App of the Day: Spellsword

App of the Day: Spellsword

Gathering the magic.

At first glance, Spellsword might seem like a clone of Vlambeer's Super Crate Box. It's got that game's arena-based combat, endless waves of enemies, and a steady stream of power-ups you're encouraged to collect. But rather than settle for a "me-too" copy, developer Everplay has taken the structure and infused it with its own magical spin.

Each of Spellsword's missions tasks you with surviving throngs of monsters pouring out from the edges of a handful of single-screen stages. Your weedy attack combined with rudimentary virtual buttons might sound like an uninspired tap-and-slash, but a series of elemental power-ups bring a spark to this rusty template.

At any given time, an enchanted card appears somewhere on-screen. Snatch it and you'll release an area attack as well as infuse your blade with the appropriate magical properties for a short while. For example, grabbing a fire card launches homing fireballs at foes and sets your sword ablaze, while the poison card infects all enemies on-screen, causing them to explode after a few seconds.

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