Sword & Sworcery EP was released for the iPhone and iPod Touch late yesterday evening for $2.99. It was originally available for the iPad not too long before that. This game has been getting a lot buzz and even more praise. At first blush, it’s impossible to know what this game is about. In fact, it’s still difficult to explain what S&S EP actually is. Sure it’s a game, but it doesn’t play like a traditional game does. As much as I try to find the words to come up with a decent description, the more I realize that this game wasn’t meant to be deeply examined.
S&S EP is best played without distractions. It’s not fast-paced or action-oriented. The closest genre I can place this game into is of the point-and-click variety. There will be moments that call for some light puzzles and fighting, but the real treat is the game’s atmosphere. Its minimalist 8-bit style is charming and it’s presented in a way that doesn’t leave you craving for modern visuals. Infinity Blade this is not, but in terms of personality, S&S EP outshines countless other iOS games.
The more I get into it, the more I’m convinced that this S&S EP is more of an experience rather than a game. If you’ve played Flower on PSN, you’ll have a decent idea of what I’m talking about.
S&S EP has some of the best sound design I’ve ever heard in an iOS game. If you play this game without using headphones, you are doing yourself a disservice. So much of the experience is brought to life in the audio.
So what’s S&S EP about anyway? Well that’s hard to say without giving away too much. I’ll speak in general terms. As you get a little bit into the adventure, you’ll learn that your character is The Scythian. The Scythian is on a quest to find a relic that causes something to happen. The Scythian has to do other things to negate the effects of his (or her?) actions. The journey will afford The Scythian with new abilities that helps to complete each chapter.
In the time I’ve spent with the game, I didn’t die until I reached a boss battle. Fighting is done with timed presses like Punch Out! Fighting hasn’t been a common occurence, but there was an epic feel to the fight I’m referring to (pictured). Fighting sequences also require you to turn your iPhone into portrait mode. It’s a nice little touch.
I can go on and on about this game. It even lets you tweet every line of dialog. Some of the script is actually quite funny and tweet worthy. If you want a different kind of gaming experience and don’t mind getting lost in a sort of dream world, give S&S EP a try. It’s so worth it.