Jotun is an action-adventure game set in Norse mythology from creator Thunder Lotus Games. Players take on the role of Thora, a Shieldmaiden, who finds herself suddenly in the afterlife after an inglorious death by drowning. She must impress the gods to enter mythical Valhalla, but nothing comes easy for a Viking. Thora must kill a number of Jotun (pronounced "jo-tyn"), giants of Norse myth. The beasts towering high above the landscape prove to be extremely difficult foes.
Being an adventure game, players take Thora across a wide variety of levels, each with its own environment. Some will lead players up to the sky, others deep underground. Occasionally you’ll do battle against enemies, but the majority of levels focus on exploration. Finding and completing puzzles allows you to reach new areas to find required runes. Being a Viking warrior, Thora is well-equipped, carrying a sturdy axe capable of taking down anything in her path.
Including the Jotun.
The Jotun are giant elemental creatures, so for example, you’ll be battling a fire Jotun, an ice Jotun, and one intuned with nature. Each one is a different experience, so expect to die many times as you attempt to learn the tactics of each encounter. Thankfully, the game restarts fairly quickly, getting you back in action.
Adventuring through the game takes you across different regions of Norse mythology, including places like Muspelheim, Ginnungagap, and even across Yggdrasil. These are beautiful places, each packed with their unique challenges and environments. Every level is exploding with additional items to find, like new magic spells or golden fruit to extend your life. These are not crucial to the overall game, but finding them does make some the boss fights slightly easier. There are also pools of Mimir on each level, ready to replenish your health and any magic you've used.
The game's most charming feature hands down is the hand drawn animations. Everything within the game is hand drawn by the creators. There are beautiful vistas of Muspelheim, and its rivers of lava were perhaps some of the coolest to see in the game. However, many levels offer a quick scene view of the background, drawing out and providing a sense of size in regards to how tiny you truly are in comparison to the world around you.
Jotun is a beautiful game. The simple controls are easy to use, and the game's adventure is great. After each level, Thora monologues on her situation, expanding upon her backstory and her current situation. Fans of Norse mythology would be hard pressed to skip this game, plus the challenge from battling the Jotun is too great to pass up.
Note: The Joton review is based on a digital PC copy of the game, provided for review.