Review: Swords & Monsters

Discuss/review other Xbox LIVE Indie Games, other games, or just ramble about gaming.

Review: Swords & Monsters

Postby yyr » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:46 am

I've decided I'm going to review some other Community Games. Feel free to comment or post your own! Most of these reviews will be based on full versions; if I only played the trial I'll say so in the review.

Swords & Monsters claims to be a parody game, in the vein of such things as You Have To Burn The Rope. There are, however, a few distinct differences between YHTBTR and this game.

First of all, YHTBTR is actually funny. A full game engine is there; there are characters, weapons, good music, etc. You can tell that a bunch of effort was actually put into that "game." And, it's free, which is what games like this should cost.

On the other hand, Swords & Monsters is a poor parody of an RPG. The gameplay consists of two menus (not counting the main menu). On the first, you select the gender of your character; on the second, you choose from an action to take. When you take all three actions, in order, you win the game. This is not hard to do, seeing as how you can accomplish this simply by pressing the A button three times. You don't even have to move down, as the game does that for you. Then, one of three endings is displayed, the best of which can be earned by beating the game in less than a second (pressing A four times in one second is not difficult).

The only real graphics are on the title screen and in the background (a repeating texture). The rest of the game is menus and ending text. And by the way, the endings are just generic; there's nothing funny in them, so if you were expecting a joke, it's on you. There are a few voice clips and some generic music and that's it. It won't take more than 2 minutes to see everything that this "game" has to offer, and the entire experience can be had in the Trial Mode. The Trial Mode screen that advertises the full version clearly states that the full version offers nothing more than the trial: "Same Great Game - No New Features!"

Xbox LIVE Community Games are not allowed to be free. For that reason, or some unknown other reason, Swords & Monsters costs 200 MS points. Now, I could talk about how Snake360 has hours upon hours of replay value for only 400 points, or that there are quite a number of 200-point games that are actually worth your time and money, or how many of the other folks who created Community Games (including myself) sunk many months of effort and thousands of dollars into their games. And yet, this "game" made the top 10 sales list for one week (note: Snake360 did outsell it).

Swords & Monsters is a stain on Xbox LIVE Community Games. It is a ripoff, a joke with no punchline, and an insult to the other game creators. It is clearly an indication of the lack of quality control (which is minimal, by design). It hurts gamers who expect value from their Community Games purchases, and may impact their decisions to buy again. It hurts other authors who are more deserving of the money that is lost on this "game." And it hurts the overall quality of CG as a whole. It is no better than the many waves of shovelware we have been seeing on the Wii.

Please, for the love of all that is not buy Swords & Monsters. Do not download it, do not try it and do not talk about it to your friends. Bury this horrible excuse for a game at the bottom of the list, where it belongs.

And no, I did not buy the "full version."
Aaron Teplitsky
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