Capybara Games’ Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP begs to be explored
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Capybara; iPad)
Toronto’s Capybara Games was formed in 2003 by a group of 12 people who had just graduated from various universities—Ryerson, York, and Waterloo—and came together because of their love of games.
Ever since getting sucked into 2009’s Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, the Nintendo DS game created by the indie developer for Ubisoft, I’ve been waiting for a new game from the studio. The incredibly engaging Clash of Heroes—which has just been released in a high-definition version on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, by the way—used a game mechanic that was at once familiar and unique, and I hoped that the next title would be as compelling.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is also familiar and distinct at the same time. And it begs to be explored.
Created for the touchscreens of Apple’s mobile devices—the iPad version is available now, and iPhone and iPod Touch versions are expected later this month—Sword & Sworcery is a collaborative work with game design by Capybara. The art and animation is by Craig D. Adams, who operates as Superbrothers; and music is by Jim Guthrie, who released the soundtrack on April 5 as Sword & Sworcery LP: The Ballad of the Space Babies.
So much of Sword & Sworcery is singular, from the art style, a hyperpixellated staccato of earth tones, to the score, a sweep of synthesizers punctuated by rhythms created by things like guitar and church bells. The controls are simple, but don’t expect to be held by the hand. Playing will require a willingness to experiment. You have not played a game like this before.
Quirky, weird, and wonderful, Sword & Sworcery is the best kind of delight, one that is anticipated and does not disappoint.