GDC 2010: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

By: Derek Yu

On: March 14th, 2010

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an iPhone game collaboration between superbrothers (aka Craig Adams), singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie, and Capybara Games, the creators of Critter Crunch. These two videos are from the GDC build of the game, where the player engages in some exploration and combat. I got a chance to try it at the IGF Pavilion, where S&S EP was being shown for winning IGF Mobile’s Achievement In Art award. It’s great – the stylized art, the evocative audio, and the detail in each area makes you excited to see what’s coming next. The combat was also fun, if simple.

The combat video is after the jump:

(Source: GameSetWatch)

  • Andy

    My god this is beautiful. What fantastic character design and environment art

  • Snow

    Very nice. The atmosphere and environment and sounds remind me very much of the old growth forest I used to walk and track in for hours each day when I was a teen up in the Peace Country (northern Alberta, Canada). I think I’ll definitely enjoy this game.

  • Tayrtahn

    Is it legal to be in love with an art style?
    ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I am now.

  • jay

    This game looks really awesome, I’d buy it if I had an iphone. They should release to other mobile markets.

    I heard a sound effect stolen from Ocarina of Time. The “double-bush” noise the deer makes when it scurries away at 1:02, it’s the noise of the moving bushes in Zelda. It’s possible that it’s not the actual sound but it sounds exactly the same. Not really upset about it, just pointing it out. Also the “targeting” noise in the combat video sounds like Zelda but I can’t remember where.

  • Xion

    I’m upset I didn’t get to play the fight. I have this habit of trying to explore everything before I fight something, so I passed up the fight to see what was further along the path and I reached the end of the demo prematurely. And the fight looks really fun, too. :'(

    I really kind of don’t like how the pixels change in size though. It’s very distracting.

  • st33d

    *thumps shield in approval

  • Tribak

    the fire, the bushes and the targeting (Z targeting), they all sound totally like TLoZ

  • Davioware

    Some sounds are definitely from the n64 Zelda series. The fire, the bushes, the z targeting, and I’m pretty sure even the footsteps of the main character. Game looks cool though. Great art and music style… But, IMO using that many distinguishable sounds from something as widely know as n64 zelda takes away from the game. It’s almost as bad as ripping graphics. I can’t help but picture link. Intentional?

  • pandafresh

    why is this only for the iphone….dang. i want this, but dont have an ianything.

  • Craig Stern

    Hm. Interesting art style. I really like the animations for the animals disappearing into the underbrush.

    I have to be honest, though: I don’t care much for the fact that you’re forced to hunt this thing until it’s backed into a corner, beat it up, and then slaughter it when it’s plainly disarmed and on its knees, pleading for its life. That’s a little nauseating to me.

  • LewisG

    Lush visual style, looks interesting.

  • BMcC

    @Craig: Actually, you’re not forced to! If you wait a moment after he’s defeated you’ll spare his life and he’ll keep on groovin’ in that big tree. :)

    Also, you can play through the game so far without encountering the battle at all. (I did the first time.)

  • Bennett

    I’ll buy it at a high price!

  • paul eres

    nice — hopefully the game is big and not just a small area (iphone games make me automatically expect tiny games)

  • CEDE

    I would definitely buy it for a high price too! When is this coming out?

    It feels like it was announced and the concept shown a while back. Perhaps its close to being done.

  • Shit butt


  • Phasma Felis

    Why the heck is there a Pidgin new message beep at 3:25 in the first video? Made me stop and go check Pidgin, except Pidgin wasn’t even open…

  • Phasma Felis

    Also, I bet you one hundred dollars that Apple makes them remove the nipples and single indistinct crotch-pixel from the bear monster.

  • Phasma Felis

    Also also, I can’t believe I’m the first one to notice that the combat engine is nothing but a reskin of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out for the NES.

    I like a good homage as much as the next guy, but that’s kinda stupid.

  • SmallCaveGames

    It’s difficult to nail that feeling of enticing exploration but this one had me in the first 15 seconds – very cool. It would need to develop much more to stay interesting but the first ‘level’ seems nice.

  • Dinsdale

    i won’t be playing this as i do not have an iProduct and i don’t really care much for how it plays but this is one of the most beautiful and stylish 2d games i have ever seen!

  • Tom


  • creath

    a bit disappointed in the slow pacing of combat, though it reminds me fondly of Immortal and Punch Out. Otherwise this is really nice looking and atmospheric.

    Wish it were for a non-portable platform.

  • Craig Stern

    @BMcC: good to know!

  • horse racing systems

    The source or headwaters of a river or stream is the place from which the water in the river or stream originates

  • Nektonico

    This game is god damn beautiful, both visually and music wise