A Swordy good time.

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Let me tell you about my favourite indy game of the show.

From Frogshark comes Swordy, a simple game whose excellence lies in it’s delivery. It’s a four-player arena brawler where each combatant must race to the edge of the arena to pick up weapons to use against their adversaries. While unarmed you automatically pick up any weapon you run over and you can drop them a press of the R1 button. The left analog stick controls your movement and the right stick swings your weapon. The chaotic action stems from the fact that you’re constantly rotating the right stick in an attempt to build momentum into your strikes. Weapons also bounce off one another when they collide so you all end up spinning around in circles trying to time your charge so that your swing will get in behind your target’s weapon. It’s like putting four of Diablo’s barbarians in a confined space and watching them whirlwind at each other like maniacs and it’s every bit as fun as that sounds.

There are some tricks you can employ too. Achieving three kills in a row will cause your weapon to light itself on fire and it will deal extra damage and build up momentum easier. Killing someone whose weapon is glowing will pass the power up on to you which results in escalating levels of lethality towards the end of the round. The other technique, revealed to me pre-match by one of the devs, is to hit the ‘drop’ button while swinging your weapon in order to throw it across the room. If you’ve built up sufficient momentum these wild throws can be quite deadly.

Visually Swordy is very blocky and colourful. I’m not sure whether this was placeholder material but to be honest I quite liked the square neon blood splatters that matched your avatars equally garish shirt and marked the precise location of each of your deaths. The bright and simple shapes made picking yourself out of the chaos very easy. Some minor weather effect were present, the occasional rain would blur parts of the screen while washing away the blood splatters.

Swordy will make a great party game, although I think I could improve it by adding drink-related penalties.


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