Die By The SWOOOORD Colon Lords Of The Sword

By John Walker on September 13th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Blocks are the new pixels.

Here’s a thought. If Kongregate doesn’t add a mute button I’m going to find everyone involved and poke them in the eye. I’m reminded of this after playing SWOOOORD! Colon Lords Of The Sword for a bit. It’s a dungeon-crawling action game, with randomly generated levels, and incredibly frequent permadeath.

I’m still coming around to the concept of permadeath. I’m the person who gets too attached to a Spelunky hero, or grieves the loss of “XLOWNMWF” in my 13,495th game of Dredmor. In SWOOOORD it’s a lot easier, as there are no names and not even a face. The super-blocky game leaves things pretty anonymous, instead focusing just on the combat. It’s a relatively simple affair of attack, bigger attack, block and dodge, but figuring out how best to use those once the enemies get a bit tougher is the hook.

I do strongly recommend downloading the game rather than playing it on Kong. That way you can change the resolution to match your monitor, and not have half the screen obscured by giant text and a pointless floating skill. And, indeed, should you have anyone else nearby, you could force them to play local co-op with you.

Once the picture is bigger, and you can use your web browser without hearing its monotonous guitar noise, there’s a lot more fun to be had. Each time I play I get a little bit further, and feel compelled to try again. There’s certainly no real depth here – it’s very much about the combat, with no RPG pretensions at all. Picking up a different sword is pretty much as involved as it gets. But that combat is fun, challenging, and impressively, always fair. I die because I mess up, not because the game messes me around.

It’s free, and you can obviously test it out via Kongregate. But if you fancy a go, I suggest just downloading the weeny exe from here.

Cheers to Indie Games for the tip.

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30 Comments »

  1. Snidesworth says:

    Swordface?

  2. Torgen says:

    COLON LORDS!

    • MacTheGeek says:

      You’d need to play over 30,000 sword-based videogames to equal the swordly swordliness of one copy of COLON LORDS. To get that much swordliness, you’d have to play ten videogames a day, every day, for eight and a half years.

  3. Kdansky says:

    >There’s certainly no real depth here – it’s very much about the combat, with no RPG pretensions at all.

    Fighting games have more depth precisely because they don’t get bogged down with crappy story “choices”.

    • eks says:

      Except the depth rarely comes from game mechanics and more from the meta game.

    • The Random One says:

      I think he was referring to the long-term mechanical choices you’ll encounter in a normal roguelike, not > PRESS L2 TO KICK THE KING IN THE NUTS! + 20 MEANIE POINTS!

  4. JiminyJickers says:

    I love the music, haha, helps being a heavy metal fan.

  5. DickSocrates says:

    I’ve suddenly realised I like ultra basic polygonal graphics. Not Minecraft style, which is just awful and ugly, but more like Model 1 (Virtua Fighter/Racing) or very early and low budget PSone. Clean, flat shaded polygons. Hopefully it’s a new wave and we can give 8bit sprites a rest for a couple of years.

    More indies need to make 3D games. They’ve exhausted 2D platformers for the moment, imo.

  6. Oozo says:

    I would give an arm and a leg for a contemporary remake of Die By The Sword.
    Still hope that Clang might out-class it, in some ways, but I doubt that killing monsters with precise strokes of their surgically severed and consequently weaponized limbs will be part of the experience.

    Oh, and Colons! It looks… bloody?

    • Sirbolt says:

      Hear hear, I loved that bloody game. The sheer visceral thrill is unmatched even today. It was great fun in MP too. When it worked…

      • MagpieMcGraw says:

        I picked that up on GOG some time ago. Remembered reading about it in a games magazine and thought I’d give it a try. My God. It’s impossible. Very dated. But the idea of it is brilliant, bold, innovative. Was quite shocked that it was made by Treyarch. I’ve suddenly got alot more respect for them now.

    • ThetaReactor says:

      Ooo, yeah. Did any enterprising fanboy ever develop a way to use a Wiimote or that Razer waggle thing with the original?

    • Qazinsky says:

      Yeah, I still remember a fun multiplayer bout about stop fleeing and hopping after a leg wielding maniac as soon as he turned his back, as fast as my one intact boar man leg carried me.

  7. dontnormally says:

    It is absolutely unacceptable to lack a Mute function.
    Completely, 100%, absolutely unacceptable. 1/5 stars.

    [edit]: That was a bit knee-jerk of a reaction; thanks for the quick update, @nihilocrat. This attitude is the result of many flash gaming experiences crushing my eardrums and/or “blowing up my spot” as I load a game that doesn’t have any Mute option.

    IMHO browser-based games should all have a Mute option *before* *any* sound plays.

    I actually quite enjoy this game (:

  8. nihilocrat says:

    You will be glad to know that I am releasing version 1.1 this weekend, which includes a mute button on the title screen.

    The skull is actually how you heal yourself. I am reworking the tutorial so it’s hopefully a bit more obvious. The skull gets filled when you hurt enemies, and if you kill something while it’s full, you’ll get healed. Basically: if you are hurt, try to chain-kill as many enemies as possible.

  9. c-Row says:

    But… if it’s permadeath, how can it be… frequent?!

  10. Munken says:

    Assuming you are running Windows 7 you can right click on the volume icon in the bottom left, open sound mixer and just mute your browser. Which is a bit of a roundabout way to do things, but essential for a silly amount of flash games.

    • Baines says:

      I just turn down the dial on my speaker. One of the main (only?) benefits of using separate speakers that have their own power source.

  11. LintMan says:

    With friends like the Colon Lords, who needs enemas?

  12. Randomer says:

    Anyone found a way to get Unity working in Ubuntu yet?

  13. Zankmam says:

    Online co-op would be grand!