Jotun - All News
Sunday - July 16, 2017
Jotun - Review @ Bleeding Cool
Bleeding Cool has reviewed the action adventure Jotun:
Jotun Review: A Broody, Atmospheric Treasure Of A Game
With Thunder Lotus Games’ Jotun being free to own this weekend, we decided to go ahead and give it a review, even though it’s been out since September of 2015. The free part makes it kind of newsworthy, right? OK, fine, so we’re just trying to clear a backlog of games and this weekend was as good a time as any.
Right off the bat, Jotun strikes you as an incredibly gorgeous game. The levels are all hand-drawn, and include an absurd amount of gorgeous detail in the background designs. The animations are deceptively simple-looking, but work in a smooth sort of coordination. Sure, things are a little less crisp now, but this is a game from 2015, so that’s pretty understandable.
Overall, I found Jotun to be an absolute pleasure. While some will find the game’s lack of dialogue, cutscenes, and hand-holding to be boring and directionless, I really appreciate that Thunder Lotus Games have given us Jotun as is. We can go in and get what we personally want out of the game. If that’s atmosphere and art, story and theme, or just general boss killing, Jotun has a lot to offer — as long as you’re willing to give it the time. Jotun is a broody, atmospheric treasure of a game. I didn’t want to turn away from the screen, and I’m glad I didn’t.
Wednesday - March 30, 2016
Jotun - Valhalla Edition announced
A new new edition of Jotun with Valhalla difficulty mode will be launched this summer for PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U:
Jotun is a hand—drawn action—exploration game set in Norse mythology. In Jotun, you play Thora, a Norse warrior who died an inglorious death and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla.
Quality of life improvements
Here are the full patch notes:
- Added a Restart button during boss fights to reset an encounter.
- Increased Thora's move speed while outside boss arenas. Speed during battles was left unchanged as to not affect the fights' difficulty.
- Optimized assets in order to reduce install size and memory usage. This might result in a larger that usual download size for a patch.
- Fixed a bug that could cause a crash on lower end systems and on Linux.
- Added support for a wider array of controllers.
- Fixed some objects that were not linked to any sound slider and that thus played at maximum volume.
Thursday - November 12, 2015
Jotun - Review @ PowerupGaming
In their review of Jotun, Powerupgaming sums it up as: Great scale despite its sluggishness and award it with an 8.
Unfortunately, the concept of being an underdog doesn’t always translate well into Jotun’s actual gameplay. While the first half of the game is challenging and fun, the latter half abandons the idea of fairness and often becomes a frustrating affair, resulting in death again and again. Despite having found the vast majority of the power-ups and health upgrades available in each zone, I often found myself dying from only two hits. In fact, boss battles are typically boiled down to slashing repeatedly at a given enemy in order to chip away at his or her health bar.
Despite its lack of story, large difficulty spikes and sluggish pacing, Jotun provides a compelling 5 to 6 hour campaign filled with breathtaking scenery and bosses that would give many AAA games a run for their money. For those that have a hankering for games of epic proportions, give Jotun a try. Just be prepared to die quite a bit before the end credits roll.
Thursday - November 05, 2015
Jotun - Two new Reviews
Two new reviews for the action adventure Jotun:
Let’s face it, thanks to Marvel’s Thor, we all think we’re pretty hot on our Norse mythology. Sure, there’s Thor, and a really big hammer, Odin, Loki and a shiny bridge. You stroll into a game like Jotun, which is firmly rooted in the realms of Norse mythology, and expect to have seen everything they can throw at you before.
As it turns out, the Marvel movies barely scratched the surface of the complex wealth of Viking mythology. Jotun, a hand-drawn, 2D exploration game, takes all the characters we know and love - Thor, Odin, Frigg, Loki - and rips it away from the Hollywood cliches they have become in our eyes. They’re placed firmly back into their original setting, back in times rife with legends, Vikings and gods. Not a single Avenger to be seen.
The puzzles, bosses, environments and the constant influx of rich, Norse lore is invigorating enough to make Jotun an excellent experience. The artwork is stunning, the combat is fast-paced and intuitive and the element of exploration is captivating. As a fan of Norse mythology, I found the storyline interesting and informative, whilst not being too overpowering for gamers less keen on the idea of a history lesson.
Although it could allow the player a little more control, Jotun is a pleasure to play - check it out. You’ll be Thor-ry to miss it!
Jotun, A Beautifully Deadly Adventure Full Of Death. And More Death
There are two things you need to know about Jotun: one, you’re probably going to die—a lot; two, the art and story and epic scale boss battles make it worth the agony of repeated death.
Meet Thora, a recently deceased Viking warrior girl with an axe and a chance to please the gods to earn her way into Valhalla. Throughout the course of the game, the player learns what lead to Thora’s death, as well as what caused her to become a warrior. While hearing her narrative is certainly a more personal touch and a nice addition to the game, it does not seem to have more merit than a passing mention. And as someone who becomes very attached to characters in RPGs, I felt like there could have been more personal background involvement throughout the game.
The game, while relatively short, does not offer much in the way of replayability. The story is straightforward with no options for alternate endings, and the boss fights remain challenging but are markedly less so once strategies are mastered. These things certainly do not detract from the enjoyment of exploration and puzzle solving, as well as the triumphant feeling when the player finally conquers a Jotun. If you are looking for a game that offers challenging boss battles, beautiful art, and an engaging story, then I highly recommend Jotun. While it does not offer a sprawling narrative that seems to inherently go hand in hand with the Norse myths, Jotun is a worthwhile short adventure into the stories of the past.
Monday - November 02, 2015
Jotun - Review @ Game Debate
Game Debate has checked out Jotun and awarded it 8.5 out of 10 points.
Jotun is currently sitting at the snug little price of £10.99 on steam, and given that the game took me just over 7 hours to complete, coupled with the fact that it has provided one of the most interesting and well thought out game worlds I've played in quite some time, it's difficult not to recommend this one.
In terms of performance, as you can tell from the hand-drawn artstyle Jotun isn't pushing a mega amount of polygons, so weaker rigs should be able to run it with ease. I was hitting a solid 60 frames per second with a GTX 980, which seems to be the frame rate cap.
If you’d like to be told a striking tale of past and future, while being treated to magnificent visuals and a genuinely varied and challenging gameplay experience, then I think you need to get yourself Jotun and be prepared for the wonder. Just brace yourself for those boss encounters, and don’t say I didn't warn you!
Friday - October 23, 2015
Jotun - Nature region
The Jotun site has a bog about the nature region in the game.
This is Nature Week, a special week dedicated to Jera, the unmerciful Nature Jotun! It is time to bring you to Jotunheim, the land of endless forests.
Jotunheim is an idyllic paradise. The weather is always warm, the winds are always refreshing, the water is abundant and clean and flowers bloom endlessly. However, it is easy to get lost in the hypnotic oasis. Countless natural perils await the unwary.
Vicious vines, poisonous swamps and ensnaring roots are among the dangers that protect Jotunheim from invaders.
However, the bravest can find not only beauty, but precious treasures hiding in this natural maze.
There is also this video about the nature region:
Saturday - October 17, 2015
Jotun - Review @ Gamespot
Justin Clark (Gamespot) has reviewed Jotun from Thunder Lotus Games:
Where silent gods stand guard.
Imagine the bleakness of the man versus giant creatures gameplay of Shadow of the Colossus as a definitively Nordic tale, and you have a general idea of what Jotun is. Sprinkle in a little bit of Dark Souls’ difficulty and a malevolent sense of challenge, and you’re closer to hitting the bullseye. Now imagine all of that hand-drawn in a style somewhere between Dragon’s Lair and Princess Mononoke, and you’ve got Jotun.
Boiling the game down to its disparate parts does the game a mild disservice, though. In execution, Jotun is a perfect storybook, a game that seems ripped from the imagination of a Viking child being told tales of warriors of old facing down their gods. It’s a wonderfully wild, vibrant bedtime story told with fire and verve, even when the game is at its most stark and lonely.
Jotun tells the tale of Thora, a Viking shield maiden who falls from her boat during a voyage and drowns. Because passage to Valhalla is only granted to those who fall in battle, Thora is given the chance to earn her way into the golden halls by finding and killing the Jotun, the Titans of Norse mythology. Along the way, the gods assist her, granting her new power when she finds their shrines and pays her respects. Otherwise, all she has is an iron axe and an iron will. We learn between stages where Thora’s determination comes from in a fantastic, steely narration performed in Icelandic. Each new piece of her story would be worth it on its own, revealing years of underestimation, neglect, and later, a sibling jealousy that turns tragic. Even if the gameplay wasn’t as good as it was, being able to help Thora achieve glory would be more than worth the effort.
Jotun is a short game, and good players can probably plow through it in about 3 or 4 hours, but even with the ending behind me, I find myself dying to witness some images again and wanting to try different strategies. I want to hear Thora tell her tale again. Any good bedtime story that makes you want to hear it again right after it’s over is one for the ages.
Score: 8 - Great
- Beautiful hand drawn art
- Tough but mostly fair challenge
- Wonderfully imagined take on Norse mythology
- Fantastic boss battles
- Some mild, tedious backtracking
Monday - October 12, 2015
Jotun - Interview @ Based Gamer
Based Gamer have interviewed Will Dubé, from Thunder Lotus Games at Twitchcon, about Jotun in this video.
Sunday - October 11, 2015
Jotun - Art Design @ Gamasutra
In Gamasutra's new series Art Design Deep Dive art director Jo-Annie Gauthier and lead animator Alexandre Boyer talk about the challenges in designing Jotun:
Who: Jo-Annie Gauthier Jotun art director
I was in charge of building the game's stylistic approach, and making sure we didn't drift too far from it! It was my first time as an art director, seeing as I have mostly worked as a 2D artist (animation, illustration, storyboarding) in gaming and publicity. Working with William Dubé on this idea for a Norse game was definitely an opportunity I did not want to miss.
Being the studio's first game, Jotun had several challenges we had to overcome: some tougher and some easier. Converging on game ideas was definitely one of the easier ones. One of the tougher ones was finding an art style that would fit the theme and still be natural for us to work with. [...]
Who: Alexandre Boyer, lead animator on Jotun
Hi! I’ll be talking about our animation style and system.
Animating Jotun was very fun and challenging. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to build something with the rest of the nice and talented folks at Thunder Lotus studio. We call our animation style ‘’hand-drawn’’ rather than traditional, since we use a lot of flash-style trickery using the Toonboom software. There’s a lot of drawing involved, but we try not to have to redraw every frame from scratch.
Making a top-down 2D action game is not a simple task, since our characters must move in all directions. The most obvious example would be the old 2D Zelda games, The Minish Cap being the last one of those.
Their animation system is quite simple, but it works wonderfully since the style is so cartoony and the animation clips themselves are very good. Dividing the environment into an X and Y grid also made having only 4 angles of animation (North, East, South, West) seem natural. [...]
Wednesday - October 07, 2015
Jotun - Hands On and Interview
PC Gamer played Jotun and at the same time interviewed Creative Director William Dubé.
Jotun is one of only a few games that actually made me feel small. Faced with killing gigantic Norse titans called Jotun, you have to dodge and attack with precise timing or else be crushed swiftly and without remorse. I got a chance to play Jotun with its Creative Director William Dubé, who told me about the art and design directions of the game while giving me a few tips on how to survive. Watch the video above to see Jotun's beautiful hand drawn art style in action, and you can find it on Steam starting today.
Friday - October 02, 2015
Jotun - Two Reviews
The first reviews for Jotun are coming in - thanks Eye!
Jotun Review: Impressive to Mortals and Gods Alike
Jotun is a hand-drawn action and exploration game developed by Thunder Lotus Games; it’s also one that IGM has been following closely since the Kickstarter campaign in 2014. The premise is a simple one: Thora, a Viking who died ingloriously, is sent to Norse purgatory to prove herself to the gods in order to enter Valhalla. The journey itself is fairly short, but the challenge factor is high, giving Jotun a leg up where it might otherwise feel a bit light on content; with the visuals factored in, Jotun is quite an impressive game.
The story begins with Thora being told that she must defeat a series of jotun (Norse gods) in order to prove herself worthy to enter Valhalla. The player is then dropped in front of Yggdrasil, a giant tree that, in Norse mythology, connects the nine worlds to each other. A network of roots, poisonous mushrooms, and blue healing flowers await the player as they run through to activate three Dis (guardian spirits) in order to gain access to The Void within Yggdrasil, where the journey truly begins. The first enemy faced is Draugr, a guardian of The Barrow Mound; players should enjoy the lower-level challenge he presents while they can, because it only gets more difficult from there on out.
Overall, Jotun is a well-designed game with very few flaws. Thora’s base speed, only increased by a short ability, was an issue, as exploration seemed to drag a bit in certain areas; boss battles were made just that much more difficult because timing is so imperative, and Thora can only go so quickly. Her powerful attack has the same effect, being so slow as to demand precision with use, else the opportunity to strike would pass. Aside from that (and perhaps because of it), Jotun‘s challenge level offers the kind of difficulty not often seen in games, today, as bosses are typically seen as a stepping stone to the end. In Jotun, the boss battles are the point, and that point is made quite soundly.
Hand-drawn/painted art is gorgeous
Soundtrack is divine
Boss battles steal the show
Thora’s speed feels cumbersome
Jotun Has One of the Craziest Boss Battles I’ve Played in a Long Time
Yesterday I played one of Jotun’s boss battles over and over for 6, 7, 8 hours. I died dozens (hundreds?) of times. I should hate it, right? Nope, I loved every agonizing second of it.
Jotun is an action-adventure/exploration game where players control Thora, a warrior woman trying to ascend to Valhalla after she’s died an inglorious death. To gain admission to the Norse mythological afterlife, she has to impress the gods and defeat five Jotun, elemental giants who rule over different realms. I’ve fought two of these big adversaries so far and really enjoyed the steep level of challenge in each encounter. [...]
Wednesday - September 30, 2015
Jotun - Released today
PCGamer has an article on a newly released action rpg called Jotun.
From the steam page
Jotun is a hand-drawn action-exploration game set in Norse mythology.
In Jotun, you play Thora, a Viking warrior who died an inglorious death and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla.
Explore vast regions of Norse Purgatory to find runes to unleash the jotun, giant Norse elementals. Fight them using only your massive two-handed axe, the blessings of the Gods and your skills!
Impress the Gods!
=>Experience beautiful hand-drawn animation
=>Fight five epic jotuns, giant Norse elementals
=>Explore nine vast and mysterious levels filled with Viking mythology
=>Learn about Thora's life and death in an overarching story
=>Summon powers bestowed upon you by the Viking Gods
=>Hear authentic Icelandic voice-overs
=>Listen to an amazing original soundtrack, specifically composed for every gameplay moment by Max LL