Game of the Month November, 2004:
Sword Master

System: NES Developer: Athena
Sword Master is a very simple and basic game that's easy to learn but tough to master. The game gets quite a bit of mileage out of a sword-and-shield battle system reminiscent of Zelda 2. While there is some amount of platforming, most of the action and challenge is in the battles, especially the bosses. And the platforming parts that do exist can be quite difficult to conquer.

It's Godzilla!!!

No, it's NOT Syfa! Taking a hint from Castlevania 3, Sword Master gives you the ability to switch between your normal knight character and a wizard. The wizard character contains some powerful spells that will help you pass certain bosses and obstacles, but they cost experience points to use. By building up enough experience points, your knight's life meter will increase, thus making it easier for you to survive the later stages of the game. While this certainly helps a lot, it's even more important to learn the enemies' patterns. You'll need to develop quick blocking and attacking skills to beat the bosses with minimal damage to yourself. Since you don't heal between levels, it's important to keep your meter as full as possible. Your continues are limited, but as long as you don't turn the game off, you can start the game over from the beginning with all of your earned experience.

Sword Master's graphics aren't the most impressive on the NES, but one thing that sets them apart is the parallax scrolling. This is something that my still screenshots cannot show, so you'll have to see it in motion to truly appreciate it. Sword Master also has a pretty good rockin' soundtrack. One warning I do have about the game is that sometimes it's glitchy. Many times it freezes on the final boss, and sometimes the knight falls through the floor and dies for no real reason.

Hey! Get off ma' property!!

But aside from those annoyances, Sword Master is simple, fun, and moderately challenging. It's definitely a game worth giving a try if you love sidescrollers.

Sword Master Links

  • My Sword Master Review - A complete review of this fantastic game.
  • Sword Master Sprites - has a good collection of Sword Master images here.


    AddThis Social Bookmark Button Dreamhost