As far as iOS platformers go, SpellSword is fine, you pick up cards that enchant your weapon with various spells while killing monsters, looting rupees and completing missions, between them, you upgrade your character and buy more gear. It’s fine, but it would be better on something with actual controls.
There are a few poorly implemented systems, like this daily roulette thing that won’t pop up unless you close the game manually and start it again, if you just play nonstop for a few days, it’ll never come up. And so far all I got were little rupee packets, so I couldn’t even tell if that was all there was or if I was unlucky. The character upgrade system is also a bit confusing, you’re told after putting a few points in a skill that you’re at it’s maximum, but the bar is clearly not filled, you can raise that skill further using equipment, but I’m sure there could be a better way to convey that you can’t level it up anymore, but still can improve it. In that same realm of ideas, why not cap the number of points you can put in a single skill until your overall level gets to a certain threshold? I put everything into getting more money because I could, first thing, I don’t feel that I had a meaningful choice.
The gear itself is a bit weird, but serviceable. There’s a vast choice of hats, amulets and rings, and they all give you bonuses to cards, hearts (your life), some give you dodge chance, some give you a chance to drop bombs when you get hit, there’s just too much overlap between the things you can buy with your regular and premium currency. A ring that gives +3 hearts is 100 ‘coins’ but 75000 rupees and weird things like that. At least the premium currency is fine, you can get it from boxes and there are plenty.
The basic gameplay is also fine, you move, jump, double jump and swing your sword at things to complete missions, from killing ten enemies to collecting 45 cards and surviving 18 waves. The missions get tougher and tougher but you get better rewards as you go on, unlocking new magic cards like one that shoots holy beams and turns your sword into a force field generator, or one that rumbles the screen and makes your sword shoot earth pillars. Most attacks hit you for 25 damage (one heart) and you can rarely find potions (10 health) to replenish it. Maybe gear to reduce damage, add health regeneration, increase potion spawning rate and the like would’ve been cool.
There are a few issues with the way this game controls, you have a fraction of a second in invincibility frames and enemies mostly don’t stagger when you hit them, you also get stuck in weird places trying to navigate the map, thanks to virtual buttons. Some of the stuff it requires you to do can also feel more precise that you have controls for, and that’s always frustrating. I liked SpellSword, but I would love it even more on a proper gaming system.