Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, is, well, I don’t know what it is. It’s part point and click adventure game, part puzzle game, and part musical journey through a far-away land, featuring a deliberately obtuse plot that puts you in the pixelated shoes of “The Scythian” as she completes a quest to eventually defeat the “Gogolithic Mass”. Initially released in 2011, it almost immediately garnered widespread praise (and a boat load of awards) for its distinct style, atmosphere, and soundtrack.
The game’s navigation is handled via a double tap on your device, which leads your character to that specific location on the map. Sometimes in the dark you’re required to click and hold, which is a confusing change of pace and led to a couple of unfortunate deaths (and smudges on my screen) against the first “boss” character. The light combat elements are handled by turning your device vertically and with a standard block/attack interface timed to music and the enemy’s attacks. Other gameplay elements include eating magic mushrooms in order to enter and exit a special dream realm, and using the accelormeter to activate the “megatome” whatever that is.
I’m not sure how to feel about Sword & Sworcery EP. Typically when a game is as lauded as this one is, and I play it, I’m typically as blown away as the others in the gaming press. But I’m not blown away very much at all. Sure, it’s pretty and the graphics present a unique throw-back style that is equal parts haunting and charming. The music is spectacular. But, uh, where’s the game part? Sure, the non-chalant dialog is enjoyable, and all the happenings in the game story-wise are pretty interesting and had me wanting to know more. But this game is getting 9.5s from like, respected journalists *cough* IGN *cough. There’s just very little to *do* here.
That said, it’s certainly worth your time and money if you enjoy smoking a bowl, kicking back in the dark, putting on some beats-by-dre headphones, and getting lost in a world not your own. This is an expierence unlike any other, and can probably only be had properly on an IOS device with headphones plugged in and the rest of the world floating somewhere in the background.