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Word of mouth helps ‘Sworcery’ explode on App Store

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Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP

"Our research indicates that social support networks will play a significant positive role in the outcome of S:S&S EP."

You can tweet that again.

The odd sentence appeared in my Twitter feed innocently enough, coming from a good friend who also happens to play games for a living. Then it came from another friend. And another. And about 25 more.

But it's not just some sort of bizarre new internet meme --
it's one of the first phrases players of the new iPad game Superbrothers: Sword
and Sworcery EP will read, and, possibly, tweet to the Twitterverse.

Equal parts role-playing adventure, audio/visual toy and
social game experiment, the strange hybrid was released on the iPad Wednesday, March
23. Within 24 hours it not only shot up to #4 on the iTunes paid app charts,
but managed to become a trending topic on Twitter thanks to an embedded feature
that lets players tweet out any of the game's text. The results? Widespread
acclaim -- not to mention irritation as Twitter feeds became clogged with
repeated text strings.

Still, it's currently enjoying a rare 5 star-rating across nearly 600
reviews, due in large part to the game's charming indie spirit. A former award
winner, Sword and Sworcery lets players guide a lone warrior monk on a quest to
stop some sort of evil forces from...doing something evil, or something. It's
not entirely clear, and it's not entirely the point. With nods to old-school
games like The Legend of Zelda, groundbreaking adventure King's Quest, and
oddly enough, boxing hit Punch Out!!, the game is just as content letting you
wander about its gorgeous, pixelated world as fighting with its handful of
enemies or solving its myriad puzzles (doing that, by the way, is partly where
the tweets come in.)

Unique, fun, and artsy enough to drive Roger Ebert up a
wall, it's well worth a look if you happen to own an iPad (an iPhone version is
coming soon). Sword and Sworcery is a joint effort by the Superbrothers, Capybara Games and composer Jim Guthrie, and costs $4.99 on
the App Store
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