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Swordigo is the latest title from developer Touch Foo, who also brought us the charming Soosiz a couple years ago. What they’ve been hard at work on since then is an excellent mash-up of platforming and action/adventure, taking several cues from The Legend of Zelda among other great classics. The visual presentation is great, the game plays smoothly, the soundtrack is outstanding, and this is a great homage to games of the past.
You play as a young nameless hero in training. Your master is killed one night by dark shadow creatures known as Corruptors, and their return must be stopped at all costs. You’re then sent out to find an ancient, legendary sword (sound familiar?) known as the Mageblade in order to stop them. The story is very simple, unoriginal, and lacking in complexity, and that is just fine with me. It feels like the story of an 8-bit adventure game on the original NES, which I think is what they were going for.
I’m not kidding when I say this is pretty much Zelda as a side-scrolling platformer, and that’s not a bad thing. The world is vast and layered, with some zones being visible in the background of others, and it’s all linked by a well done portal/checkpoint system. As you slice your way through enemies, you’ll gain lots of experience, and can level up your health, attack power, and magic. The different magic spells in this game act as the puzzle solving elements instead of a dozen different items, like the magic bomb used to gain access to new areas. The gameplay itself is fun and smooth, and the touch screen controls are implemented perfectly. This game even has ‘Rupee’ like currency which happens to be hidden in all the vases and grass, just like that other game.
Swordigo isn’t all perfect, but every complaint I could come up with was a fairly minor one. It can be hard to distinguish between a deadly pit and just a normal way down a bit too often, but you only lose half a heart for falling to your death, so it’s not bad. Also, just like Zelda once again, when your health is low, the game has to let you know in the most annoying way possible, spamming an obnoxious beeping noise. At least this game stays true to its inspiration, I guess.
The graphics are colorful and well done, and the music is absolutely fantastic; epic in every sense of the word. Exploring this 2.5D world is great fun, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the game. Both OpenFeint and Game Center leaderboards and achievements are supported. The leaderboards are rather odd though. One is for your total play time, and one is for your achievement score. This excellent adventure-platformer is iOS Universal and available for two dollars at the time of this review, and I can’t recommend it enough.