Sword & Sworcery was just released on Steam yesterday. It's been out for the iPad for a little while now, but the powers that be decided to port it to the PC. I haven't finished playing the game yet...actually, it seems like the game is making me wait two days until I'm allowed to resume (I'll get to that in a minute). I still wanted to share my initial reactions with you.
First of all, this game is gorgeous. It uses blocky, pixely characters as an artistic choice, while simultaneously using interesting shading and lighting effects with the sky. This game breathes life into the old PC game aesthetic, and updates it appropriately. The end result is stunning.
That said, however, as I play through it feels as though the mechanic choices are still more appropriate for iPad than PC. For example, when you use your sword and shield in succession, you have to hold your mouse over the sword icon and left-click on it, then move your mouse over the shield icon and left-click on it. There doesn't seem to be any way to map attack to left-click and shield to right-click as is traditional of PC games. As a result, the tasks which rely on reflexes are a bit more difficult on the PC than I imagine they'd be on the iPad.
There also seems to be a level of arbitrariness to some of the tasks. Don't want to spoil anything, but there are some quests where you have to awaken, say, 5 of a certain type of creature, and yet the way you awaken each one is unlreated to the first (tutorial) method. Sometimes you click in a certain sequence, sometimes you drag things...It seems like, in some cases, this game sets up its own conventions and then doesn't completely adhere to them, which can make it difficult to know what to do in certan situations.
All of that said, the game is pretty freaking amazing. Personally I see the above issues as frustrations rather than complete deal-breakers. On top of the game being downright beautiful, it's got a very interesting method of narration. The narrative is very self-conscious and colloquial, and borderline goofy in spots. Plus, your narrator/the Archetype character is pictured with what I imagine is a cigar in his hand (one can't really tell, as he's made of maybe 8 pixels).
I think that the way the game designers sort of designed around alternative media and real-world constraints is interesting. They treat the "real world" as "Side A" of a vinyl record, with the dream world being "Side B". Your tasks are broken up into parts I, II, III, and IV (I've only gotten through the first two), and after completing each task the Archetype jumps in and puts a cap on the narrative, essentially making the whole thing feel like you've played through a chapter of a book. As a result, this game is pretty easy to pick up and put down; it's been broken into manageable chunks.
The reason I haven't gotten through part III yet is because apparently I have to wait until a dark moon occurs in the game world, which is supposed to happen 2 days from now. I know that iPad players had to physically wait 2 days before continuing the quest (or they had to change the date and time settings on their iPads...cheaters). It's an interesting design choice, to actually make you wait to continue. I guess it adds a level of realism to your quest: in real life, not all quests are non-stop action. Also, I imagine it heightens anticipation for when you actually can complete the goal. We'll see, I'll have to report back after I've waited a sufficient amount of time. Until then, here is the link to the game's website:
And here are some more pretty pictures I took in-game: