Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP is a point-and-click adventure game mashed with an atmospheric album that uses unconventional storytelling, pixelated graphics, humor, poetry, a killer soundtrack, and philosophical puzzles to bring together a rare, transcendental experience in gaming.

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP is about a lone warrior who unlocks an ancient evil in the pursuit of treasure and must forsake everything to defeat it. Ok, so it’s not the most original premise, but this isn’t a game that needs a detailed plot to work.  It takes the triple AAA approach to video game writing and puts it in a small, indie package that deconstructs its approach with hyper-sensory visuals and perfect sound design.

The music for Sword & Sworcery EP was done by artist Jim Gunthrie (who also did the soundtrack for “Indie Game: The Movie”). It’s a soundtrack that’s moody and meditative, but never dark, and it’s one of the best I’ve heard for a game in a long time. (Despite this, it’s unfortunately not one I would listen to on its own. Jim Gunthrie’s music is still pretty cool, though.)

On the downside, there is a heavy social network element tied to the gameplay that allows you to tweet your progress, and there are several moments in the game that promise more rewards for using it. I never noticed anything different with it, though, and it just seems like a cheap way to market the game. Without spoiling it, there’s also a couple puzzles that involve “meta-gaming” and are a pain to deal with.

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP was originally released last year on iPhone & iPad, and was just recently ported to PC.  Like Braid, Limbo, and other games like it – Superbrothers’ Sword & Sworcery EP represents a trend in video games that prides a quality experience over cheap gimmicks and artificial extenders, and strives to bring the format into the well-established notions of art. This is not a game you should pass on.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Developer: Superbrothers
Platform: iPhone, iPad, PC
Reviewed on: PC