[Review] Sword of Xolan is a Fun, Challenging Platformer

Sword of Xolan is a pixel art adventure platformer that has had Android TV support for a few months. The beautiful artwork and soundtrack make the game a joy to play, even when your character constantly dies.

You play a swordsman whose mission is to save women and collect money while defeating bad guys. Although the concept isn’t too interesting, the execution is really where the game shines. I think the levels are well designed. There’s a way to get to the end quickly, but you’re constantly also seeing other paths that may lead to rewards. If you go through every nook, you’ll encounter hidden treasure chests or women that you can save.

The game works great on a TV. You can move left and right on the gamepad, plus swing your sword, jump, or cast fireball. As you travel through each level, you can defeat enemies with your weapons or break things apart to collect money and bottles for more fireballs. (You can only cast 3 fireballs per bottle.)

Sword of Xolan S1
I like the art, but what exactly is spitting acid at me?

I do feel like the learning curve for the game is a bit too high, especially at the beginning. When your character loses all three hit points, he dies and you need to start at the beginning of the level. Many platformers today will employ a checkpoint system so you never go that far back because it is pretty frustrating to have to die and lose all of your progress. It’s challenging, especially when you first start the game. You’re thrust into the world after a brief tutorial.

Sometimes when you defeat an enemy they’ll drop an extra heart to bump your hit points, but most of the time it only dropped when I was at full health. (That could be bad luck on my part.) It’s a bit frustrating that a heart only boosts your hit points a single level, and with only three hit points it makes a big difference.

There's a lot things out there that can kill you.
There’s a lot things out there that can kill you.

Enemies seem to be laid out very carefully in the levels, as if they’re simply obstacles. The ranged enemies require a lot of careful timing. You need to know what’s off-screen ahead or you could lose a third of your life.

Although it is challenging, I’ve had fun playing the game, enjoying the graphics and music, and if you’re looking for a fun platformer you should download this game. It’s free to download on the Google Play Store.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker) Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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