To be sung in to the tune of The Beautiful South’s ’Rotterdam’: "This could be Robocod or Soccer Kid, Lost Vikings or Zool, ‘cos Sword here is anything, anything at all..."
Alright so the scanning’s crap but you get the point. Sword’s a platform game like a thousand other platform games.
Armed with a machine gun, our hero has to negotiate seven levels of typical platform action, jumping from pillar to post and falling to his death if he puts a pixel wrong. The machine gun’s there to deal with the various baddies our hero encounters along the way – anything from dragons to ants – but over zealous use of (in Sergeant Major’s voice now) the machine gun, destroying baddies for the purpose of, (back to normal) causes it to overheat and jam.
Let go of the fire button for a few seconds and, when the temperature gauge on the left of the screen has dropped, you can resume firing again.
There’s fruit to collect along the way for extra points, along with various stuffed toys and slices of cake and so on, and keys which allow access to other parts of the level.
The game is very fond of suddenly presenting you with a trap you had no idea was there until you walked into it.
Make it to the end of the level and it’s time to fight one of the bosses. Victory here means you get a rather lovely password so you don’t have to attempt the level again.
You’ll be extremely pleased about this because, time after time, you’ll be killed by the slightest touch from some baddie or hidden trap.
The game is very fond of suddenly presenting you with a trap you had no idea was there until you walked into it, so you have to go right back to the start of the level. Harumph.
Sword is all about remembering where these traps are and how to jump from one platform to another. This doesn’t make the game bad, but there’s nothing in Sword that hasn’t been done before and indeed, many games have done it a lot better before.
I really don’t want to be too down on Sword though. People who actually love this level of frustration should bet a great deal of enjoyment from it. Personally, I think gameplay’s moved a great deal and simply rehashing old ideas, without even adding new features and twists, does very little to inspire me.
There you are then. A very average platform game with a high level of frustration. If that doesn’t bother you too much then you might even find it addictive. I didn’t and so I wouldn’t recommend it to you. And now, time for a song...