Vikings have made their mark in video games many times over the years. Most recently, God of War has been one of the biggest Viking-themed video game to hit the shelves, breaking records with over 3.1 million sales in the first three days of its release. The thing that makes Vikings so popular as a video game theme is the sheer power of Viking mythology, combined with the real-life conquests of the Viking tribes. Since God of War has been so popular, it’s time to look back at video games gone by.
The Lost Vikings was released in 1992 on the Nintendo SNES and has been described as “one of the best puzzle games the Super Nintendo would see”. Retro gaming may have been overtaken by high-end games like God of War, Assassin’s Creed and Fortnite, but there’s still a place for SNES games with excellent gameplay in many people’s hearts.
What Makes Viking Games So Popular?
Before we talk more about The Lost Vikings, let’s first discuss why Viking games are so popular in the first place. For a bit of history on the Vikings, they were Scandinavian warriors who invaded towns and cities all across Europe. The Viking civilization were clever too, they had skilled workers and traders and many of them lived peaceful lives – but that’s not the appeal when it comes to video games.
The Vikings earned their savage reputation for a reason. They invaded anywhere they could and ruthlessly slaughtered entire towns and monasteries with no moral dilemma about it. This is what makes them so great for video games. Playing as ruthless characters who are ready to jump into battle is what has made so many video games a success. The classic image of Vikings with long hair, beards and horned helmets make for great video game characters and battling anything that comes along is the staple for a great action game.
Oddly, however, the bloodthirsty Viking stereotype is not one used in The Lost Vikings for the SNES. Instead, these three characters are much more comical and have in fact been abducted by aliens.
Looking Back at The Lost Vikings
Looking back and comparing The Lost Vikings to God of War makes them seem like they’re from different planets. One is primitive in graphics and the other is obviously very high end. But that’s not to say it’s no fun. Anyone who plays this game now will have that familiar rush of nostalgia hit them and you’ll be transported back to childhood.
The premise is that a small group of Vikings have been abducted by an alien emperor. Three manage to escape and it’s up to them to fight their way back home. There are 37 levels and six worlds to explore and it makes for a great puzzle game. Each character has their own special abilities and you can switch between them to help with each stage’s puzzles. Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce and Olaf the Stout can each use a sword, a shield and a jump – but only that! In order to get to switches, activate portals and so on, you have to strategize and make sure each of your Vikings handles what they can.
In 2017, Nintendo re-released the NES and SNES much to the joy of fans – and to much commercial success, with the SNES alone selling over 5 million units worldwide. The SNES came with classic games like installments of Zelda and Super Mario Bros pre-installed, but unfortunately no The Lost Vikings.
It’s a game which was great for its time and provided hours of entertainment for ’90s kids everywhere. If you’re lucky enough to still have the original setup, give it one more spin for us!