Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP has the distinction of being the most disappointing game I’ve played in ages. I’d heard a lot of good things about it, and rather liked the visual style. The problem is, though, that I didn’t like the writing style or the musical style, and the former of those in particular rubbed me the wrong way.

The name of one of the main NPCs, Logfella, gets at the the problems I have with the writing style. It seems to be going for a combination of stripped down, folksy style and reference to archetypes, and doesn’t get either of them right. This archetype problem continued throughout the game: the moon reference, the Zelda reference, the reliance on dreams all felt to me like they were trying to borrow power from elsewhere, and failing.

The music I didn’t mind quite as actively, but I didn’t like it. And the juxtaposition of the music with the Zelda reference did not impress me; they’re quite different styles, Zelda music wouldn’t feel at all right with this game’s visual style, but if you’re going to refer to a game whose music has such power, I’m going to compare you. And, in this case, find you (quite) wanting.

And then there’s the gameplay. Unpleasant adventurish gameplay, unpleasant movement controls, unpleasant combat controls, and not going all-in on any of that. With a weird “you can only visit these areas during these phases of the moon” mechanic thrown in: not sure who the target audience is for that, but it’s not me.

So: not my sort of game. I liked the visuals, I liked the fact that your character lost health instead of gained health after each boss fight, I liked the fact that your character was offhandedly revealed to be female. Mostly, though, I like the fact that the game is now in my rear-view mirror.

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