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HEAVY – sword Review
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HEAVY – sword, a Marioesque platformer from Monster Robot Studios, is now available from the app store. Despite the pedigree of its inspiration, HEAVY – sword fails to deliver the same warm fuzzies as a certain Italian plumber.

HEAVY -- sword Pros:

  • Thematically similar to Mario Bros. games
  • Arcade soundtrack provides enjoyable tunes
  • Familiar control scheme
  • GameCenter achievements

HEAVY -- sword Cons:

  • Floaty controls and lack of responsiveness are bothersome
  • Gameplay is stale and uninteresting
  • Graphics are bland

HEAVY – sword offers a couple dozen levels with some sparsely-populated enemies and enough familiar environmental elements that gameplay explanation is somewhat moot. Question mark blocks need to be hit from underneath to reveal their treasures, pipes can be used to transport our hero to subterranean levels, coins should be collected, and enemies can be defeated by bouncing on their heads or repeated whacks with your sword. In fact, the use of a melee weapon is the most notable difference between the two properties. Levels aren’t overly lengthy, and there isn’t much danger to speak of. In fact, most enemies can be nudged or jumped through with no damage taken. You do have a few hearts worth of health in the event that an enemy gets brave and decides to attack rather than just wander around nearby, but the infrequency with which this occurs renders them fairly unnecessary. Character upgrades come in the form of bigger swords rather than mushrooms or fire flowers, giving your character more power/better range when attacking. Your goal in each level is to find all three Princess coins before reaching the exit. Small coins acquired during gameplay can be used in the shop to purchase additional hearts, a double jump ability, etc.

Graphically, HEAVY – sword has a bit of a rudimentary look about it, with less character and pizzazz than even its inspiration’s old-school visuals. The soundtrack is pretty good, pumping out some arcade-rich tunes that work well for the genre. The controls are a sore point, as their overly floaty nature and lack of responsiveness lead to frustration and annoyance. Left/right buttons on the left control your movement, and A/B buttons on the right handle jumping and attacking. As they stand, they just don’t work well at all. You can reposition as you like, but this doesn’t solve the issues we experienced. Replay value is middling, as you may need to replay a level or two to snag a missed Princess coin, but they aren’t all that difficult to grab in your first go and you have plenty of time and little resistance to deal with while searching. GameCenter integration provides a handful of achievements to earn, too. A universal app for $0.99, HEAVY – sword is a disappointing 3-Dimple offering.

HEAVY - sword Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2013-04-14T00:57:12+00:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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