Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Review

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Review

 

By: Charlotte Heidebrecht, staff writer

Creators: SuperBrothers

Composer: Jim Guthrie

Publisher: Capybara Games

Release Dates: iPad: 3/24/11 –iPhone: 4/27/11 –Steam: 4/16/12 –OS X: 3/31/12 –Android: 11/12

Rated: 12+

Version Reviewed: iPhone

Overall Review:

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, or #sworcery, is an indie adventure game. The visual style is reminiscent of 8-bit games, with a very muted color palette. The landscapes and characters are as detailed as its art style allows and makes for an “artistic” experience. You really aren’t given much to go with so you have to use your imagination.

It has a dreamy soundtrack that adds to the mysterious nature of the game. The adventure even begins with a sound check. In fact, sound is so important to the atmosphere of the game that I recommend wearing headphones throughout.

Initially I felt that the game was a bit confusing. There were no definite directions aside from turning the screen horizontally and tapping to move and look. The first hint at knowing what to do is to follow a dog and investigate the scenery.

I have always enjoyed puzzle games so this game was rather enjoyable once I figured out how to fight and move around in the game.

I get the feeling that the game is inspired at least in part by the Matrixand Assassin’s Creed since there seems to be a techno-façade over this seemingly medieval landscape. You meet “The Archetype” and he gives you instructions as an omnipotent narrator. Walking through the forest as “The Scythian” you meet with locals, challenges, enemies all the while being slightly unsure of what your ultimate goal is. If you or your child are ok with playing games that don’t come straight out and tell you what is going on, then this is an excellent experience.

Family Gaming Assessment:

This is a fairly family-friendly game. The adventure-style violence is kept to a minimum, with no gore or blood. There are very few frightening elements, but with the games’ pixelated style, I don’t believe it should be too much for anyone old enough to play it. There are some mild instances of drug/alcohol use. This mainly pertains to the use of mushrooms that heal your character, but also put her into a psychedelic state for a short time. The dialogue is highly informal and should be readily accessible to young adults with very little foul language.

Playability Assessment:

#sworcery is a game that requires some logic and gaming experience. There are very limited tutorials until you have gotten about10% of your way through the game. There are some instances where you will be tapping around on the screen or wandering around trying to figure out what’s next. There is some light reading required in order to learn clues or how to figure out certain puzzles and boss fights. Anyone who is able to read and understand a video game with minimal instructions will be able to enjoy Swords & Sworcery. The game is also relatively short, and can possibly be completed in a day or two of dedicated play.

Conclusion:

I personally enjoyed playing this game. It has many elements of gaming that I enjoy, such as puzzles and a great soundtrack. I must say though that the level of pretentiousness in the development of this game is rather obvious. There are several times where the game shows the title when you’ve completed a task, as if you need reminding of the title, publisher and composer. All this hype makes you believe that this game will be a long epic saga, but in actuality it is a short art piece. I appreciate the work that must have gone in to create this game, but I’m not sure it is worth the price. 

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