I wish I'd seen Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP for the iPhone/iPod Touch at the start of last week's Game Developers Conference, instead of at the end, so that I could better answer the event's most commonly asked question.
It's the best response to the frequent smalltalk question "So, did you see anything cool at the show?", a beautifully saturnine and laid back exploration experience that elicits memories of Shadow of the Colossus, The Legend of Zelda and, at times, Punch-Out!!
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is the product of a collaboration between artist Craig D. Adams, responsible for the game's anorexic (IGF Mobile Achievement In Art award-winning) pixel visuals, Jim Guthrie, the music man, and developer Capy, also showing Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes HD at GDC.
The level we played at GDC, Adams says, is analogous to the tram ride in the original Half-Life. The first "track" of the Sword & Sworcery EP gets the player's feet wet with the touchscreen controls, Phantom Hourglass-like in that the player only need tap the screen to guide the sword-wielding Scythian. Players will soak up the aesthetic, learn to look, listen and observe, and follow the Grizzled Boor.
Eventually, players will come in contact with the Boor, then fight, Punch-Out!! style, switching from horizontally oriented adventure mode to vertically oriented battle mode. Boor at the top of the screen, Scythian at the bottom, players will tap a circle on screen to attack at the right time, tap a darkened corner to dodge. Eventually, players have the option of killing the Grizzled Boor. I did and Adams jokingly chided me for slaying the beast, implying that there may have been other outcomes to the fight.
The opening level then lead into a teaser for the next are, featuring a black wolf against a rising sun, a new adventure for the Scythian.
Sword & Sworcery EP [Official Site]