App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Star Vikings Forever is a puzzle/strategy game starring space Vikings that face off against space snails. While it's a delightfully absurd premise coming from the developer of the enjoyable Chroma Squad, Star Vikings Forever is a bit of a disappointment. It has some solid systems, but the game relies too heavily on procedural generation, making it feel like a bunch of parts that don't always quite fit together.
Star Vikings Forever is a lane-based puzzle game where you command your squad of Vikings through hordes of space snails. Your objective may shift on any given level, but the core principle of each one is to keep your vikings alive while laying waste to any snails that stand in your way.
As a lane-based game, your vikings can mostly just move in a straight line, although blindly charging forward would most likely result in death. Luckily, your vikings are equipped with special abilities that can do things like fire long distance shots at snails or otherwise make them attack each other. Using these abilities, you can trigger all sorts of chain reactions that can eventually provide safe passage and loot to your vikings.
As you get further into Star Vikings Forever, the snails put up more resistance to you. To help deal with this, you can recruit new vikings with unique abilities to your squad and even upgrade your existing members when they level up. There are also specialized items you can pick up and hats to equip to your squadmates to make them more capable in certain situations.
These upgrades give way to some more complex strategies for dealing with snails that can prove satisfying. Unfortunately though, Star Vikings Forever's systems don't always fit together to make these strategies available or viable.
The downfall of Star Vikings Forever is how it relies entirely on procedural generation to create its levels. While this makes for a game that provides seemingly infinite replayability, it also results in a game that is capable of delivering underwhelming and unsatisfying levels. This, unfortunately, happens quite often in Star Vikings Forever.
The way that Star Vikings Forever seems to slap together its mechanics makes all of them feel less special. Puzzle games of this ilk are much more successful when they take their simple mechanics and elevate them with quality level design. Star Vikings Forever shows glimpses of this when its component parts happen to come together interesting arrangements, but this is something that doesn't occur often enough.
The bottom line
Star Vikings Forever feels like a collection of mechanics that are desperate to try and find some direction. The game's procedural generation can occasionally make interesting and satisfying levels, but more often presents boring or unfair ones. Without the presence of intentionally designed levels, Star Vikings Forever's parts–interesting as they may be–don't create a cohesive whole.