App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Severed is the latest game from Drinkbox Studios, the development house behind Guacamelee! While Severed isn't exactly a new game -- having been originally released on the PlayStation Vita back in April 2016 -- it is both a stylish and incredibly fun game that feels completely natural on iOS.
Infinity Blade meets Zelda
The easiest way to describe Severed is as a game with Zelda-like dungeons and puzzles and Infinity Blade-style combat. You take control of a one-armed swordswoman as you explore various dungeons in first person. Along the way, you'll encounter monsters that have set attack patterns that you have to react to appropriately to win.
Since this is a sword game, Severed lets players swipe around on the screen to slash and parry, which makes the combat particularly engaging. The exploration is similarly compelling by way of having really clever puzzle design and deeply detailed environments.
The thing that really brings Severed together is its sense of style. The entire game has a character and sense of self that visually looks a bit like Samurai Jack. These thick lines and bright colors do more than just look pretty though, as the game's visual design does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of creating narrative, teaching gameplay mechanics, and aiding in puzzle-solving.
In fact, the visuals of Severed are so effective that you can predict what a new enemy's attack patterns and weak points are going to be just by looking at them.
Sharpen your blade
The main challenge in Severed ends up coming primarily from combat execution than puzzle-solving. Though it may be easy seeing what to do in any given fight, actually doing it might prove pretty difficult.
This is especially true once the game starts throwing multiple enemies at you that you have to switch between. Of course, you'll earn some upgrades and spells along the way, which can make multi-enemy fights more manageable, but even then, slashing, switching, and parrying attacks can be quite hard. Luckily, Severed doesn't really punish you if you die, since failing a combat encounter just loads you back in just prior to the fight.
The bottom line
Severed is a super compelling game that looks great. It's mechanics go to surprising depths and the sword-swiping combat feels fantastic on iOS. Simply put, Severed delivers on pretty much all fronts, making it easy to recommend.