There’s a tremendous catalog of past games to draw on for inspiration for new games. Some games are inspired by the past, while others try to copy it, and Heavy Sword falls into the latter category. Heavy Sword, along with Lumber Jacked, were two retro platformers released this week, and Lumber Jacked stood on its own with the speed run action platformer style. Heavy Sword on the other hand, relies heavily on trying to be a Super Mario World clone with a much simpler scope. Every aspect of the game is screaming Super Mario World from the level select screen to the very familiar backgrounds, and level layouts. There’s also pipes to descend into, blocks to jump onto for coins or power-ups, and enemies that resemble Goombas, Koopas, and Hammer Bros.
The main difference is that you tote a sword to dispatch enemies, and the power-ups increase the size of the sword, hence the title heavy sword. There are also arrows, daggers, and bombs to upgrade to as you jump your way through 24 levels. Each level offers three special tokens to collect as you try to rescue Princess Lucinda. Every platformer element included feels like a cheap knock off of Super Mario Bros, and the entire experience is just so generic. It’s a bland and rudimentary style that aligns more with the very poor Domo Adventures, than any quality platformer.
The controls may be the biggest problem of the game, even though you can customize their placement. It’s not tough to maneuver, but instead the controls seem unresponsive where it takes a couple of taps on occasion for your character to respond to the jump or action buttons. Another problem is that the game is very rigid to the point that your character jumps straight upwards, unless you tap the movement arrows, and then he moves ahead section by section. The jumping action is also extremely slow to drag down the whole game.
Heavy Sword ($0.99, Universal) looks interesting on the surface, but is as shallow as games come. There’s virtually no redeeming qualities of this poorly made bland knock off, making it one to stay far away from.