Dodge them up: Swordship is a shooting game without the shooting

Swordship Indie Game Featuring a ship dodging enemy fire

Right when I wake up and think I can’t see anything new under the sun, Swordship comes across my desk before the sun even has a chance to rise. I actually happened upon this unique title on Twitter. Swordship takes the “Shoot ’em up’ formula of bullet hell games and flips it on its head.

Actually, it technically just dodges the formula entirely. That’s right, you’ll play as a ship in a futuristic lightning-fast paced “arcade shooter” that gets out of the way of enemy fire and cleverly has them destroy themselves. Weird, right? It’s certainly the first time I’ve ever seen something like this done before.

Adrenaline packed aquatic adventure

In a world of games that ask you to attack things, there are seldom titles that come along and ask you to think critically and apply a different approach. If I’m completely honest, this is refreshing and gives me hope for the future of games as a whole.

Just because you’re bobbing and weaving though, that doesn’t mean your enemies will be. An onslaught of enemy ships are hell-bent on tearing your Swordship apart, so it’s important to not only time your dodges, but also duck into the water to avoid them.

Make split second decisions in an aquatic, dystopian, adrenaline-packed randomly generated game world. Upgrade your ship’s maneuverability to take on even greater challenges in unpredictable, ever-changing weather conditions. Choose between banking your earnings or risking it all for better containers full of spoils.

Looking too good to dodge

Oh, and there’s also a global leaderboard. You can compete against your friends or complete strangers to see who can chain together the best dodgy combos and rack up the highest score. I’m particularly enthralled by the comic, vector-looking art style of Swordship, and will be picking it up for review here on Indie Game Mode as soon as I’m done writing this!

Developed by Digital Kingdom and published by Thunderful Games, Swordship is out this week on PC and consoles. You can pick it up on Steam, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S and even Nintendo Switch. During this next year, it will also be landing on the Epic Games Store and GOG. It costs just $19.99 USD to experience the sweet destructive power of doing absolutely nothing but dodging the baddies. Let me know in the comments if you’ll be taking a look or dodging this one for now.

Related Articles