Why Are You So Terrible At EVERYTHING In A Sword Game?

By Nathan Grayson on January 9th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

If your sword game doesn't include a sword throwing option, it gets an automatic 0/10 from me. No exceptions.

I’ve been meaning to write about A Sword Game since laaaaaaast yeaaaaaar. Or rather, the tail-end of last year, which was like a couple weeks ago. But then the holidays happened, my hands temporarily fell off (as they do every year), and well, here we are. Anyway, ASG is a brilliant little Ludum Dare entry from Starseed Pilgrim dev Droqen. It’s about swords, as many games are, but there’s a twist: you’re laughably incompetent. Good luck keeping ahold of your sword, much less skewering the armies of darkness like so many evil sausages. Baddies, walls, grates – everything can and will send your precious implement clanging away end-over-end. ASG is occasionally frustrating, but mostly it’s just hilarious.

The game itself is rather simple, but it’s the tiny details that make the humble-looking action-platformer stand out. Cracking sound effects, especially, lend your sword an impressively physical presence, making its tendency to ricochet into the distance every time you mindlessly bounce off a wall all the more giggle-inducing.

But A Sword Game isn’t just an exercise in physical comedy. It’s actually an impressively clever puzzle game when you get right down to it. Your sword is both a weapon and a key, so keeping it on your person is of the utmost importance. If some big bellied embodiment of evil girth-slaps it down a grate, you have no choice but to follow it down. You’re a swordsman in the most brutally depressing sense of the word. You are nothing without your blade.

But sometimes you do have to part with it – if only momentarily. The game’s levels are puzzles of navigation in and of themselves, with your itsy bitsy butterfingers faltering if your sword lingers against a wall for too long. Thus, you might need to hurl your sword up a flight of too-narrow stairs or hold it aloft while leaping between blocks. There are multiple paths through ASG’s castle, but never forget: your sword isn’t optional.

Droqen still doesn’t consider A Sword Game complete, but it’s a silly, smarter-than-it-looks good time even in its current state. Give it a try here.

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4 Comments »

  1. DantronLesotho says:

    I played this for a bit and absolutely loved the game, even though I was garbage at it (like I’m sure everyone else is). That droqen’s got some talent.

  2. pusheax says:

    Seems like he started playing around with drod mechanics and ended up with this amusing thing.

  3. SominiTheCommenter says:

    “droqbox.com” is a great domain name. Having dl as a subdomain only makes things better.
    Cease and Desist in 5,4…

  4. oyog says:

    And you didn’t even mention the option for playing with a bigger sword!

    (No wait, I’m not a spambot! There’s actually three sword sizes!)