Swordship – Review
Follow Genre: Dodge'em up
Developer: Digital Kingdom
Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: Switch

Swordship – Review

Site Score
Good: Dodge'em gameplay, Colorful graphics
Bad: Repetitive soundtrack
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If you go to the arcade, there is no shortage of shoot ’em-up games where you destroy wave after wave of enemies with your guns. Bringing arcade games to consoles and PC has also been rising in popularity, with more of them popping up each day. Swordship by Digital Kingdom seems to be a perfect storm between these two occurrences, with one massive difference that sets it apart from similar titles: you have no guns in this game. You’ll have to get by on your reflexes alone. Or as Swordship‘s store page says it: this is a dodge’em up.


The plot is often secondary in this genre, though Swordship does set up some pretty interesting world-building in its opening cut scene. In a post-apocalyptic future, the earth has become barren with heat and humanity has relocated to three giant underwater cities to survive. To make things easier, these cities exchange huge crates of supplies through the use of airships. Due to overcrowding, some people do get banished from society and while they would usually die, a small group of rebels has commandeered their own aircraft to intercept the supply crates and deliver them to the Banished. You are one of these pilots.


Swordship has a very simple, stylized look with bright saturated colors that pop off the screen. This is most likely a choice by the developers because being able to properly see what enemies are on your screen, where they’ll pop up next, and where they’re aiming, is kind of key in this genre. Most of the time, the color cues will be key in anticipating your next move. It honestly also looks pretty good, though in the later levels, things can still get pretty hectic. While you’re basically playing the exact same level over and over again, they change enough of the environment to keep some visual interest even if you’re doing your hundredth run, and new enemies and bosses you encounter later come with updated designs which are nice to look at.


We hope you like synth music! It seems to be a bit of a trend that every game set in a high-technology future uses the exact same type of music. By no means is the soundtrack bad, and if you like this sort of music you’ll probably have a blast, though there’s also nothing that really distinguishes it. And as dying and restarting are key elements of the game, you might even grow a bit sick of certain tracks. There are some fun sound effects like lasers and explosions to break the monotony though. The game does not have any voice acting, obviously.


Swordship is a self-proclaimed dodge ’em up; it’s an arcade-style game where you need to score as many points as possible while stealing a set amount of containers to have a successful run. Enemies are plentiful and you don’t have any guns, as mentioned above. This means you will need to dodge and weave your way through your enemies in order to survive. Enemies often leave again if you evade them long enough, though their number and strength only grow. This means that before long you’ll need to get smart to rid yourself of them. To do this, you can keep an eye on their attack patterns and make sure they hit each other instead of you. There’s nothing quite like blowing up an enemy turret with an enemy land mine. It things get too hectic, you can always dive under the water for a second or two to get out of the crossfire.

The main objective of each run is to steal containers and deliver them to the other rebels. Stealing them is as simple as flying through the yellow gate that will appear periodically, but delivering them is harder. A spot on the screen will highlight and you’ll have to hover in it for several seconds to deliver your cargo. As you can imagine, this gets harder as more enemies will use this opportunity to try and shoot you. The game works with instadeath (unless you trade containers for extra lives between runs), so being on your guard is important. Don’t be too careful though, as evading bullets and tricking enemies will give you extra points and allow you to set the level’s high score.

In between runs, you can choose to either exchange your collected crates for additional points so your score is even higher, or you can use them to buy passive upgrades and additional lives for your next runs. As you go, you unlock more ships and this allows you to pick a loadout that really fits your playstyle. You’ll need to do some experimenting because this game is quite hard. You’ll need a lot of patience to get the hang of it and the difficulty does gradually increase.


Swordship offers a fun challenge with its unique dodging mechanic. Learning the gameplay is hard and getting those high scores is harder, but you will definitely be enjoying yourself. Our advice is to get a pair of headphones, plug in some different music that you actually enjoy, and dodge away! We didn’t know what to expect from a so-called dodge ’em up title, but we very much enjoyed it!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Swordship - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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