“Severed” is the latest game released by independent game developers Drinkbox Studios. The game was released on several platforms including the PlayStation Vita, Wii U, the Nintendo 3DS and on iOS. I had the pleasure of trying out this game on the iOS version on my iPhone. Overall I was very satisfied with the experience of playing “Severed” on a touch screen device, and I believe that the game would feel a bit awkward with button controls.
The game follows the story of a young girl named Sasha who we meet in the beginning of the game at what looks to be the worst moment of her life. Sasha is not only alone in what seems to be a very frightening, and almost Day of the Dead-looking world, but she is also bleeding out from the stump of her recently “severed” arm. The player soon finds out that Sasha’s family is gone and she is left alone to fend for herself and figure out what happened to her loved ones. In this instance, Sasha goes from a scared injured girl to a one armed sword-wielding warrior.
The gameplay is simple and has a very comfortable groove to it once you enter the main storyline. I would say this game plays like the mechanics of “Fruit Ninja” and the feeling of “Doom” which plays as crazy as it sounds and works amazingly. As you travel through the map you tap your way through doors, tunnels, and forests to discover more clues to where your family went.
The enemies are diverse, and each has a unique fighting style. Your finger is turned into Sasha’s blade during each of these encounters. Some enemies are very vulnerable to attacks and are therefore very easy to defeat quickly. Others are very defensive and take numerous strikes and patience to defeat. I can imagine that these fighting sequences would feel very different on the PS Vita or the 3DS because it feels like the thrill of this game is meant to be the player’s finger being Sasha’s weapon and the power behind each swing.
There are some moments that begin to feel a bit bland and even confusing. The hallways and doorways begin to look the same after a while which can make navigating back to find a room filled with collectables or health refills more challenging than it has to be. Maybe that was the point that the developers were trying to get across? As I was walking in circles trying to find my way back to the main story, I was able to look at how gorgeous the art is in this game. The levels look like something out of a Day of the Dead painting and are equally scary and beautiful looking.
With a intriguing and interactive story, fun gameplay, and stunning visuals, “Severed” is a great addition to the Drinkbox collection. At times the gameplay can feel tedious, but as a whole the game plays very smoothly. I recommend that this should be played exclusively on iOS and on other touch-based platforms if possible to get the true experience that the people at Drinkbox want their audience to have.