- Developer: DuCats Game Studio
- Publisher: Drageus Games
- Release Date: 06/03/2020
- Price: £4.49 / $4.99
- Review code provided by Drageus Games
Introducing: Swordbreaker Switch Review
In another universe a man known as the Swordbreaker comes across a map to a castle. Your adventure begins at the front of that castle. Swordbreaker is a choose your own adventure game, like the kind of book you’d pick up as a kid where you’d get perplexed at how some options lead to an instant death. This, however, has many more illustrations than those books and is far more adult.
To Kick or not to Kick?
Like any choose your own adventure, you read the text describing your situation and make choices from a list on how to proceed. Often, your choices will lead to you running into a swift and gruesome death, even from something as simple as picking up a book. Thankfully, you have three lives before you’re sent back to the start of the game. Occasionally you’ll find items or knowledge that you may use later. Usually, you have three options with each situation to pick from, but with items or past actions there may be another. There are many paths around the castle that interweave with each other, some shorter than others.
This game has a small morality system, where you can be a hero, a killer or just a coward. Once you’ve gone far enough into the castle you’ll take a test based on what personality you’ve shown. I got the good ending within fifteen minutes of starting but there’s much more in the castle to see past an initial completion.
There are at least three endings in the game. Besides that, every time you die you’ll see how many scenes you’ve encountered and how many different deaths you’ve embraced. Encountering any scene will allow you to see its art in the gallery. Thankfully, there is a castle map to show you empty spots where there are still scenes to find. That makes it a bit less of a grind provided you’ve got the memory to get back there.
Over a One-in-Three Chance of Death!
Every single scene in the game is illustrated in a somewhat comic-like but well detailed style. There is plenty of gruesome death art to look at, either your own or that of your foes.
There’s a handful of different songs that play. It’s enough to set the mood at least. The crushing sound of yet another death is perhaps the most memorable. There is voice acting in the opening, but that’s all.
Outside of a couple of moments with slightly wrong translation, there were no technical issues in my playthroughs. Being quite a simple experience, it ran perfectly well in handheld mode.
Swordbreaker is a fun little choose your own adventure romp. With plenty of illustrations to depict your constant state of peril and following demise. The story itself is derivative and fails to hit the funny bone it strikes for. Regardless, the aspect of exploring and seeing all the options is enjoyable. It’s a bit easier with the extra lives and castle map. While I got the good ending quickly, it’ll take around an hour and a half to complete the game.
- Huge amount of illustrations
- Interweaving paths throughout the whole castle
- Extra lives give you more opportunity to explore
- Tries to be funny but isn’t really
- The story is almost entirely about getting safely to the end
If it’s been a while since you picked up a book like this, perhaps this short journey on the Switch will give you that same simple enjoyment.