Originally released in 2015 on PC, Swordbreaker The Game has made its way onto current gen consoles thanks to publisher Sometimes You. A digital “choose your own adventure” book, the player is only selecting options available from a menu but is treated to some nice artwork, a cheesy story, and numerous branching paths.
Playing as an adventurer armed with a sword, the protagonist happens upon an abandoned castle. The first choice, for example, asks the player if you want to walk into the front gate or should you climb to the window. Depending on the choice, the player’s path drastically branches to big set pieces and several monsters. Without spoiling anything, eventually a life or death scenario will be presented. Choosing the wrong path leads to an instant change to intense music and a death panel. Three deaths equal game over and you’ll need to start at the very beginning. Not having a checkpoint system in place is a bit of a bummer considering there are so many paths to unlock but it is understandable why a feature like it wasn’t included.
My biggest complaint isn’t necessarily the lack of gameplay, the player is just choosing one option over another after all, but the menu system could be presented in a clearer fashion. The number of options available are listed at the top left corner of each panel but switching between them barely changes the indicator making it difficult to distinguish which option is highlighted. Also, it took me a couple play throughs to realize the text box at the bottom of the screen can be scrolled by using the right analog stick – there is no indicator this was even an option. Once you learn how the game works though, it is pretty seamless and each attempt only lasts a few minutes. Unless you are cheating by following a guide, it will take dozens of trial-and-error attempts to see it all. It is also worth mentioning that Achievements/Trophies are tied to completing certain tasks like killing a monster or reaching a specific area in a specific branching path.
There isn’t much game in Swordbreaker but that doesn’t necessarily make it bad. It only costs $5 and offers some easy Achievements, a pretty ridiculous but mildly entertaining story, and brings you back to being a kid when you read those choose-you-own books you ordered from Scholastic Books.
Also available on PS4 and PS Vita.
Also Try: a pen and paper RPG with your buddies
Better Than: reading a choose-your-own-adventure book and flipping all those pages
Wait For It: Swordbreaker the action game