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HEAVY-sword

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Swordly lacking

Product: HEAVY-sword | Publisher: Monster Robot Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Platform, Retro | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
HEAVY-sword iPad, thumbnail 1
If The Other Brothers was undoubtedly inspired by Mario's 2D heyday, then the maker of HEAVY-sword probably owes Miyamoto a cut of its profits.

This is classic platforming fare, so expect to collect plenty of gold coins, slip down numerous secret pipes, and bop from underneath question mark-emblazoned boxes.

As this game's title suggests, though, the violent streak here is much more pronounced than anything seen in Mario's gentle bottom-bouncing series. You've got a bladed weapon of mass combo destruction at your disposal, for one, as well as some projectile weapons.

Unfortunately, though, HEAVY-sword gets squished by a problem that's all too common to iOS platformers.

Sword dance

In this game, you take control of a bobble-headed hero who bears more than a passing resemblance to Sega's unofficial mascot Alex Kidd. A princess gets kidnapped by a horde of monsters, and it's up to you to get her back from them.

Cue lots of jumping and collecting things, as you work your way through 24 levels of increasingly tough, occasionally generic action. As well as leaping around, you'll need to smash things with swords.

A simple combo system that involves your mashing the attack button makes for some quite satisfying carnage, but it does get repetitive pretty fast. You upgrade your sword with collectibles as you play, turning it from a dagger into the sort of gargantuan metallic slasher that even Cloud Strife would be embarrassed to carry around.

Arrows and throwing knives lend your arsenal some ranged possibilities, but you're still just mashing buttons. There's little finesse here, either in presentation or execution. Pieces of the scenery don't look like they belong in the same world, and it results in an air of sloppiness.

Sword off it

And that sloppiness extends to the controls, too. They're just too imprecise to cope with the demands of the game. Your jump, in particular, is too flighty, sending you floating into the air with little time to refine your landing (something that's not that easy with direction buttons that don't always register).

It's a shame, because there's a lot to like about HEAVY-sword. The dev might unashamedly make its starting point Mario's super-worlds, but it does try to branch out on its own. With a little more polish, it might have made it, too.
 
HEAVY-sword
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 16 April 2013
A platformer with a few decent ideas, HEAVY-sword is let down by clumsy controls and a stark reliance on nostalgia
 
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