Happy Vikings isn't anything you haven't seen before when it comes to gameplay. It's the joyful Norse pirate theme, though, that makes the game memorable and worthy of your time.
Happy isn't really an adjective that many people associate with Vikings. I was thinking something more stereotypical — along the lines of "merciless," "angry" or "furry-vested" — but these carefree little guys do have a lot to be pleased about. The spoils from a recent war have recently come into their possession.
A Tetris-like match-three game, you play as a single Viking whose job it is to stack up all of the treasure chests, food and barrels of mead into matching piles of three or more. The stacks you make turn into coins. The real catch of the game, though, is that all of these goods are constantly being catapulted in your direction, and you have limited time to make as many matches as you can.
To play, you have to hop around and arrange the loot as it falls from the sky. The game's on-screen controls aren't hard to figure out — move left or right, jump, pick up objects, and set them back down. Their placement seems to be well-thought-out, too, as it soon becomes second nature to push and drop off cargo in this game. These controls, by the way, are accurate and do exactly what you want them to do.
The game feels like a storybook come to life, and plays like a very simple, traditional platformer game. But, you shouldn't let the cute graphics fool you. While this game starts out pretty easy, it quickly picks up. You'll have to figure out in advance where you're going to put each piece of cargo if you want to level up. It's the challenge that keeps you coming back for more.
Like I said earlier — the game isn't too original as it pulls from several different classic games. But these happy-go-lucky little guys with their horned helmets, big red beards and smiling faces keep things interesting.