Sword Slinger Review

Sling and fling your way through unique trigger-based physics puzzles in Sword Slinger! Use triggers and actions to command your telekinetic sword to slay your goblin enemies in the most stylish way possible.

A review copy of Sword Slinger was provided for this review. No compensation was involved and all thoughts are my own.

Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 3.5 hours

Sword Slinger. Level 11. Killing the final goblin with an arrow.

Released X Xth, 20XX by Firebelley

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Quick Overview

Major Pros:
  • Unique challenging puzzles
  • Diverse abilities
Major Cons:
  • None
Minor Pros:
  • Bopping music
Minor Cons:
  • Sword spin difficult to use
Sword Slinger. Tutorial for adding a Throw action to the automatic start trigger.

The tutorial explains the trigger and action mechanic well

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In-depth Review

Sword Slinger is a physics-based puzzle game where players ‘program’ triggers and actions for their magical sword to carry out. The ultimate goal is to clear the level of enemies within the move limit. Higher scores (aka GLORIOUS) are given for using diverse triggers and actions being under the move cap. There are a total of 50 levels to complete.

Sword Slinger. Victory screen for beating all the levels

Completing all the levels

To kill the player’s goblin enemies, they’ll need to sling their telekinetic sword. For the starting levels, players only have the ability to throw the sword, but more movement abilities unlock as the player progresses. The first action the sword takes is always triggered by the player hitting Play. The sword has a designated starting position in every level, but any action can be taken to start. For all subsequent actions after the first, the player will have to specify a trigger. This can be something like bouncing against surfaces 3 times, waiting 0.3 seconds, killing an enemy, or simply acting immediately. Trigger start counting from the previous action, not the start of the level.

Sword Slinger. New trigger: bounce. triggers the connected action after the sword bounces a few times. The sword is surprisingly bouncy. what did the blacksmith do to it...

Earning the Bounce trigger

Upon completing a level, the player will receive a score. Score is not based on time-to-solve or number of attempts to find a solution, but rather on the number of unique triggers and actions used in the solution. So climbing a cliff with a rocket-powered grappling hook, shooting the goblin at the summit with an arrow, and inverting gravity upon the goblin’s death is more valuable than just throwing the sword around a couple of times. Finding a solution that requires fewer actions also boosts score. I went for all GLORIOUS ratings in my playthrough, but a more casual player could probably beat the game faster.

Sword Slinger. Level 1. Glorious score after 1 attempt.

GLORIOUS score

I really liked the music in Sword Slingers. It’s got a good beat and I enjoyed watching the goblins bop to it before meeting their demise. I also enjoyed the crisp graphical style. It had enough to be flavorful without distracting or obscuring what was going on. I did notice some flashing with some of the ragdolls which may bother particularly sensitive players.

Sword Slinger. Level preview for level 50. Showing a thumbnail of the level, the enemies contained, and the top score achieved.

Level select provides reviews and tracks player’s best ratings

I had no major issues with Sword Slinger. The length felt appropriate, and I liked the different abilities and level layouts. Nothing felt repetitive or too short. I did feel the spin on the sword throw was hard to use because it was hard to visualize what effect, if any, it would have on a toss. However, there were several situations where finding the magic spin number got the bounce pattern I needed for a clean kill. Luckily it’s easy to repeatedly try a solution with minor tweaks to get exactly the behavior desired.

Sword Slinger. Level 7. Rotating sword spinning past the single goblin.

Spinning around a corner

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Recommendation

Overall, I very much enjoyed Sword Slinger. The command chains of different triggers and actions were easy to conceptualize and fun to build. As the levels progressed, getting GLORIOUS ratings became more challenging but new abilities were added to the arsenal. The music was bopping and the visuals were both thematic and crisp. I had minor trouble effectively controlling and using the sword’s rotation, but it came in key in a few levels. I recommend Sword Slingers to players looking for a fun physics puzzle game with unique trigger and action controls.

What physics-based puzzles do you enjoy?
Let me know in the comments below!

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