Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Swordigo ($1.99 Universal) is a great fantasy-based platform game that brings all of the great aspects of legendary action-adventure games to the iOS(s AAPL) platform. In fact, there are quite a few similarities between Swordigo and Nintendo’s original Zelda series on the handheld platform. A quest, a map, a hero and a sword. What more does one need?
The game opens with the hero’s visionary dream predicting the untimely passing of their master. Upon awakening, the hero is told by the village elder that the hero is the only one that can save the village from the evil corruptors. And thus the quest begins. Nothing too deep, and just the right amount of dialog to get the game started. Gameplay is basic, you can move left to right and have the ability to jump, double jump and run fast. Attacking is done with either a weapon or by casting one of the hero’s magic spells. The way you switch which spell is cast is quick and easy to access on the touchscreen, even during the heat of a boss battle. Yes, there are boss battles, and they are fought the same way you fight the lesser creatures throughout the game: striking with your weapon, jumping and moving out of the way of attacks, and casting spells.
There are portals throughout the game that allow you to travel instantly back and forth from the village to several points throughout the game. This allows you to travel back to the town elder, make purchases in the shop, and visit the healer when your health is low. More importantly, it also allows you to revisit earlier levels that you could not complete until you achieve more advanced skills or learn a new spell. For example, on some of the earlier levels, there are boulders that block the path to certain treasure chests full of experience and “soul shards,” the local currency. These boulders can easily be removed once the “Bomb” magic spell is learned. Remembering how to get back to these points on the map is just another part of the ongoing adventure.
Building on the success of Soosiz, Tough Foo has focused on just the right mixture of smooth graphics, a simple story line, progressive gameplay and interesting levels. You do acquire experience, level up your character and purchase weapons as well as healing potions throughout the game. These decisions do affect your game strategy and to some extent control how far you can get in the game. Going back and replaying earlier levels may reveal hidden treasures as well as allow you to collect additonal soul shards with which you can purchase an extra healing potion for the next boss battle.