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30 Hidden Gems #22: Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery EP


Welcome to my blog series! This is 30 Years, 30 Days, 30 Hidden Gems. In honor of my 30th birthday, I'm posting about a different lesser-known video game every day in November. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it. If you want to start at the beginning, check it out here.

Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery EP
Release Date: 2011
System: Mobile, PC

Remember a few years ago when Capybara games had their fifteen seconds of fame at E3? Somebody from Microsoft came out wearing their shirt and babbling about indie games and how important they were for Xbox One and blah blah blah. Then two days later the whole world promptly forgot about it? Well Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery EP was the game that put Capybara on Microsoft’s radar before all that happened.
The best way I can think to describe it is as a very bare-bones point and click adventure game. As “The Scythian,” you explore this beautifully crafted world searching for various paranormal dinguses to accomplish some vague, mysterious task. You do this by sort of clicking around on things. The game is set up in a four episode structure and encourages you to only play them one at a time. It also makes for some really unique puzzles as the game takes into account the real-life moon cycle, or relying on sound and music to help you discover what to do next.
The thing that first attracted me to the game was the art style. It is pixel art, but not the little chibi sprites that you’d expect. Everything has this grainy, detailed look to it that sort of looks like the world was made out of LEGOs and then melted. It leads to some stunning, downright gorgeous scenery. Even the characters, with their blocky bodies and lanky limbs, have a charm to them.
If it all sounds very “zen,” it kind of is, though the game also features combat. The fighting system takes a page from, of all things, Punch Out. Your opponent will attack you in a pattern. You have to use your two buttons to dodge and attack when the opportunity presents itself. It relies on pattern recognition and reflexes, which makes it both simple and challenging at the same time. A perfect fit with the flavor of the game’s exploration and puzzles.
The game first came out on mobile in 2011 and on Steam in 2012. It does have a sense of humor reminiscent of the hipsters of the time, so that’s something to keep in mind, I guess. Otherwise, it’s a good game. I’ve only played the Steam version, though mobile is probably fine too if you want to check it out.
Thanks for reading! My plan is to make this a series, one entry every day this month. I hope you'll stop by tomorrow for the next entry.
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About Adam Pone of us since 10:34 PM on 04.28.2013

My name is Adam. I've been gaming as far back as I can remember, ever since the NES my parents owned when I was a wee lad. Writing has been a passion of mine for almost as long, and I've made quite a hobby out of combining the two pastimes.

I have a very wide taste in gaming. I'll give just about anything a shot, regardless of age, genre, or hardware. I like to think of gaming as an entertainment medium in the same vein as literature and film rather than a simple toy.

When I'm not writing or playing, you might find me in church, in the woods (probably on a four wheeler and/or carrying a gun), or in my room playing my guitar.