If you’ve read my previous articles and reviews, you should know that I love all things Retro. I play my old systems as often as I can, and I jump on an opportunity to play any game that is an homage to a classic. Swords and Bones is one of those games. Immediately when I saw some of the pixel art, I knew that this was going to be a Ghosts and Goblins homage and I couldn’t wait to play it!
Every 500 years the demon world invades the human world. This time though, the latest enemy is one of the fiercest. The Wolf Demon succeeded in killing the King and overrunning the City of Vestus. You are an unnamed warrior, fresh off the boat from another war, here to save your hometown.
From then on you start running to the right fighting demons, ghosts and zombies with your sword. Being a 16 bit knock off, there really isn’t TOO much to the story. Just like Ghosts and Goblins all you want to do is save your woman from the Devil. Nothing Oscar worthy here, but just enough to get you rolling on the levels.
The controls in this game are relatively simple. A is jump, X is attack and B is magic spell. Not too difficult, right? That’s right, once you purchase a spell in the store the game becomes much easier. Prior to that hacking away at the ghosts that attack you at weird angles is very difficult.
The magic spells are purchased from the in-game store, along with items that will reveal walls, activate double jump, extend your HP and your MP. The spells are unique though, purchasing one of the four allows you some extra zip when you play the level. One is long range, one shoots up, one helps you heal and the fourth is a very powerful short ranged spell. The caveat though is the fact you can only take one spell with you when you enter the level. To find all the secrets you have to replay levels over and over.
To buy these spells and upgrade you have to replay the easier levels over and over, which to my surprise, wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be. It’s fun to OP your guy and tear through levels. When you’re OP you can get all the chalices which allow you access to the epilogue.
Seeing that I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s I’m use to non-photo realistic graphics and simply love newer games that throwback to the good ol days! The World Map will zip you right back to your childhood if you’re my age. I love seeing maps like that where you can move the cursor and go to the newly unlocked area.
Each area has a distinct design and distinct enemies. However, those enemies do haunt you through all levels of the area. You’ll grow a little tired of killing the same things over and over, but it is rewarding when they drop loot. I enjoy this retro look and feel to the game, and it increased my pleasure in beating level after level.
I really enjoyed this title; I’m not going lie. Sword and Bones is a nice title to just sit down and veg out with for a little bit. The levels are short enough that you can bang out three or four in about ten minutes. The game will leave you hooked and wanting more once you power off your Switch and go about your day.
The game has lots of replayability as well. You need to replay many of the levels that are high in riches so you can buy keys to get more riches, buy more spells, buy life and buy magic. I spent a lot of time in the first area growing my bank account so that the later levels weren’t terrible to me.
For people who are fans of old hack and slash, platformer type games then Swords and Bones is the game for you. I was reluctant at first to play this because I hold Ghosts and Goblins in such high esteem, but I was not disappointed, and you won’t be either.
This review is based on a key provided by the developer