Review by Nicola Warren
Ronimo games the creators of Awesomenauts and Swords and soldiers are back and bringing us the latest Swords and Soldiers instalment! Swords and Soldiers II – Shawarmageddon!
As like the first instalment you are again handed a typical side-scrolling strategy, arcade adventure game spanning across 45 different levels which take place in Tundras, Forests, Deserts and even the very own pits of hell.
Although, unlike Swords and Soldiers I where there are many short campaigns which you can take part in, Swords and Soldiers II brings you one long story campaign along with many side options. Ronimo games have given you new factions also, So you still have your main faction of Vikings but you also have Persians and Demons and my they can be very fun!
Swords and soldiers II is full of characters whose names are riddled with puns, animated violence, some mild language and continuous comedic narrative which will have you laughing throughout. In the main campaign you start off as a demon army who are out collecting treasure when suddenly a Persian lackey snatches a golden lamp away setting you off on a mission to get the lamp back, but for some bizarre reason as soon as you start your first level you suddenly change from a demon army to a Viking army. Each level you come to is a battle of two armies, yours and your enemies, some of which are very easy and simple to complete but some which are extremely difficult and will take several tries to master.
The game is heavily based on the buying and healing of your soldiers to maintain a strong army to take down your enemies. The formation of your units and the path of attack you choose throughout the levels are key to winning the campaign, So you need to make sure you put in a lot of concentration when building your units at the beginning of each level… But don’t take to long doing so as within a couple of minutes your enemies first wave army starts to sneak up on you!
Once you decide to set your army off on its attack you can not stop them, they are hell-bent on fighting their way through their enemies, all that can stop them is if they are killed. You get a choice of melee weapons, ranged weapons or a giant Viking who specialises in a certain attack which will cause a lot of damage, Such as Helga who throws hammers and can sing to speed up other soldiers attacks in the radius set around her. There is also the chance to cast spells such as turning enemies into sheep, lightning bolts or healing. These spells use mana which you can either gain from collecting mana supply drops or by building a mana totem to slowly build it up, but sadly mana depletes quite fast and you are often left without any.
A few of the things that I liked about Swords and Soldiers II are that most of the matches do not exceed five to ten minutes so the game keeps you thoroughly engaged, although there are a couple of levels that drag a little as the story in them is a bit lacklustre.
You only have to worry about one enemy army which on one hand is great as you can put all of your concentration into it but on the other hand, doesn’t give you much of a challenge. You get the choice of single play, local play, and online play so it’s a great game to play alone or with friends and others. Then you get two challenge levels in the waiting room for online play which I found to be a great bit of fun.
Challenge 1 you are an auto-running Viking and you have to punch oncoming enemies into the air so that they can land in a pen and challenge 2 you have to defend a flock of sheep from being slaughtered by the enemies army.
I feel that the game would be a bit more challenging if they introduced the option to be able to send commands to your soldiers where as at the moment you’re only really able to build your army and heal your army. There is also a mine in the game which allows you to send donkeys to collect money, which is great, but the mine has an unlimited supply of gold so you don’t really need to worry about what you’re spending as you never run out of money, all you need to be concerned about is that you have enough donkeys (a maximum of 6) to collect the gold.
Even though you can complete the game in a few hours if you play straight I feel overall this is a great game to keep you entertained. The levels are fun, there is a great choice of factions that you can use, It is a very colourful game, The narrative has you laughing continuously and the game play is very balanced. If you’ve not played the first instalment of Swords and Soldiers then do not worry! Swrods and Soldiers II is a completely free standing game that explains everything without needing any prior knowledge.
Overall I give Swords and Soldiers II – Shawarmageddon 8/10