Sword of Xolan
by: Alper Sarıkaya
Xolan is a young and brave man who fight for justice no matter what the cost. Help him on his adventure to stand against darkness and bring back the peace and serenity that once was.
Gameplay 86%Sword of Xolan is a 2D action adventure game like Zelda 2, where a young hero must save the town people from the clutches of the monster army by slaying them with his blade and using magic. The controls are what you’d expect from a mobile platformer. You have left and right arrows on the bottom left part of the screen to move around, and on the other side there are the action buttons, a sword to attack and an up arrow to jump. When you start, you can’t use magic, but once you find a mana bottle, a fireball icon will appear over the jump buttom, and you can shoot by pressing it, as long as you have MP available. On the top left corner of the screen you can see your life meter which is displayed with heart icons, and blue circles that work like a Magic Points counter. You can replenish your health and magic by collecting hearts and mana bottles dropped by enemies, or breaking boxes and vases around the levels. The main objective of each stage is just to explore the place in order to reach the exit, avoiding traps, slaying monsters and collecting gold along the way. As an extra challenge, in each level there are 3 townsfolk trapped that you can free from their cages, as well as a hidden treasure box that contains a lot of gold. With the coins you collect, you can buy cards that upgrade your abilities, like give you an extra heart, faster fireball, stronger sword attack and so on. You buy them in the game menu and can set active 2 at a time. After 10 levels, you reach an “end of area” boss, which will not be so easy to beat, as it will take a lot of attacks to go down. Luckyly, if you die you start over from the start of the boss fight. In the levels, there is a checkpoint in the middle, but when you die you have to collect the hidden treasure and save the people ones again if you want to have that recorded when you beat the stage.
Graphics 86%Sword of Xolan features 2D pixel art graphics, and it seems to be inspired by western sidescrolling adventure titles for homecomputers of the 90’s. You can tell by the design that this game is based on European platformers rather than 16-Bits Japanese Action RPGs by Nintendo and Sega. The overall design tends to go for a dark-ish tone, but most elements on the screen are bright and colorful, and only the backgrounds have gray tones and black. The animation is well done, and there’s plenty of variety in mosnters, that even when just standing up are bouncing and looking around so the game looks pretty lively. There aren’t many fancy special effects like lighting, electricity or flashes, everything is done with pixel art, wich is great for retro gamers, but may not really catch the eye of modern users expecting awesome over the top visuals.
Production Quality 80%Sword of Xolan has 30 handcrafted adventure levels, each one with alternative paths and hidden rooms so you’ll be quite busy exploring in order to get 100% of the game. It may not offer as much compared to a modern MetroidVania game, but for a free mobile game made for a single developer, it’s a pretty good work that will surely be worth your time if you’re looking for a 2D adventure, and it’s worth saying that is has the quality of paid games such as Goblin Sword. The music is chiptune and it changes according to the area where you’re playing, and along with the retro style sound effects, really sets the mood of playing something out of 1993.
Value for your Money 93%Sword of Xolan is free on Google Play and the Apple App Store. You will see a few banner ads when you lose, and you can buy in-game coins through in-apps transactions, but a good player is able to beat all levels without having to spend a dime, and seeing less advertising than a mobile platformer of this quality.
SummarySword of Xolan is a good choice for those looking for a 2D adventure game in the style of The Adventure of Link and similar titles. It isn’t a metroidvania with a huge open world to explore, but each level is quite large by itself and with so many enemies to fight and things to find, you’re sure to have a good experience if you’re fond of retro graphics and sound. Pros
- Nice Pixel Art Graphics and Retro SoundTrack
- Easy Controls for smooth mobile platforming
- Lots of unique stages to explore
- Being able to learn more magic attacks would’ve made a great addition
- Only one sword slash, having variety in attacks wouldn’t hurt