I like my swords like I like my future…
Devolver Digital has announced that it will be bringing is More8Bit’s lo-fi action-adventure title to Switch and PC this year in Bleak Sword DX. While the title has been on Apple Arcade since 2019, Bleak Sword DX promises to be an “upgraded and definitive” version.
If you missed it because you don’t have phone, Bleak Sword is a diorama-style slasher that drops your pixelated self into action setpieces. True to its name, Bleak Sword features dark fantasy rendered in stylized pixel art, giving it an unnerving lo-fi feel. Rather than a cohesive adventure, each level is represented as a battle on a square of land.
You can play a Bleak Sword DX demo now
The demo is available as part of Steam Next Fest. I fired it up and gave it a playthrough in preparation for writing this. While you can see its retro roots in its rapid-fire pick-up-and-play design, its combat feels more akin to something like Tunic. You watch enemy patterns, roll out of the way, and parry when it feels safe to. The brief levels and simplistic foundation leave a bit to be desired, but it’s definitely not a bad experience at first impression. Notably, the soundtrack is done by Jim Guthrie, which is always a big draw for me.
Bleak Sword DX features a new mode with extra chapters and new level layouts. Beyond that, there are randomizer and boss rush modes. The visuals have also been tweaked to better fit the new platforms it finds itself on. The AI is “enhanced,” and there are additions to the combat system (like the aforementioned parry.)
Bleak Sword is currently available on iOS through Apple arcade. Bleak Sword DX will be available on Switch and PC later in 2023. Currently, you can try out the first chapter in the demo for Steam Next Fest.