Hi everyone! My name’s Brad and I run a game dev studio called Shiny Talisman Inc. To stay current, I play a bunch of games from the iOS App Store and going forward I’m going to recommend a standout (or two, we’ll see how it goes) each week that’s worthy of your time. On weeks that I’m releasing something myself I’ll talk about my own games and hope you guys have fun playing them too. Ready? Let’s get to it.
In this series I’ll primarily be focusing on new releases each week, but for the premiere article I felt the urge to start with a game that’s been out for a while. There are few mobile games that I can say have kept my attention for as long as this one but I continue to pick it up to pass a few levels here and there. I don’t remember how I came across Sword of Xolan, but I’m glad I did.
Sword of Xolan is a pixel art platformer in which all the towns people have been captured and its up to Xolan (you) to free them. Armed with a sword (obviously), a fireball and a very useful double jump, you’ll encounter tonnes of different enemies as you jump across moving platforms, avoid spinning blades, dodge melee and magic attacks and save the towns folk from certain doom. The straightforwardness of the controls mixed with the simplicity of the upgrade system make this game easy to come back to time and time again. There’s also a very simple upgrade scheme that let’s you buy cards with the money you collect in the levels. Pick a random card and hold your breath while you wait to see what upgrades you might get.
In a sea of pixel art games on the App Store, what makes Sword of Xolan stand out (at least for me) are two things. First, the sound. The music and sound effects are great, but Xolan himself steals the show. Throughout the game our sword wielding protagonist has quite a bit to say and I personally can’t get enough of him. If you take my advice and try this game I guarantee you’ll catch yourself repeating Xolan with a chuckle. Second, and my favorite part about Sword of Xolan, is freeing the towns folk and finding the chests. More often than not they’re hidden in secret rooms and if you’re not careful you’ll pass them by without even noticing. While some may choose to battle through the levels in record time, I don’t consider a level complete until I’ve freed the 3 townsfolk and found the treasure chest and this challenge in itself is very rewarding. Keep your eyes open or you just might make it to the end of the level and realize you’ve missed one. There are 3 acts, each made up of 10 levels and a boss. The level lengths are not long enough to feel daunting but provide enough area that you may have to back track now and then (if you’re a completionist, like me).
The above, mixed with a great look and great level design have ensured that I enjoy myself every time I open Sword of Xolan. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself playing it right through to the end. Enjoy Sword of Xolan everyone, and make sure to check back in about a week for my next game suggestion.
Sword of Xolan is currently on the App Store for $1.19. There are no ads and no in-app purchases.
This is Brad from Shiny Talisman Inc. Have fun!