24 September 2023

Indie Corner Games

Indie Corner Games a page entirely dedicated to Indie Titles.

Swordship, the yellow adrenaline

Roguelike titles always had a special corner in the comfort of my controller. Swordship is no exception to the rule, equipped with a pack of simple but quite vibrant graphics and little-seen game mechanics. This title is yet another very positive case in a slightly different line of roguelikes.

In Swordship the player controls a ship that floats on water and where the main objective will be to capture containers. All the fast-paced arcade-style action takes place across 3 different locations with about 4 different levels between them. Yes, it’s not a big adventure, but the feeling of replayability is quite strong, as there are ship upgrades, new enemies, and even different weather states to unlock. All of these examples have direct effects on the course of each run. A good example of this is the thunder, which affects both the player and the enemies, thus leaving room for adaptation to each new run.

It’s not a difficult experience, but it does take a while to get into its frantic pace. There are no firearms to fight enemies, so all the player’s finger dexterity will be put to the test. Between shots and explosions, it’s necessary to find a way to avoid taking damage, because everything that touches the ship will cause it to explode, even if it touches the walls or enemies. All the machines that appear along the way will have a special taste for stopping the rebellious yellow ship, either by means of firearms, flamethrowers, or even grenade launchers. However, they are not safe either. To shoot down the enemies it is necessary to use their weapons, causing them to miss the shots and to shoot at each other. With a simple press of a button, it is possible to submerge the ship, thus avoiding enemy fire, or if you prefer, execute a zigzag between the problems. Essentially, it’s finding the best escape option, where the ideal is to avoid being hit and causing the missed shot to hit another machine. For each enemy killed, a score is assigned and it will be accumulated until the end of the level.

As I mentioned earlier, the objective will be to reach the end of the run with as many containers as possible. Each container will randomly appear and the player will be alerted by means of a sliding yellow lines over the water, giving the player time to adapt to the surrounding situation. After capturing the container, it is possible to use it as an explosive to clear the screen, or bank it, which means waiting for the specific platform for this purpose and flying over it for a few moments. The objective seems simple at first glance, but wait until you see the screen full of enemies as you try to fly over the platform for a “brief” moment.

I love how everything blends together super well in Swordship, from the low-poly graphics to the feeling of speed, passing through the enemies and their different attack patterns, ending with the upbeat soundtrack that leaves everyone glued to the screen. The only con will be its rather small loop. Even though the difficulty is increasing, three cities with only a few differences between them really feel like little. That and the fact that it is not possible to stylize the ship in any aspect. Who knows, in future updates?

[This review is based on a retail build of the game for PC provided by Thunderful Games ]