Title: Sword & Sworcery EP
Developers: Superbrothers, Capybara Games
What it is: A stylish and unique exploration-based game for iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and PC
I have been holding off on reviewing this little gem, because it has been so exclusive and unattainable--only available for download on iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. Until yesterday! On April 16, Sword and Sworcery EP was released on Steam, so a much broader audience will have access to this unique marvel of a game.
Sword and Sworcery is reminiscent of classic point-and-click adventure/puzzle games, but it has a thoroughly modern feel. You play as the mysterious "Scythian," a female warrior-monk-adventurer from distant lands who has been following the trail of a legendary treasure. A cryptic, self-aware, and possibly unreliable narrator guides you obliquely through the story. The game makes use of many unique mechanics, including the Megatome (a book in your inventory that reveals the thoughts of each of the characters).
Intriguingly, certain vital game content is only accessible by playing during certain real-world moon phases, although it is possible to cheat by tinkering with your device's date/time settings. I would assume similar circumvention is also possible in the PC version.
The dialogue toes the line between serious and silly, and is often loaded with snarky meta-jokes.
Where Sword and Sworcery really shines is in its distinct and stylish art and music. Lush, detailed pixel art and a magical, modern, award-winning soundtrack combine to create an enchanting, haunting world that is absorbingly atmospheric regardless of the size of the screen you're playing it on. I played on iPod touch, and it still felt utterly immersive.
It somehow manages to be mysterious and hilarious, scary and cute, exhilarating and calming, immersive and meta, all at once! Give it a try. If you still need convincing, watch the official "Audience Calibration Procedure" below: