Dec 31, 2012
For those who are all about swords, and magic spells cast from swords, then Spellsword, Everplay and Fire Fruit Forge’s arena-based action-RPG brought to Android by Miniclip, is worth seeing.
Spellsword takes a bit of a different spin on the traditional Super Crate Box formula – which really needs to arrive on Android proper at some point, not just via PlayStation Mobile – by making magic cards the item to be constantly picking up. These cards all have different effects, like summoning fireballs, poisoning enemies, or shooting out ice shards. They’re also far more powerful than the plain vanilla sword is, so collecting them is key. Success is defined by more than just card collection though, as there are plenty of enemies to take down. They drop rupees, which can be spent on upgrades to make the cards better, and items for increasing health or modifying stats. There’s a secondary dragon coin currency that also appears periodically which is used to buy certain other items.
The game’s two-pronged structure works well for it. Mission mode does well to introduce players to new elements, as well as providing short bursts of challenge to tackle. Meanwhile, endless mode serves as the culmination of those efforts: a chance to put one’s skills to the test in the three arenas, with three difficulties each. The two modes also inform each other: endless mode hands out a lot more rupees, but the best way to unlock new cards and content is by progressing through mission mode, so balancing out the two is necessary. The pixel art is very colorful, and character armor can be viewed on the characters themselves when equipped. The soundtrack is particularly memorable as well; the songs are basic but I found them sticking in my head long after playing.
Spellsword is not most the intricately-assembled game ever. There’s a lot of slowdown on newer devices. The game doesn’t really inform the player of when they have taken damage. The Nexus 7 controls are a bit too big perhaps to be comfortable for most; I felt like they were usable but I would prefer less thumb stretching.
For those looking for a great pick-up-and-play arena brawler with enough RPG elements to satisfy long-term desire, then Soellsword is a must-have free download.