Goblin Sword is an iOS game that pays homage to several role-playing and adventure games during the era of 2D games. The title screen alone is reminiscent of Dragon Warrior, the main character resembles a certain blue-haired protagonist in every Breath of Fire games, and weapons like the Masamune, iron claws, and the famed Excalibur are the same weapons found in many Final Fantasy titles.
Goblin Sword is not a role-playing game, however. It is a platformer that has elements of an RPG. Its description on the App Store even states so. The description also states the simple plot of the game easily missed while playing it: an evil wizard has summoned hordes of monsters, and it is up to the hero to slay them all…with the sword in his hands.
Levels get increasingly harder.
As a platformer, Goblin Sword is a simple, casual game of four buttons: one to go forward and one backward, one to jump, and another to attack. There are 40+ levels separated in three worlds: a forest, a castle, and a cave. The goal for each level is to reach the end of it, except for the two boss battles in each world. Naturally, the first world has the easier levels and progressively gets harder in the other two worlds. Enemies also progressively get difficult both in terms of attack patterns as well as constitution, but fortunately, the game provides the hero a multitude of weapons with varying degrees of attack, speed, and range.
The world consists of the store, a forest, a castle, and a cave.
Weapons, armor, and relics are the three main things the hero can equip to improve his statistics. They are obtained in two ways: purchasing them from a merchant or finding them in treasure chests scattered over the levels. While weapons improve the hero’s strength, the relics provide an extra characteristic, such as saving the hero from pitfalls, increasing the drop rate of gold and gems, and allowing a pet dragon to accompany the hero. The real disappointment is the armor; it does not serve to improve the hero’s statistics, but rather is just a costume change.
Weapons give the hero an edge to defeat the countless monsters.
The boss battles are also somewhat disappointing. Each boss level is set on an enclosed set box. While each boss has its own set of attack patterns, the battles get a little dry without any innovation on the levels. At one point, one boss battle gets two additional platforms to jump on to, but it was not enough to make the battle more exciting and fresh.
Boss battles are somewhat similar and boring.
Hardcore players who like to complete everything in a game can rejoice a little bit. Each level has two sets of hidden treasures and three sets of crystals to be found. While treasure chests may contain items or gems, crystals serve one purpose: to unlock a secret level in each world. While they serve a purpose in the game, finding all the crystals for one hidden level is not much of an incentive.
While Golbin Sword may not be for hardcore gamers looking for depth and a challenge, the game does its service for casual gamers who are looking to play a cool platformer for short periods of time. Each level is set up perfectly to be finished in a couple of minutes, and the light RPG elements are enough to make the levels entertaining.
A Simple Sword Slasher
Gameplay - 7/10
Plot - 3/10
Design - 8/10
+ Reminiscent of legendary 2D games
+ Simple and casual platformer
- Static boss battles
- Completing hidden aspects serves little purpose