As you pass by, the village elder's words of encouragement still ringing in your ears, a citizen calls after you, warning against the lower road. Who knows what malefic danger lurks there? Or anywhere else for that matter? With your majestic blue hair and green jerkin, you present quite a picture to your enemies (or so you might hope), but this is Swordigo, you are the hero, and nobody can kill the hero in his own game. Er... right?
Putting all worries aside, continue on your way in Touch Foo's nostalgia-inducing RPG platform adventure using the supremely handy and very well functioning on screen controls. As your left thumb adroitly negotiates left and right movements, employ your right to hack, slash, jump and cast spells. As you rise in level and acquire a wealth of soul shards—earned in battle or from cutting down grass (sound familiar?)—your character customization opportunities also increase. Health is monitored via red red hearts on top of the screen while a blue mana bar traces your magical abilities. If all this seems like homage to popular platformers of days gone by, it probably is!
Analysis: The road starts out mellow, yet soon dexterity and practiced maneuvers are called for. This multi-quest journey is long, more than ten hours to reach every corner of the complex map and richly varied landscapes, including a number of platforming puzzles. The deadly fail from a missed move is inevitable from time to time, but teleporting portals/checkpoints lessen the sting. Your efforts to trudge on are repaid with the delight of boss battles, treasure chests, weapon and armor upgrades, and spelunking through intricate caverns.
Responsive controls aid well-timed jump maneuvers through serpentine cave passages and spell-triggered switches give another way to burn off magic energy, something you'll want to conserve for boss battles. Sword combat with tougher baddies and bosses is less reliable. Combos are not an option and mobility is limited during melee fights. If you're looking for an easier battle, devote time to grinding and leveling up your magic ranks to best use all four spells.
Touch Foo, creators of the equally charming Soosiz, knows how to please with elements that matter most in a mobile game. Some games are all gorgeous retina displays but awkward controls. Swordigo's on screen button controls work very well, on the other hand. You may have occasion to slip up once or twice at first but soon the intuitive interface transports you back to an earlier time, happily playing Zelda on your Game Boy. Swordigo has beautiful environments to behold as well, especially when seen through the warm tide of nostalgia and the immense enjoyment of hack and slash platforming. It's the quintessential epic adventure. Can you, the hero, succeed in this quest? There's only one way to find out!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPhone 4S. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.