“Throw” is not a verb usually associated with giant swords. And “platformer” is not the genre usually associated with games involving giant swords, much less throwing throwing those swords. And platformers are usually not games in which your main character cannot jump. And yet all of these things are true for IndieCade nominated puzzle platformer Swordswallower.
Swordswallower by Uti Azulay and Julia Del Matto is a gothic inspired puzzle platformer with two very simple gameplay conceits. You have a sword that you can throw and summon back to yourself, and you cannot jump, but you can pull yourself to your sword if it sticks to something. Having played basically every version of Bionic Commando there is, I was immediately taken by the idea of the game and downloaded the demo for myself.
The game begins with your unnamed protagonist awakening from being turned into a statue, and summoning a sword to himself, then embarking on a quest of vengeance to find the evil queen that locked you in the tower you escape from. Or so I think based on the description. The actual plot wasn’t in the demo. What was in the demo, however, was a beautifully crafted prologue that introduces you to the core mechanics of Swordswallower, first introducing you to the power to call and throw your sword to fight enemies, guiding you to the ability to call yourself to your sword after it lodges into an object, holding yourself to your sword, the concepts of locked doors, keys, switches, and places your sword cannot stick into, or objects you cannot hold onto after flying to your sword.
Though that may seem like quite a lot of elements to take in all at once, Swordswallower‘s demo does a very good job of introducing them naturally, iterating on each of them in turn, without feeling like you’re being rushed into a situation. The very forgiving checkpoint system definitely helps as well.
While this was just a short demo to introduce the game’s ideas, it’s already captured my interest and I look forward to further updates on this unusual platformer.
A demo of Swordswallower is available on Itch.io