Swords and Sorcery: Underworld - Revisited
Back in July of 2010, an old school retro RPG called Swords and Sorcery Underworld was released to mixed reviews. The main complaint about this basically one person indie game was the poor quality of the graphics, which were, to be honest, extremely primitive. While this was partly by design to capture the feel of old style games such as Might and Magic 2, it did dissuade many from even trying the game. That was a pity since the actual game was quite good and a lot of fun to play. Since then, while working on a sequel, the developer Charles Clerk has completely overhauled the original graphics and improved some of the gameplay with a re-release of the game, which is now called Swords and Sorcery Underworld Gold.
While this will not be a complete review of the game, my original can be viewed here, I felt it worthwhile after playing the new release to comment on the changes.
The most obvious is the vast improvement in the graphics. While they will never win any awards, they are far more functional, colourful, and pleasing to the eyes. Gone is the stark black and white with only a few scattered dabs of colour. Now the game has a brightness and atmosphere which makes for a tremendous difference. Check out the game’s website for examples of the graphical upgrade.
There have been several significant improvements to the gameplay as well. Inventory space has been increased and inventory management has been improved. It’s still a little clunky, but is fairly typical of the games it is trying to emulate.
There have been improvements to game balance also. Experience is harder to come by as quest and battle rewards have been reduced. No longer can you expect to raise your level to 30, you’ll be hard pressed to get near 20. Fights are also more challenging and strategic. New strategy options have been added for each character type, which I found made battles much more enjoyable. You can even have the computer play out a fight for you - but except for obvious easy ones - I wouldn’t recommend using this feature.
There are still some balance issues which have not been resolved, most notably the total uselessness of Archers and bows for the majority of the game; they are woefully underpowered still. However, for the most part, Underworld Gold is a marked improvement over the original release and is well worth its purchase price. Take another look if you weren’t overly impressed originally and at least try out the demo version. You might surprise yourself as I did and discover that there is a great little game to be discovered here.
Information aboutSwords and Sorcery: Underworld
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2010-07-17
· Publisher: Olderbytes