What happens when you pin a bunch of belligerent Viking warriors against each other in a magical arena with a variety of weapons right after a few rounds of drinks and a fair amount of alcohol still running in their blood? The correct answer would be “a bloody mess” but I like to dub it: SWORDY.

SWORDY is a local multiplayer physics-based arena brawler that appears to be set in some ruined Viking/fantasy/medieval world. One minute the game tests your fighting skills with a decently sized arsenal, including swords, axes, warhammers, and flails. The other, it’ll test your character’s flying skills when the game decides to exaggerate with a weapon’s hit-detection and whip you into orbit. So let’s dive right in, shall we?


You choose one of the 3 available maps (not including the tutorial area), one of 2 gamemodes, the wanted amount of bots (up to 4), and you spawn at a big circle made of 8 smaller circles. Each smaller circle is a player spawnpoint that also visually counts their points/deaths while they duke it out.



It plays pretty smoothly for a game with physics-based combat. And by that I mean that the characters move and fight like mildly drunken jelly people. Those of you who are familiar with the early development stages of Gang Beasts and games like Exanima probably know what I’m talking about- the wobbly movement of a running character, or when someone tries to regain balance after swinging something heavy.

However this doesn’t really affect gameplay in a bad way. It’s more of an amusing little feature than a flaw because- again– the control is smoother than most games I’ve seen with the same nature.
And when a game is dealing with a physics engine, there are so many unpredictable things that could happen at any given moment, so I usually let the iffy controls slide in these cases.

Now let’s talk combat!

You fight with physics, and you need to stay in that mindset to win; you don’t just press the attack button and watch your character swing a sword, you actually have to swing your weapon by constantly rotating, using the weapon’s momentum to inflict serious damage. With smaller/lighter weapons such as daggers and spears, your character does actually do a little stabbing animation, but it’s not worth anything if you don’t have momentum to back it up. You can also throw a heavy weapon into someone by swinging the weapon about and letting go of it mid-swing at the right moment, though this takes a little timing and practice.

Usually what happened when I played with 3 of my pals is that we rushed to get the first weapon we could reach because we didn’t know any better. We quickly realised that some weapons were either too hard to fight with or they were plain crap, so we raced to get the OP two-handed weapons instead.
One of us even went unarmed for a few rounds and he did surprisingly well at first, because he lured us close to a ledge and punched us off the arena. Later we found out he didn’t get points for doing that, because you need to kill a player directly with a weapon to score a point, and falling to your death just counts as suicide and doesn’t reward or penalise players in any way.



There were times I played with bots because it was hard to bring my friends at a comfortable time to play together.

I felt like I was playing versus real players because the bots were unpredictable most of the time. Sometimes they fought like they knew what they were doing, and other times they slipped off the edge of the arena and died.

They picked up my weapon after I died, or they kept holding onto theirs, or they picked up a different one from the arena- some of them even tried to steal my weapon while I was still holding it! (Which you can by pressing the pick up button near a player, and you’ll both hold the weapon’s hilt and button-mash until one of you either dies or releases the weapon)

The combat’s obviously the bread & butter of a brawler party game, so it’s important to get right.
Did SWORDY manage to do so? Not entirely sure.

It was fun to play, and though it’s been done before, I feel like physics-based combat concept is unique for each game, and this is no exception. But at some point, with only 3 maps and 2 gamemodes to choose from, it gets kinda dull and tedious after many play sessions with friends- not to mention playing with bots when the party’s gone.

Even if you experiment with different weapons on a manual map rotation, it feels like there’s not much to do. At some point only one friend showed up to play, and he got so bored that he took a two-handed axe and after he killed me, went to my spawnpoint, and swung the thing in circles and killed me before I could defend myself with a weapon over and over again- just so we finish the game faster. (There is a spawn-protecting function that blasts an enemy off your spawnpoint if he’s standing on it directly, but a two-handed axe is long enough to reach me without stepping on the spawnpoint) After that he said: “Alright, let’s stop.”


This is a party game though, so a big chunk of the experience is based on who you play it with. For that reason, we have 2 other staff members who played SWORDY and want to share their thoughts:

“The game has a nice selection of maps and weapons for its early version, the local multiplayer works well but the physics on what happens when you hit a player needs work as you either shrug off the damage or fly into the air.”
– Aiden Botfield, staff writer

“It’s a cool idea, like Gang Beasts with weapons, but it did just end up with a bunch of people spamming buttons ‘till one of us died.”
– Jordi Steel, also staff writer

Graphics and Sounds

The graphic design is great.

Besides just being a nice looking game with smooth graphics, it’s also a low-poly cartoony art style that somehow fits wonderfully with the game’s fantasy Viking-esque setting.

There are also really cool looking pixelated particle effects that are presented in the form of blood splashes, fire, weapon clashing, and weather effects.

There’s no HUD or health counters on the screen, so all of the visual feedback and indication is displayed in the game itself. (For example: the characters’ skins turn redder according to the amount of damage taken, or at the end screen the winning player has a skull or a crown over their head instead of “Winner”), which I think it’s a cool design choice even if it’s initially confusing.

The soundtrack consists of percussion instruments playing together with occasional base notes. It gives the game an intense battle atmosphere, and I noticed it gets more intensive when a player gets a kill-streak, or when there’s lots of action going on the screen at once. (It’s not entirely clear what causes the music to change). I’m not sure if I like this music in a game like this, because I feel like this is a fun goofy game you can play for about 5-6 minutes with some friends- it sure didn’t look like something I should take seriously and the soundtrack sounds out of place.

The overall sound design is not bad. (grunts, weapon clashing, respawning, etc.)
It’s nothing special, but not bad either.



Final thoughts

SWORDY is a fun little silly game you can spend a few hours on.

It looks really nice and unique with its visuals, but that’s pretty much all it is- it could get tedious and there’s not nearly enough content to justify a $14.99 Pricetag in its current state.
I’d go as far to say that it feels like a well-made minigame.

That said though, it is an Early Access title after all and it’s obviously not finished. There are more gamemodes planned to be implemented in the future as far as I can tell from the gamemode selection bar (like Sportsball, which I already like the name of, and Team Deathmatch). Maybe more features and weapons, and after a few updates it’ll reach its full potential- but until then, if this sounds like your cup of tea, I can only recommend buying it on sale or waiting until it has more to offer.

  • Gameplay - 7.5/10
  • Graphics - 8/10
  • Sounds - 6/10
User Rating 0 (0 votes)

Benny Gurov6 Posts

Pencil/Pen/Painter, Pixel Artist, Amateur Writer, Banjo player, and Game Reviewer (of course).


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