Spellsword is an arena-style combat-based platform RPG that’s a whole lot of fun. It’s very similar to the hit game Super Crate Box, where the goal was to demolish hordes of enemies just for the sheer fun of it.
Spellsword is more of a retro-style RPG, with loot and character improvements, but it’s essentially the same game. Each level is a small area with a few obstacles (jumps, spike balls, and more) where you will defeat wave after wave of enemies in non-stop combat.
Gameplay is centered around spell cards, which spawn one at a time in each level. When you grab one, a spell goes off, damaging nearby enemies. There’s a variety of cards, each with a different spell. For example, the fire card sends off fire bolts, while the ice card sends off shards of ice.
Every time a card is picked up, a new one spawns, so you will often be running from card to card while battling enemies in order to survive.
The main game mode is mission based, so you will be given a goal to complete for each level. Missions range from killing a set number of enemies to picking up cards to simply staying alive.
Spellsword’s controls are typical for a platform game – movement is done with arrow keys on the left side of the screen, while attacking with the sword and jumping are done with buttons on the right. With today’s update, you can change the controls, adding an on-screen swipe and manual placement of the arrow keys. You won’t want to turn on swipe controls (for movement) until you’re comfortable with the gameplay.
Slaying enemies will leave behind rupees, which can be used to purchase new gear. Gear will add bonuses to cards and to health, as well as dodge bonuses and other enhancements. Completing level missions will also reward you with new items.
There are currently three different areas with 20 levels each, for a total of 60 levels. Each area has a different layout and different hazards, but the game could use more content.
When you finish all of the missions, you can move on to endless mode, which is what it sounds like – a never ending stream of monsters to defeat. There are also quite a few achievements to obtain plus leaderboards, so you can compete with players across the globe.
What I liked: This is an addictive game that I had a hard time putting down. I love the mission based gameplay, and I’m a sucker for any game that rewards me with loot and character enhancements. I also loved the retro-style 16-bit graphics, which looked fantastic on the new iPad. For those of you with iCades, Spellsword is iCade enabled.
What I didn’t like: The controls can be slightly difficult to use, but that’s generally the nature of a platform game on the iPad. I often had trouble with the arrow keys (you really need to press the right spot), but advanced players may be able to overcome this with the swipe gestures. Personally, I think I’d prefer a joystick for movement.
To buy or not to buy: Spellsword has a lot of content, thanks to endless mode after you’ve finished all the missions. Even when you’re playing it for the hundredth time, it’s a lot of fun, so I’d definitely recommend picking this game up.
- App Name: Spellsword
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
- Category: Games
- Developer: Everplay Interactive
- Price: $0.99