Goblin Sword is a classic 2d indie scroller which is simple to play but hard to fully beat. It combines elements from various 2d games like Legend of zelda’s heart collection system, and Mario’s “star” collection system to provides several hours of gameplay when you’re looking for something fun that isn’t mentally taxing.
There isn’t much of a story to the game (the gist of it is there's an evil cursed sword called the Goblin sword and you need to destroy its master), and there aren’t many NPC characters that have much of an impact, but if action is enough for you to have fun with there’s plenty to find in Goblin Sword.
Controls are pretty straight forward. You can move forward or backward by clicking the direction arrows on the bottom left of your screen. Clicking A will allow you to attack.
The speed, power, and range of your attack is completely dependent on the weapon you’re using. Clicking В will allow you to jump. Holding В will allow you to jump higher, while clicking В twice in a row will allow you to double jump. Onward.
There are 3 main stages within the game. The Great Forest, The Ancient Castle And The Dark Caves. Each stage gets progressively harder than the last and contains 15 regular levels. 2 Boss levels and 1 special hidden level.
Each level contains 2 treasures and 3 crystals. Treasure chests contain a considerable amount of gold OR a very rare special item Or a very rare piece of equipment.
Crystals don’t do anything by themselves, however if you collect all 3 crystals in EVERY regular level of a particular stage you’ll unlock that stage’s special level.
Treasure chests and crystals are hidden very well through each level so it takes a considerable amount of luck or effort to discover them all.
Clicking on your ‘home’ from the map selection screen will take you to your quest log. Here you can look at the decorative souvenirs you’ve collected on your journey and choose wether or not to show them off. Clicking on your quest screen will show all the possible quests in the game that you can complete.
Unlike most RPG’s...completing quests doesn’t give you a reward. Which seems like laziness on the developers part.
However one of the key benefits to this game is it's super simple and meant to be played when you’re looking for something to do without thinking too hard.
With that said... not worrying about min-maxing a character with various rewards is kind of a relief in itself. When you do complete a quest Goblin Sword will simply change the status of the quest from incomplete to completed.
I haven’t completed all the quests as some are pretty difficult (e.g. Beat level 3-7 in under 32 seconds).
So it’s still possible that you’ll get a massive reward if you complete them all.
Clicking the merchant from the world map will allow you to view all of your current equipment you’ve found in the world - as well as buy new gear. Once again the game doesn’t complicate gear choices and makes things quite straight forward for you.
Armor is purely cosmetic. It doesn't do anything to help increase your survival. I feel that even with their simple approach they could have at least made armor give you ‘blue’ hearts. That’s the simplest way to introduce an armor system to a game. Still some of the armors look much better than your default look, so you'll end up purchasing a few of them.
Relics are Goblin Sword’s version of accessories. You can equip 1 Relic at a time and unlike armor relics actually have powerful effects. They are really worth collecting. There are several types of Relic including summon relics which will summon an immortal A.I. Pet to fight for you, drop rate increase Relics, stat boosters, and data displayers.
One of the most useful Relics for the entire game can be gained early on in the Merchant’s store. It’s called the Shadow Cloak and greatly increases your movement speed and gives you a cool after-image animation whenever you move. Your character moves pretty slow without it so you’ll probably want to grab the Shadow Cloak as soon as possible & use it for the majority of the game.
An adventure game wouldn’t be worth playing without any bosses and Goblin Sword gives you plenty. There are 2 bosses to fight per each of the game’s 3 main stages. Bosses vary greatly in size, have unique abilities, and are very hard to defeat if you don't have a good sword. Each boss has a unique fighting A.I. specific to them.
Some bosses change their fighting A.I. during the change to their second form after dealing enough damage.
Defeating a boss will drop a TON of gold the first time you defeat them and allow access to the next area. However, defeating a boss a second time will only result in the boss dropping a small amount of gold.
I won’t give away any spoilers but I will reveal the reason you should aim to collect all of the crystals in the game. If you collect all 3 crystals in every level of the game you’ll unlock a hidden ending. It reminds me a bit of the multiple Chrono Trigger endings that made replaying the game multiple times fun. Of course Chrono Trigger came out before the days of youtube so I can’t recommend if it's worth it to put all the hours into finding all the crystals just to view the game's hidden ending. You can probably do a spoiler youtube search and find the ending in a few minutes if you so desire.
What about the regular ending? I suggest you beat the game and see it for yourself.
TIPS & TRICKS
1. HIDDEN WALLS
Man crystals and treasure chests are tucked away inside hidden walls and passage ways. To find them make sure to travel the scenic route and press into any solid area that seems out of place.
2. RANGE IS BETTER THAN SPEED
When choosing a sword to use always prioritize range over speed. With enough range and a Shadow Cloak Relic you'll be able to attack bosses several times while narrowly avoiding being damaged. The sword that best combines power and range is Excalibur.
PROS: Goblin Sword has plenty of swords to choose from and is a very fun casual game. It's great for playing when you don’t really want to think too hard. Perhaps after a long days work, school, or both.
CONS: Armor is just for show and gives little motivation to find more. Finding all the crystals in the game is extremely frustrating due to hidden walls. The story isn’t very well developed. It’s still fun though.