Sword of Xolan is an old-timey platformer where you lead into battle Xolan, a young adventurer with a flowing, glorious ponytail. It is a major throwback to platformers of yore and charms with its pixel art and soundtrack evocative of the medieval ages. The disembodied voice of the narrator offers sagely advice and running commentary. Your aim is to lead young Xolan and his ponytail through deadly traps and defeat the enemies with powerful swings of your sword. There is also a fireball weapon for which you collect potions to allow you to shoot deadly fireballs at spiders, zombies, big angry men with clubs etc. Ads pop up occasionally, but you can pay to remove them if they become too annoying.
The on-screen touch controls are a concept that has many sceptics, but Sword of Xolan uses them excellently. There is no lag and each touch registers, providing precise control over Xolan and his ponytail’s movement. You can also move the controls around the screen as per your convenience.
There are 30 levels and 9 time-based challenge levels. The levels are not as easy as they seem, particularly because if you die once you have to start from the very beginning, but offer enough entertainment to keep you trying again. The first nine levels are relatively easy but moving on to the next one will take a couple of retries.
Although this game is pretty formulaic with monsters of various kinds lurking around the corner and atop platforms and pretty damsels and dudes-in distress, there is sufficient innovation to make this an interesting experience. The monsters, which range from spiky snails to the abominable snowman, move in unpredictable ways and keep you on your toes. The levels are based in different environments, each with their unique bosses. So swing your sword for freedom! And your ponytail!
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Anusha "Trillian" Sinha
Anusha Sinha was a harmless little Clefairy before she read Crime and Punishment. Now she thinks she is some sort of extraterrestrial ninja. She is an expert in the arts of mosquito-racquet wielding, being a silent grammar Nazi and karate. She spends her time contemplating the greatness of Miniatur Wunderland and the transient nature of human life, in equal measure.