Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – Review

The man at the game's title screen, The Archetype, makes me question much about the game's setting.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is a downloadable adventure game for iOS devices. There are two versions, one specifically for the iPad and another that works on the iPhone and the iPod Touch. It was developed by Capybara Games; art was done by Superbrothers, and special mention was given to the musical stylings of Jim Guthrie. The two versions were released in March and April of this year, respectively.

While infrequent, the battles, specifically the boss battles, made me stop playing in frustration.

Superbrothers is a point and click adventure game. To move my character (The Scythian), I clicked where I wanted her to go and she went there. Alternatively I could hold my finger on the screen and drag to where I wanted her to go. I played the game on my iPod Touch, and I wasn’t really that happy with the size of the screen. Then again, I don’t have a past with point and click adventure games, so this was sort of a new experience for me.

I explored my surroundings and tried to figure out what was going on and what I had to do. The Scythian wasn’t all brain however. Occasionally as I explored, I’d run into enemies and have to fight them. Normally I’d hold the iPod in landscape mode, but whenever I had to fight I’d have to stand the iPod upright. During fights, icons of a sword and a shield would appear in the bottom right of the screen. Battles were infrequent, but battling the bosses became tedious. The bosses attacked in mostly the same way and a lot of these fights required precise timing swinging my sword; easier said than done.

The game is broken down into sessions. My first session lasted about thirty minutes and it introduced me to the character I controlled, The Scythian, my surroundings, apparently the Caucasus Mountains in Eurasia, and my quest. After a bit of walking I ran into a couple of people. One of them, Logfella (voiced by Robert Ashley!) led me to Mingi Taw, where I found the Megatome. For one reason or another, the Megatome is what the Scythian was after. After it was removed however, a deathless spectre awoke and I had to find a way to deal with it.

The art style for Superbrothers was very interesting. I usually don’t like games that use a darker palette, but the pixel-like design of Superbrothers drew me in. The mystery behind the story also drew me in. I was perplexed by the quest The Scythian was on and the hipster dialogue kept me questioning the time period the game was set in. The objectives I accomplished were conceptually very interesting, but the actual gameplay I had to go through was oftentimes not ideal. I enjoyed everything but the gameplay in Superbrothers and for a couple of bucks, that’s a good deal, even if I didn’t beat it.

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