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Spell Sword is a new arena combat platformer from FireFruitForge and Everplay Interactive. It builds upon the unique mechanics made popular by Super Crate Box, except that it takes place in a swords and sorcery kind of environment. It adapts the young new genre to a fantasy RPG setting far better than games like Muffin Knight did, in my opinion. The retro graphics and music are awesome, the gameplay is furious and addicting, and it’s just generally a great game that I highly recommend.
Instead of picking up crates and getting different guns as in Super Crate Box, you have one single sword and pick up different magic cards that endow you with all kinds of fun elemental powers, from launching fireballs, poisoning every enemy on the screen, launching magic wind blades with every swing of your sword, and many more. These effects are, however, quite temporary. All kinds of enemies requiring different tactics will enter the battle arena, and if you aren’t consistently moving and picking up new cards, you won’t last very long at all. The game is split into two modes as well. The mission mode asks you to grind through specific challenges, while the endless mode is more like the standard Super Crate Box gameplay. As you proceed through the missions and maps, new spell cards will be introduced along with new enemies.
In both modes you’ll collect Rupees, the currency of the game, which can be used to upgrade each spell to become more effective or to buy hats, rings, and amulets that grant stat bonuses. These RPG aspects in conjunction with the melee rather than projectile focused combat really make this game stand out, and it’s definitely not just a clone. My only complaint with the game is that the controls can occasionally be unresponsive, but I definitely found them manageable. The whole thing is insanely addictive and hard to put down despite any flaws. There are also Game Center achievements as well as Endless mode leaderboards. Of course, players with maxed out spells and stats definitely have an advantage there, if you care about such things.
I love the simple pixel art style, and in terms of coloring and other visual aspects, it looks rather similar to FireFruitForge’s other recent release, Terra Noctis, which I loved. It was important for the repetitive chip tunes soundtrack to be super awesome as well, and it is. The developers have already talked about several fixes and enhancements that they’re working on, such as more control options and extra arenas, and the game will only get better. And the best part ever is that there are NO in-app purchases to be found here. I mean, that actually sucks for bad players who want them, but the devs would rather you earn those victories, which I find totally respectable and awesome in this current market. Spell Sword is iOS Universal and available for one dollar at the time of this review. I’d definitely say it’s a worthwhile purchase.