Heavily stylized side-scroller is a type of game that really took off in the last few years. You know what else got popular? Vikings. So you combine both of those things when you delve in to the Song of Iron demo.
Just like 95% of games with a male protagonist, Song of Iron starts with the death of his wife. Someone was chasing their people – and finally found them. Raiders followed. With her dying breath, your wife implores you to save your people. Since it’s a goal that aligns with the desire to kill the wife-slayers, you go out to do just that.
Song of Iron is also a game where your equipment barely matters. Your shields will break after a few blocks, and if you throw your axe at someone, you can probably find another one nearby. The only big difference is when you take a two-handed weapon, which renders you unable to use a shield.
You also get a bow! It’s fairly easy to aim, and it’s perfect for scoring headshots, especially on enemies that are unaware of your presence. And hey, you can reclaim the arrows from their skulls!
Those green dots? I think it means that you can reclaim arrows stuck in you as well. Aside from that, the game maintains flow with a fairly speedy health regeneration feature.
And as Song of Iron is a modern game, it likes playing with dimensions. Enemies don’t just come from the right and left sides of the screen. They can also come in from the foreground or the background, and you can actually sneak past in some places.
Though sometimes you’ll just be cartwheeling down some magical slope. From the fact that I had to kill a single supernatural critter in the demo, I’m willing to say that this isn’t the most historically rigorous of titles.
And that’s the Song of Iron demo in a nutshell. Is it good? More “yes” than “no.” The demos in Steam Next Fest aren’t always the polished products we got back in the demos of yore – some are closer to Kickstarter alpha releases. But there’s a solid foundation here, it only needs to be dressed up a little.