Sword (Second Review)

Title           Sword (Second Review)
Game Type       Platform
Players         1
Compatibility   A500-A4000, (1 Mb Chip RAM)
HD Installable  Yes
Company         Titan Computers
Submission      Seppo Typpö (groucho@pp.inet.fi) Profiled Reviewer

As long as there have been computer games, there have been 2D platform
games. During its lifetime, the Amiga has hosted a fair share of these,
ranging from complete duffers to some cross-platform masterpieces.

Sword is another attempt in this highly competitive genre. The player
controls a small boy, who must battle through eight levels armed with a
machine gun, that has a tendency to overheat. The player must guide the
main character through all kinds of hazards, battle against various
enemies and end of level bosses.

On the surface, Sword looks and plays like an ordinary run-of-the-mill
platform game. The graphics are clear and crisp, the sound effects are
good and the music is very atmospheric. The game controls are excellent
and allow pixel perfect maneuvers if needed. But under the surface lies a
challenging and well structured game that offers hours of fun to anyone
willing to delve into it.

The level design is good and the game's difficulty level is quite high.
The timing and the positioning of jumps is critical to success which means
some practice is needed before the player can successfully progress on to
the next level. This is by no means a bad thing - the challenge is always
high but very seldom frustrating thanks to the clever game design. Success
in the game is rewarded with the passwords the game gives after each
completed level, allowing trouble-free progress to later levels.

After playing Sword for a bit longer it becomes evident that a great deal
of thought and ideas have been but into the game. While generally offering
very little new to the platform game genre, it excels in sheer
playability. It rewards the persistent player with a great feeling of
satisfaction, something very few games manage to do. It also manages to
avoid the pitfalls that have spoiled so many promising contenders (like
annoying regenerating monsters that crop up when covering old ground). On
top of that, the game is hard disk installable and works well even on
accelerated machines.

Sword is a well designed and skillfully programmed game that should belong
to the collection of any platform game afficinado. It shows that even today
a game does not have to be 3D to be an entertaining and fun experience.

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