Forge your own adventure!
What They Say:
Thy Sword is a retro-inspired hack and slash roguelike with procedurally generated levels. Pick from different hero types like the Barbarian and Valkyrie to break the tyranny of the Dark Overlord!
Pick from three different difficulty modes to suit your playstyle. New to adventuring? Then select apprentice mode to have infinite credits or if you’re a heroic veteran, choose hero mode where you only have one credit.
Unlock additional heroes throughout your journey! Bring along a friend in 2-player cooperative mode to save the land from the Dark Overlord. Can you collect all of the crystals?
I’m a simple man. If I see a retro game, I want to play it. I love getting that rush of nostalgia. Maybe I’m getting too old? Anyway, Thy Sword is a retro hack n’ slash platformer. It’s published by Ratalaika Games who have a great track record of releasing games that are short and sweet. So many games coming out, and so little time to play them all! I can certainly appreciate fun games that don’t take a lot of time to complete. That being said, shall we see if this game is worth playing?
At the start of the game, you can choose from two characters – the Barbarian or the Valkyrie. Along the way, you can unlock more characters but they basically function the same as the two initial ones. Once you select your character, you embark on a journey to defeat the Dark Overlord! Each stage has five levels with the exception of one. In each level, you must defeat all the enemies to advance to the next one. The stages get progressively more challenging the further you get along with new enemies being added to the mix as well. You’ll have to pay attention to enemy patterns if you want to survive the waves! If you’re not careful, you’ll end up dying and have to restart the stage from the beginning. Depending on the difficulty you selected, you may even have to restart from the beginning of the game! The easiest difficulty grants you infinite credits while the hardest gives you only a single one. Choose your difficulty wisely! I also want to mention that when you restart, the levels aren’t going to be exactly the same. They’re constantly changing so keep that in mind.
As I mentioned, if you die you’ll have to restart the stage from the beginning. The boss fights are the exception to this. They serve as a checkpoint. If you’re defeated by the boss, don’t worry! You won’t have to play through the stage’s levels again. By the way, I really enjoyed the boss battles! I also liked the variety. You’ll find yourself battling against a giant spider, a dragon, and other monstrous foes. Of course, the Dark Overlord is the final boss. And let me tell you, he’s worthy of the final boss title. As with all the enemies and bosses, the key to defeating them is by paying attention to their patterns. Once you’ve learned them, victory isn’t far behind. While the Dark Overlord was a challenging battle, the Sorceror was the boss that gave me the most trouble. It took me a while to figure out what I had to do. But hey, I enjoyed the challenge!
When you start the game, you only have a basic weapon equipped. I chose the Barbarian and started off with a basic sword. Of course, you can purchase upgrades or better weapons from the Merchant. You just need the gold coins to do so. You’ll get gold by defeating enemies throughout the stages. My advice is to try and get a bow as soon as possible. Having long-range attacks is always a plus! After completing each stage, you’ll end up back at the Village where the Merchant is located. He sells a lot of useful things for your adventure. Make sure to stock up on healing items while you’re there! Also located in the Village are the Gamblers. Try your luck in a game of 21 Horsemen, which is basically Black Jack, and try to win some extra gold! Gambling and winning coins can be pretty useful early on in the game. It’s not necessary but it certainly helps! Heck, you can probably clear the game with just your basic sword if you wanted to. But man, it sure feels good decapitating your enemies in one swing instead of slashing them multiple times! That sounded a bit dark, didn’t it? I apologize.
The controls themselves actually feel quite smooth. I am a fan! The pixel graphics are beautiful and they take me back to a time when I was a kid passionately playing video games. Good times, good times. The music did a great job of capturing the grimdark atmosphere of the game. No complaints from me! And for your trophy hunters out there, this game is a definite buy. As is the case with most games published by Ratalaika Games, the Platinum trophy is fairly easy to obtain. Who doesn’t love adding Platinum trophies to their collections!?
Thy Sword feels like a throwback to the ’80s. I love it! As I mentioned before, it brings me back to my childhood when my love of gaming first began. The boss battles were fun and challenging. The pixel graphics were enchanting. The soundtrack did a good job setting the mood. And the best part? It’s short and sweet. Even though you can clear the game in a few hours, you may find yourself coming back for more! At the very least, why not aim for that Platinum Trophy? Might as well! If you’re a fan of retro games or hack n’ slash platformers, I’d definitely recommend giving this game a try. It’ll definitely give you bang for your buck.
Grade (the game itself): B
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre: Hack n’ Slash, Platformer
Age Rating: E for Everyone
Number of Players: 1
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita
This review was done with a review copy provided by the publisher. We are grateful for their continued support.