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iPad  header logo

Goblin Sword

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Goblin it up

Product: Goblin Sword | Publisher: Gelato Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Goblin Sword iPad, thumbnail 1
Goblin Sword is a retro platformer through and through. From its chunky sprites to its upgradeable swords, the whole thing wouldn't look out of place on a SNES.

It's got that retro edge as well. It's not super tough, but when it wants to it can be cruel, throwing combinations of enemies and platforms at you that require quick thinking and nimble fingers.

And while its levels can be finished in a couple of minutes, there are enough secrets to discover that it's worth exploring every nook and cranny that the game has to offer.

Things might start off a little sluggishly, but when Goblin Sword clicks into gear it's a pleasantly surprising old school experience.

Slash and jump

You play as a warrior trying to rid the land of monsters. You leap through reasonably interesting platforming levels dodging spikes and slashing foes with your weapon.

The controls are smooth and slick. A couple of buttons move you left and right, and a couple more let you jump and slash. Double tapping the 'jump' button lets you perform a double jump.

There are coins and gems scattered throughout the levels. You use these to buy new equipment for your plucky warrior.

There are sharper swords, stronger suits of armour, and trinkets that give you certain buffs and boosts. It's not a deep system, but it's always nice to be able to tinker with your setup.

Swords and sandals

The levels are pretty standard platforming fare. There are ledges that give under your weight, spiky blocks that drop without warning, and secret tunnels that only the most investigative will find.

While the levels themselves might not be that original, there's enough variety among the foes you're slashing to keep you interested.

Rogue-style skeletons slide through you to stab you in the bag, flighty witches dodge around on broomsticks and toss balls of energy at you, and giant ogres smash the ground so hard it catches on fire.

The boss battles are your usual pattern-following encounters, but they pose a pretty stiff challenge all the same, and break up the rhythm of the platforming at just the right time.

Stabbing pains

Goblin Sword is a solid game. It wears its influences proudly, and adds enough modern sensibility into the mix that it's not too daunting.

It's not without its problems. The first couple of levels aren't as much fun as what follows, and sometimes it sticks a little too rigidly to old-fashioned templates. Aping retro games is all well and good, but occasionally things do feel a little stale.

But these are reasonably minor problems. Get past them and you'll find an adventure that's pretty impressive. It's good looking, often clever, and will spark a nostalgic pang in gamers of a certain age.

It might not be supremely original, but it's a decent enough reason to while away a few minutes, and maybe even a few hours.
Goblin Sword
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 11 September 2014
An entertaining but safe platformer, Goblin Sword is fun enough that it's worth a go
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