old controls from the retro games

Cons:
-Levels keep repeating at some points
-Flying things are imbalanced, fk them.

Worth the price? Don't think so, but definitely a must buy at sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Groen90
( 43.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 11
You start playing this game and it's seemingly the hardest 2d action platformer you've ever played.
You keep dying and dying and dying...
You grit your teeth and keep playing, because despite how hard it is, it's actually fun.
You do a little better every time.
But after 2 hours, you're still stuck at the first level and you haven't even seen the first boss yet.
You start thinking silly things like "I'll never beat this game... it's too ♥♥♥♥ing hard"

Then, a sudden realization: it's not the game that is hard... it's YOU.
YOU... are not good enough. YOU... SUCK... AT THIS GAME.

You start the game one more time and you hear the now familiar voice of Odin: "RISE, WARRIOR"
Like in a trance, you blaze through the first level and get to the boss almost unscathed. The boss is tough, and is big and scary and ominous... but nothing will stand in your way now. You quickly understand how to beat him, and he falls under your blade.

Yes, you understand now.
The secret.
You must not control Volgarr.
You must BECOME Volgarr.

You are Volgarr, the Viking.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Moonmadness
( 6.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
Yet another retro work that tries to emulate NES difficulty games. Does it succeed? For the most part, yes.

The six worlds are split into two parts with only one checkpoint at the beginning of each part. You have infinite continues, but if you die at any moment in the middle of each part (including boss fights) you'll have to start over from the beginning of that part. Völgarr can slash with his sword, hurl spears at the enemies or on walls to climb them, roll and double jump with the second jump making him do a rolling sword attack a little like in SNES Star Wars games; the only tricky part is the jumping since he can only jump straight up or in diagonals and you cannot change the trajectory once you've jumped, but for the rest it's pretty easy to control.

The game is entirely deterministic (except those damn blobs), which means that you can elaborate a safe pattern to reproduce each time you play the level. This definitely helps since the levels are pretty hard and you'll probably need to restart each section many times before you understand how to get past each enemy. It will take you 5 to 8 hours to beat it once depending on your skill.
Hardcore players that manage to get to the end of the level almost unharmed will also be rewarded with five alternate paths (basically 5 harder levels with max 3 lives to finish them) and if they finish each one of them you'll get an extra level at the end.

Recommended to those who seek for a small, challenging but manageable game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DogBiteDog187
( 20.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
I like a taste, of straight strychnine
11/10 would die again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kojak
( 49.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 6
great game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wedge
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 1
Bought this game because it has the word “Viking” in it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
uack
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 30
Unforgiving but not in a pleasant, nor entertaining, nor maddeningly_crazy_but_nonetheless_interesting way (think "I wanna be the guy" for an example ot the latter).

Pixel art is decent, but not memorable. Animations feels low key despite being generous in frames shown. The Viking controls are aimed to make him feel 'heavy', not agile: a respectable but extremely risky design choice - resulting movements are far too clunky ad frustrating to be enjoyable.

All in all, a low-to-average game which has in difficulty its only notable point.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ringmaster
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 29
10/10 Would tell the game to continuosly go F itself again. Seriously though, great game but it's going to ♥♥♥♥ you off.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mr Jah6
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 19
Amazing single player game. Adult swim games is seriously underrated.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cake for Žižek
( 17.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 18
This is an excellently crafted, classic-style platformer action game. Volgarr takes the best parts of classics like Altered Beast and Ghosts n' Goblins/Super Ghouls n' Ghosts and turns them into something unique, impressive, and refreshing in a sea of sub-par retro games. The art style is also great. Even the death animation is badass... which is good because you're going to see it a lot.

Volgarr is Fair
Each level has 1 checkpoint and a boss. Throughout each stage you'll find a series of chests (many are hidden) that give you a power up (sturdy shield, helmet, flame sword, etc.). Getting hit means you lose 1 or more powerups, so if you want to beat the boss you're going to have to get through the level with your 'A-game'. You don't have lives in this game, and you can keep playing until you give up or beat it, but there are no save-points. However, when you beat a boss, you can choose to skip that level when you start a new game. So if you've made it all the way to level 3 you can skip level 1 then 2 on your next session.

Volgarr is for Non-Casuls Only
The platforming and combat in this game are excellent. I've seen complaints that jumping is difficult and movement is sluggish, but I say the controls are strict and predictable. You can double-jump, for example, and you can change your movement mid-air - so you need to be smart about when you press buttons. The enemies are varied throughout the game, and their attacks are also telegraphed and predictable - but don't let that fool you into thinking that makes them any easier to get past.

Volgarr is... a Viking!
I've had this game for quite awhile now and it's one of the few that I frequently come back to for 15-30min sessions. There are a couple levels I play more than others, but all the levels always present me with a challenge. I've only recently learned that if you righteously kick a levels ♥♥♥ you'll get a rare opportunity to play an alternate, hard-mode version of the following stage (So, at my game just got twice as big and I haven't even beaten the final boss yet).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Racke
( 42.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
Probably my favourite game on Steam. The artwork, music, sound fx, level design, control layout and response, the difficulty - everything is brilliantly thought out and fits together perfectly. Love it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dimitrius
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 10
This game is nice, very fun and addictive. Also, tough as nails.
Worth full price, if you're looking for a good plattformer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Scarecrow
( 18.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 9
Even after beating this game months ago, I can still feel it calling to me. Don't let the visuals turn you off, it's a very well crafted game. It seems hard at first but once you learn an area it becomes very easy. A sequel would be an obvious buy for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SchillBoner
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 9
Just shy of an hour of playtime, but I already love this game. Yes it is pretty hard, but the gameplay is fun and addicting and the scenery and animations are awesome. When you kill enemies they explode into blood and bones. I am a fan of the old school (NES/SNES) Castlevania games and this is sort of similar, just with better controls, a Viking and a sword instead of a Belmont and a whip and lizard men. Really fun game, can't wait to play more. Oh and you will die...A LOT!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Iso Koala
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 8
A very unforgiving, but also very rewarding old-school platformer.
By the old school, I dont mean the wellmade retro graphics, but the gameplay and difficulty level of the game.
It doesnt work like the standard SuperMeatBoy-wannabe-games with retro graphics, Volgarr is very different to them.

You die, die, die again, and when you die, you better pay attention to why did you die and how you can avoid it next time, to survive and get through this game. You dont need fast reflexes or hyper controlling skills to pass this game. All you really need is patience, ability to pay attention to your surroundings, and being able to learn from your mistakes.

After that, the game is almost like a puzzle-platformer. As long as you know how enemies and traps handle and know the limitations of your character, and take a lot of patience, you can get through the game without dying a single time. If you fail at those but try to push through the levels with brute force and trust in your skills, you will never complete even the first level.

These days, games designed this way are very very rare, and for one willing to try one, give it a try. The challenges of Volgarr are not for everyone though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Goldensun441
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 5
this game is a bit too hard to enjoy
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Underage drinking
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 3
A tough game, its a reminder of what games were like on the genesis but you wont know until you played games like altered beast.

It can be a good game for perfectionist types who can duck dive dodge etc all while killing with tact.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
43.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
You start playing this game and it's seemingly the hardest 2d action platformer you've ever played.
You keep dying and dying and dying...
You grit your teeth and keep playing, because despite how hard it is, it's actually fun.
You do a little better every time.
But after 2 hours, you're still stuck at the first level and you haven't even seen the first boss yet.
You start thinking silly things like "I'll never beat this game... it's too ♥♥♥♥ing hard"

Then, a sudden realization: it's not the game that is hard... it's YOU.
YOU... are not good enough. YOU... SUCK... AT THIS GAME.

You start the game one more time and you hear the now familiar voice of Odin: "RISE, WARRIOR"
Like in a trance, you blaze through the first level and get to the boss almost unscathed. The boss is tough, and is big and scary and ominous... but nothing will stand in your way now. You quickly understand how to beat him, and he falls under your blade.

Yes, you understand now.
The secret.
You must not control Volgarr.
You must BECOME Volgarr.

You are Volgarr, the Viking.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
A peculiar game that is a perfect illustration of how one poor design decision can ruin everything. Kudos must be given to the developpers for creating a game that is very impressive in many respects. I have no criticism to offer when it comes to the presentation, ergonomy, core gameplay or level design. This is 2D action platforming at its finest. A great homage to Rastan, Ghouls & Ghosts, and many more.

However the devs have made the conscious decision to include almost zero checkpoints. There is one checkpoint mid level, and that is that. No checkpoint before bosses either. Since this is very much a try & die game, with long & challenging levels, the result is that you will be replaying the same sections, over and over, and over and over, until you are sick to death of them. One mistake can & will set you back 5 minutes or more. This will happen many, many times. This is basically balanced for NG+ from the get-go / for people who already know the levels by heart. The joy of discovery & the fun of the challenge offered are completely ruined by the sheer numbness of repetition.

This is a common complaint & one that the developpers have chosen to ignore - instead writing a impossibly long faq, listing reasons/excuses why they would not. These range from "the game can be completed in 20 minutes" ( sure, in a speedrun world record ) to "git gud". The kind of arrogant attitude one expects to see from young players, not professionals. It is worth noting mosts requests are most not about making the game easier. The difficulty is part of the experience, and is much appreciated. The only common request is to have a decent number of checkpoints. Not excessive, simply decent. One or two more per level is all it would have taken - at least for the first playthrough.

If you value your leisure time, I regret to say, the right move is to avoid this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
This is an excellently crafted, classic-style platformer action game. Volgarr takes the best parts of classics like Altered Beast and Ghosts n' Goblins/Super Ghouls n' Ghosts and turns them into something unique, impressive, and refreshing in a sea of sub-par retro games. The art style is also great. Even the death animation is badass... which is good because you're going to see it a lot.

Volgarr is Fair
Each level has 1 checkpoint and a boss. Throughout each stage you'll find a series of chests (many are hidden) that give you a power up (sturdy shield, helmet, flame sword, etc.). Getting hit means you lose 1 or more powerups, so if you want to beat the boss you're going to have to get through the level with your 'A-game'. You don't have lives in this game, and you can keep playing until you give up or beat it, but there are no save-points. However, when you beat a boss, you can choose to skip that level when you start a new game. So if you've made it all the way to level 3 you can skip level 1 then 2 on your next session.

Volgarr is for Non-Casuls Only
The platforming and combat in this game are excellent. I've seen complaints that jumping is difficult and movement is sluggish, but I say the controls are strict and predictable. You can double-jump, for example, and you can change your movement mid-air - so you need to be smart about when you press buttons. The enemies are varied throughout the game, and their attacks are also telegraphed and predictable - but don't let that fool you into thinking that makes them any easier to get past.

Volgarr is... a Viking!
I've had this game for quite awhile now and it's one of the few that I frequently come back to for 15-30min sessions. There are a couple levels I play more than others, but all the levels always present me with a challenge. I've only recently learned that if you righteously kick a levels ♥♥♥ you'll get a rare opportunity to play an alternate, hard-mode version of the following stage (So, at my game just got twice as big and I haven't even beaten the final boss yet).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
A tough game, its a reminder of what games were like on the genesis but you wont know until you played games like altered beast.

It can be a good game for perfectionist types who can duck dive dodge etc all while killing with tact.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
Dark Souls is like my little pony compared to this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
42 of 46 people (91%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2015
This is probably the nicest review I will ever write for a game I hate. That's because regardless of how I feel about it, Volgarr exists to do one thing, and that is imitate the old hard-as-balls 16-bit platformers of yore. And it does it really, really, really well.

You play Volgarr the Viking, unsurprisingly, risen from his grave by some totally metal deity to kill a whole bunch of everything. He controls like a slightly less-sticky Castlevania protagonist, with no air control unless you double-jump, certain attacks locking him in place, and being launched backwards (usually into pits) every time he gets hit. He does have a bevy of moves like a downward strike, a roll, and some very useful spears to throw that can also form platforms. It feels just like playing a classic SNES side-scroller, and that extends to the graphics and sounds as well. Pixel blood and bones fly as you hack and slash through the game's many varied levels.

IF you can get to them. The make-or-break issue with Volgarr is how much patience you have for punishingly hard platforming. The game uses a very Ghosts 'n' Goblins system where you find bits of armor to bolt on to yourself that then get knocked off a couple pieces at a time by enemies. Your shield is one of those pieces, and if you lose it, certain traps are going to be all but impassable. This is to say nothing of the many bottomless pits and trap enemies waiting just off screen to knock you into them. All of this would be fine, except that the levels are made up of two quite lengthy sections with only a single checkpoint between them. This means any mistakes you make are punished with redoing the last couple minutes of exacting platforming again. And with no checkpoint before bosses, just learning their patterns or performing less than perfectly can force you to replay 5+ minutes of level you've already had to suffer through.

This to me is just straight-up bad design, evidenced by how few games make use of similarly punishing systems now. It is forgiven only because it was the standard for NES classics such as Castlevania and Mega Man, except that even those games had multiple checkpoints per level. It becomes a question of how much of your time a game is allowed to waste when you make a mistake, because doing the same level opening ten times because you can't quite get a boss's pattern down immediately is very much a waste of time. Modern games like Dark Souls have found elegant solutions to this problem, such as allowing you to accumulate resources across attempts. Volgarr makes no provision for that, forcing the same actions over and over until it (hopefully) becomes muscle memory.

I really did hate Volgarr when I started playing it, but after a little more time with it I came to at least appreciate what it represents. When I was a kid, I had the patience to beat my head against Ninja Gaiden II for weeks and weeks until I could finally finish it. I don't have the time or the inclination for that kind of dedicated memorization anymore, but I can see where there might still be space for it. Volgarr is very much not for everyone and smacks of the kind of game that gets recommended by everyone and played by no one, but if you really, truly are looking for that brick wall NES difficulty curve, look no further.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2015
This game makes Dark Souls (Not really an apt comparison but in terms of difficulty), Super Meat boy look like casual games. Only comparable game I can think of in terms of difficulty is Wings of Vi. I am usually pretty good at platformers but MAN this game is unforgiving to the maximum. Only buy this game if you are looking for a real challenge, This game is definitely not for casuals.

Pros
- Great and Simple controls
- Easy to learn and hard to master gameplay
- Excellent retro music and feel to the game
- No checkpoint before the boss (Just like oldschool games)
- 3 different endings according to the path you choose.
- This game+metal = match made in heaven

Cons
- Game causes mental anguish sometimes.

Fun Fact
Only 25% of the people who own this game have beaten the first level.

Verdict
Get it if you are a typical masochistic Dark Souls fan and like retro games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2015
Took me 2.9 hrs on record to defeat the first boss, now it just seems so simple.

If you like the unforgiving, old-school arcade games that make you rage after an easy mistake makes you lose all you focused and tried so hard to get and start from the top... then get this game.

Difficult to play, but fun as hell.

10/10 would spend 3 hours to clear a level again.

Ps: You remember that video of M. Bison going: "YES!!...YES!!!". Well... everytime you achieve your goals in this game; it's like that.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
Volgar gives off this arcade vibe of old games like Rastan. It is quite hard and challenging but also fair and you can really feel that you are improving overtime. Beautifully executed, simple and smart with a few secrets to find out, it is quite worth its price (especially when on sale!).

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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2015
I can apppreciate the work that went to this game, it accomplishes its intend.

However the game is quite a bit too much about memorizing and mapping enemies in each stage, and dying over and over again until you master a strategy (which, is very NES like).

For what is worth I enjoyed playing it and suffering for a couple of levels, but unfortunately for me it started to take too much time to advance (which mean, took me too long to gid gud and advance to the next level) and ended up not being as fun and decided to drop it.

I would recommend to people that enjoy hard 2D games and speed running, but be advised, it will take time, skill and sometimes a bit of luck.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Volgarr is two different games in one.

Played normally, Volgarr feels like a clunky frustration platformer harking back to the old days of Ghouls n Ghosts. Volgarr himself plods along at a decent speed, but is flatly underequipped for most of what the game throws at him. The challenges are simple but Volgarr is simpler. You plod along, hopping about, dying a lot, learning the levels, and generally barely avoiding boredom because nothing in this game is done especially well.

Until...

You find the second game. As you repeat the levels over and over, you start to get a feel for what needs to be done. You'll brush up against that second game a few times before you finally realize what's going on. The levels are actually meticulously designed. If you move quickly, throw spears at the right times, and generally play the game as if you're speedrunning, the levels will come together. Every single stupid thing in the game becomes easily surmountable when you deal with it the second it comes on the screen. Enemies will line up perfectly to be killed with one spear, platforming will go by as quick as Volgarr's lumbering gait takes him...

This is the true Volgarr the Viking. It's not a platformer in the classic since, it's a trial and error speedrunner without the speed. Almost like a rhythm game at times only you can really only find out what the notes are and when by blindly stumbling over them and restarting anew. Since the game's final level can really only be unlocked by beating each level without getting hit and with finding the secret macguffin in each level, this really is what they intended for the game.

It's meticulously designed to foster perfect play while doing next to nothing to teach perfect play. Hell, the game barely teaches you the core mechanics except in one of those passive tutorials that people who watched that one MMX1 video are so fond of.

The problem is... it still doesn't make the game all that good. Any imperfect run just falls back into that first, really boring game (Only now with the knowledge that you are screwed out of anything satisfying knowing what you missed.), and high-end Volgarr play just does not satisfy enough to be worth the trial and error grinding to perfect each level.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2015
This basic side-scrolling action game set to a retro style is a perfect recreated of classic titles revived in this new era of video games. Vulgar the Viking takes on the attributes of old as a hardcore you only live once action sidescroller, with interesting and complex level designs and a diverse set of vicious monsters to slay plus a simple but engaging combat system that makes clearing endless waves of monsters a bucket of fun. This hardcore retro action game feels rewarding with every checkpoint you make and truly feels like a classic adventure in the arcade. Although this game is not for the faint of heart I feel this simplistic hardcore classic will be loved by many.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2015
Infuriating fun
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
ok i really suck at this game but it was fun. your life is limited to what gear you have shield helm etc and it really is permadeath. lose shield/helmet one more hit you're dead. so it really tests your timing when hitting things. this is a game worth buying from adult swim.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
Great way to start the day- right above getting kicked in the nuts and right below getting set on fire for ways I like to start my morning.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
216 of 230 people (94%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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130 of 138 people (94%) found this review helpful
118 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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93 of 104 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.7 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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120 of 153 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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60 of 65 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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