Swordship

by Aethyna
Dec 6, 2022 | 1 Votes | 21 Played | 0 Reviews Your vote
Swordship 10 rate Steal containers from the bowels of the rich megacities and deliver these essential goods to the poor folks trying to survive the harsh sun-scorched world in this thrilling “dodge ‘em up” action roguelike! Upgrade your ship, use your enemies’ projectiles against them, and become one of the best pilots there is! Play Now Similar Games Played Post a Review

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Summary Plotline Gameplay Graphics/ Sound Conclusion

Summary


Swordship is a thrilling action roguelike with a unique “dodge ‘em up” gameplay where you play as the skilled pilot of a lightning-fast ship. Your goal? To steal the containers from the bowels of the megacities and deliver these essential goods to the poor people who were banished from the cities and left to die in the harsh sun-scorched world. Steal containers, upgrade your ship, use your enemies’ projectiles against them, and become one of the best pilots there is!

Plotline


The game is set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world where most of it is submerged and the lands are barren and inhospitable. Here, three underwater megacities are the remaining bastions of humanity, protected from the harsh environment above the surface. Underneath it runs the trade canals where the constant flow of goods, sealed in containers, runs from one city to another, supply each with necessities and other resources that they may need to live in relative comfort.

However, not many are that fortunate.

The people who were banished from the cities find it hard to survive the sun-scorched lands on the surface. Thankfully, they have some help from the citizens of these very cities. These unsung heroes, skilled at piloting lightning-fast ships, would steal these containers so they can be sent to the Banished. Naturally, some are better than others – which one will you be?

Gameplay


Right from the very start, you’ll get to dive right into Swordship’s unique “dodge ‘em up” gameplay. The game has a similar look and feel like a typical space shooter, where your ship is constantly moving forwards as evident by the moving environment, and enemies will pop-up or fly in, depending on which type of enemy it is.

However, instead of shooting at enemies like you would in a space shooter, your main “weapon” against them is to swerve and weave through the many projectiles, lasers, and bombs the enemy – mostly drones and turrets – will throw your way. Since you’re in a canal with running water, you can also briefly dive your ship into its depth to avoid projectiles on the surface. This can be especially helpful when the screen starts to fill up a bit too much and you ran out of space to avoid projectiles or the enemies themselves.

Besides diving, you’ll also have two more abilities at your disposal. For one, you can use any ability that comes with your swordship variant, which can range from having an EMP that can stun every enemy on the screen for a short time to being able to instantly deliver the container you’ve stolen at a delivery point (more on this later). These abilities cost energy cells and you can only get them, randomly, by destroying enemies… now, how can you do this if your ship doesn’t have any weapons?

Well, you’d be glad to know that you’re not exactly a full-on pacifist in this game. when cleverly positioned, you can actually direct an enemy’s projectiles so they would destroy another enemy for you. To put it simply, the game lets you weaponize friendly fire, and boy, you’d never thought how thrillingly fun this can be, especially when you’ve managed to chain up combo after combo!

In addition to ship-associated abilities, you can also detonate the container you’re carrying as long as you haven’t deposited it at a delivery point. By detonating it, you can clear the entire screen of enemies in one fell swoop. Now, a little context here, the goal in this game isn’t to just make it to the end in one piece, blasting away as many enemies as you can. Instead, you’re playing as a “futuristic Robin Hood” here and will need to pickup containers along the way so you could deliver them to the people in need.

To do so, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the telltale yellow pickup line and position your ship so that it can slide right through the pickup point and collect the container. Once done, you’ll then need to look for the delivery point, which should start spawning after you’ve got your container, and position your ship at the marked-out spot long enough for the container to be collected. Note that your ship can only carry one container at a time.

The containers you managed to steal will then give you either extra score points or extra lives (1 extra life per container) and a random upgrade, depending on how you choose to deal with the container; to keep them for your own use so you can tackle the much tougher subsequent levels or to donate to the Banished. There is a limited number of containers per level and you don’t get do-overs if you miss picking up one. As such, these containers are very precious so using them as bombs is typically reserved as a last-resort measure.

Score points in this game function like experience points and are crucial for progression. Considering that the points aren’t cumulative, you’ll need to exceed your previous “high score” to get any sort of meaningful progression here. In a way, the game forces you to “git gud” or you won’t be able to advance beyond a certain point.

Every “high score” threshold reached will unlock new gameplay features like new ship upgrades which will be added to the loot table for when you open your next container, or swordship variants that you can then use at the loadout screen prior to diving into another run. There are also the archives that are basically game art and some behind-the-scenes stuff for the game that works like collectibles – nice to have but not essential to the game.

Ship upgrades, on the other hand, are randomly assigned items that you can affix to your ship to grant you additional perks, like having longer pickup lines so you have an even earlier heads-up that a container is about to appear and where, or having an increased chance of enemies dropping energy cells when destroyed. There’s no limit as to how many upgrades you can have at any point in the game, but you are restricted to equipping only one upgrade at a time. This is in spite of having multiple upgrades to choose from if you do decide to keep several containers for your own use.

Of course, besides upgrades, you’ll also get an extra life for every container you open. If you have extra lives, every death simply meant that you have to start the same level again. However, if you run out of extra lives and get a Game Over screen instead, you’ll have to start from the very beginning – the first line in the first city. I should also point out that dying will wipe your energy cells, including if you’ve got a charged ability prior to death. You can only bring over energy cells and charged abilities from level to level if you don’t die.

To top everything off, the game also comes with superb controls, on both the keyboard and mouse, as well as on controllers, that are very smooth and responsive, perfectly tailored to a fast-paced game like Swordship wherever every millisecond counts. However, I’d like to say that the game really shines through when it’s played on the controllers though… and this is coming from a PC gamer who would actively avoid using controllers whenever possible. So, if you have a controller, make sure you plug it in!

Now, I should mention that the game can, at first glance, seem to have little content. You see, there are only three cities in this game, and each of them comes with three “lines” or as I call them “levels”. Naturally, the further you progress, the more challenging the game becomes. In addition to the new color scheme, the map typically comes with new enemies and challenges. The game helpfully shows you a diagram with an explainer during the interval in between levels so you’d know what sort of enemies you’ll be up against.

Considering how fast-paced the gameplay is, it took me about an hour to complete all three lines in all three cities, and this included a few failed attempts while I was learning to play the game. However, the game does have some amount of replayability, getting you to replay all the levels to score a much higher high score, just so you can unlock more game features.

Graphics/ Sound


Swordship features a gorgeous, highly-stylized graphics that may reminiscence of the iconic visuals of the breakout animation movie, Into the Spiderverse. The game also provides different maps for different locations, and not just recolor the same map – just take a look at the environment zipping by on the sides of the canal.

In terms of the sound, as befitting the game’s futuristic, albeit dystopian theme, you can enjoy a selection of upbeat techno music as you swerve around and dodge your way through the many levels this game has to offer. There are plenty of helpful sound effects too, adding a layer of immersion for the many things that are happening on-screen.

Conclusion


Swordship is a truly unique and fun action roguelike game, featuring an iconic and fast-paced “reverse shoot ’em up” gameplay where you not only have to dodge enemies’ projectiles, but you can also direct these projectiles towards the enemies, effectively weaponizing friendly fire. There is plenty to unlock as you progress too, including new swordship variants, various upgrades, as well as artwork, and some behind-the-scenes stuff under its Archive.

So, to sum up, besides offering a one-of-a-kind gameplay experience, Swordship also nails the “just one more run” formula perfectly on the head, and is definitely a title that every roguelike fan, especially those who enjoy shoot ‘em ups or bullet-hells, should play!

Swordship Blog

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by Aethyna Dec 6, 2022
Steal containers from the bowels of the rich megacities and deliver these essential goods to the poor folks trying to survive the harsh sun-scorched world in this thrilling “dodge ‘em up” action roguelike! Upgrade your ship, use your enemies’ projectiles against them, and become one of the best pilots there is! Swordship: Cccc-combo! Swordship variants in Swordship Swordship: Container pickup Read More

Swordship Delivers Thrilling Dodge’Em Up Action On Consoles & PC Today

by Aethyna Dec 2, 2022
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