Not every game can be rated solely by screenshots
In the year 35 AZ (After Zelda) many have waited patiently for the influx of Zelda-inspired clones or even for Nintendo to release playable versions of one it pillar franchises on the Nintendo Switch. Wile Glittering Sword is by no means trying to be Zelda, the comparisons are easy to make. So does this tale of a vengeful warrior leave us feeling nostalgic or did we walk away wishing for more?
Glittering Sword while not the name of a super sexy, spandex-clad 80s hair metal band, is its own beast altogether. Held together by the barest of all bare narratives tells a tale no different than that of Arthur from Ghosts ‘n Goblins. Your love whisked away, you are left to traverse the landscape in hopes of reuniting with the apple of your eye. Granted some liberties were taken to make it sound passable as the main story is nonexistent.
Fantasy adventure set in a cozy world
Players are released upon the unassuming world and quickly taught the basics via on-screen button prompts. Here in the tutorial, almost EVERYTHING you need to understand about the game is explained. Movement is fluid and mapped to the right stick. Slashing with your sword acts as your main offence (B button) while the L launches a blue “flame” projectile. A quick dash button used for defensive purposes is also included. While everything responds as intended the biggest takeaway and drawback is hit detection. The game is viewed from a top-down perspective and your character moves freely in the 4 main directions. This is where enemy size and placement come to odds with the design. Often your sword just can’t reach an enemy even though all visual indicators would suggest contact was made. The same but opposite can also be true. Enemies that seem too far to harm you are able to inflict their punishment sometimes too quickly for you to respond as you are not the strongest hero ever conceived by a video gamer developer.
Each screen is its own unique puzzle. Collect all of the crystals to unlock areas where you can obtain keys to unlock a chest and so on. Initially, this is very intriguing. We very much looked forward to the difficulty progression and the implementation of new traps and hazards. This was just not to be. The difficulty never ratchets up nor does any single level or set of areas boggle the mind. Outside of the BOSS BATTLES, you will essentially do the same thing over and over until the credits roll. Adventure? No, but the core concept behind it is there.
Visually, Glittering Sword is not quite your everyday indie title.
The simplistic approach is offset by some solid art direction that actually does a decent job of creating a fairy tale-esque world. While not a living breathing gameworld (we’ve been spoiled in recent generations) the natural setting paired with the colour palette and soft touches make this one stand out. The animation is smooth albeit minimal but it too adds to this tale of redemption and revenge.
While not rising to the heights of the previously discussed visual design, the audio does a solid job of delivering. The main score is solid and perfectly fits this land. The enchanting tunes do a solid job of transporting players back to a time of maidens and heroic quests. Unfortunately, the accompanying sound effects pull you right out. Everything on offer feels tacked on and rushed when put up against the music.
Value-wise, Glittering Sword is a decent proposition. The single-screen Sokoban-style puzzles are mind-numbingly difficult. The added fantasy adventure element is decent, but this should be looked at as more of a puzzle title. Plenty of videogame games will catch on to references to some gamings past greats, but in the end, feels more forced than natural. The concept here is solid but is only marginally pulled off.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo
Release Date: 05/02/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action, Puzzle
Developer: ChiliDog Interactive, HugePixel
Publisher: ChiliDog Interactive
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop