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Swords & Soldiers is a side-scrolling real-time strategy game that lets you control all the action on the battlefield easily by using only the Wii Remote. Just point at the screen and press the A Button to build new units, cast devastating spells and tear your enemy’s structures to pieces! You can tackle the game’s various modes and missions on your own, or challenge a friend in action-packed split-screen battles.
The aim of the game is simple: Take control of one of three different factions, and advance from one end of the battlefield to the other in order to overcome your enemies. There are three distinct game modes to play in Swords & Soldiers, each one bringing its own unique challenges.
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In Campaign mode every faction has 10 unique missions to work through as they attempt world domination. The earliest missions will ease you into the concept and walk you through the basics of how to play Swords & Soldiers; equipping you for the epic conflicts that lie ahead in the later missions!
As you play through Campaign missions, you might even complete one of 25 pre-determined in-game achievements. Successfully performing all 25 will earn you a special reward – making it worth your while to play until you have a firm command of every mission.
Share the thrill of doing battle in Swords & Soldiers with a friend by going head-to-head in Skirmish mode. Lining up on opposite sides of the battlefield and preparing to clash in the middle takes on a whole new meaning when you stand to lose out to the person sitting next to you!
Before the split-screen combat begins, you can determine a range of parameters to affect the strategic action. Select the size and layout of the map you want to battle on, decide how much gold and mana you and your enemy will start the battle with, and set a handicap for either player in order to level the playing field. You can also enjoy Skirmish mode against a computer-controlled enemy, although victory won’t come with the satisfaction of wiping the smile of your opponent’s face!
See how far you can take a single unit in Berserker Run, defend your territory against the odds in Survival and fell your foes in a big way in Boulder.
In each challenge, the means of succeeding may be different, but the aim remains the same: Secure the highest score you possibly can!
Whichever game mode you’re playing, there are two main elements you’ll need to get to grips with in order to claim victory. Units and Spells govern all the offensive actions available to a faction – which means you’d better learn how to use them before your enemy makes it to your side of the map!
Every army needs troops and weapons, and in Swords & Soldiers you’ll have to use yours wisely to avoid defeat. Of course, running a military campaign isn’t free, so to get started you first need to raise funds. You’ll be granted a money-spinning unit to get the gold flowing, but will have to create more to fund an army of any worth. Once there’s cash to splash, simply pointing at the icon for the type of unit you want to create and pressing the A Button on the Wii Remote will bring them into being.
Weaker units will be readily available and quick to create, but out on the frontline their life-force will soon be drained away. In certain Campaign levels or game modes, more powerful soldiers and weapons will also be at your disposal, but will naturally come at a higher price. Whatever shape your army takes, assessing the task that lies ahead and choosing the right unit at the right moment will be key in claiming victory.
If units represent your earthly power, spells are a gift from above that can turn the tide of battle and devastate invading forces. As with units, spells come at a cost. But in this case, you’ll have to spend automatically generated mana to add them to your arsenal. Spells can be offensive or defensive, which means you might point the Wii Remote at one of your own units and press the A Button to equip them with a shield, or direct your wrath on your enemies – perhaps sending a barrage of flaming arrows their way, or ripping the clouds open with a bolt of well-aimed lightning.
Ensuring that you use your spells at the right moment to protect your forces or slay your foes is the only way you’ll make it through the many challenges that lie before you on the battlefield.
The Vikings, Aztec and Chinese races all have a rich, diverse and intriguing place in the history of our planet. In Swords & Soldiers, you won’t find any of it! Instead you’ll encounter factions locking horns over barbeques, giant peppers and a relentless quest for new toys as they clash in colourful environments around the world.
Before battle commences, you'll have to decide where your loyalties lie and select one of these three warring factions to take control of. Each one comes complete with its own particular units and powerful spells, as well as their own good reasons for marching out to war!
Select a faction to find out more about just some of the units and spells at their disposal.
The fearless Vikings have never shied away from a battle. In fact, their passion for combat is perhaps only surpassed by their unfaltering devotion to well barbecued food. The knowledge that their Aztec rivals are in possession of some of the world’s largest spicy vegetables is just too tempting to ignore.
Berserkers are the first and last line of defence in any Viking raiding party. These battle-hardened warriors display all the brutishness the Viking clans are famous for and like nothing more than to wade onto the battlefield with their mighty axes.
Most Vikings prefer their battles up close and personal, but Axe Throwers do their damage from a distance. They learned the technique after a number of unsuccessful raids blighted by Celtic stone throwers.
In Viking warfare, the wheeled catapult has always been a prime asset. Firing heavy balls of ice at structures and enemies, these smashing contraptions have a habit of bringing the house down.
High up in the skies, the thunder god Thor lords over the frozen lands of the north. He’s always happy to lend a hand to his favourite faction, and is capable of throwing down a jolt of three million volts in the direction of any particularly tough enemies.
As a reward for withstanding the eternal winter of their homeland, the snow goddess Skadi rewards the toughest Viking warlords with the power to call upon her mighty snowstorms anywhere they please. A well-aimed snowstorm can freeze enemies in their tracks and even halt the advance of entire armies.
Viking warriors are emboldened on the battlefield by the knowledge they will one day ascend to Valhalla. On some wondrous occasions, a Viking warrior can even feel the light of Valhalla shine its healing powers on him during battle, resulting in a fresh lease of life.
Harness the power of these and other spells to lead your faction to victory!
Most commonly found deep within dangerous jungles, the Aztecs are primarily known for their agricultural skills. But that’s not to say they aren’t ready for battle. Their aptitude for hunting has equipped them well for hand-to-hand combat, while their mastery of unseen powers makes them even more of a force to be reckoned with.
By donning themselves with jaguar furs, the Jaguar Warriors hope to become as fierce in battle as the great cats they resemble. They can make catlike leap attacks, and always have the first strike.
In the damp cellars of golden temples, Necromancers have harnessed the power to prolong the potential of fellow Aztec soldiers. They employ their abilities on the battlefield to revive the dead and send an army of skeletons at their adversaries.
Apart from the myriad creatures that roam wild, one of the things anyone wandering the Aztec jungles should watch out for is a Dartblower ambush. Dartblowers travel in packs and fire venom-coated darts that slowly drain their target’s life-force.
Putting the Aztecs’ hunting skills to practical use, Cage Traps are designed to reduce even the most terrifying, sword-wielding warrior to little more than a caged animal.
Launched onto the battlefield from a distance, Poison Bombs shatter on impact and release toxic vapours that linger in the air and bring about the gradual demise of any enemies unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity.
Staring into the twisted eyes of an Aztec Necromancer is enough to drive most people insane. Even the most steadfast and determined soldier will be mowing down his comrades after falling under the Mind Control spell.
Harness the power of these and other spells to lead your faction to victory!
Master swordsmen, teleporting Ninja Monkeys and a collection of rocket-equipped warriors make the Chinese faction a fearsome fighting force. They are driven neither by the hope of territorial gain or national honour. The only thing that matters to the Chinese Emperor is forcibly taking some new toys to play with!
Not only can the Chinese Swordsmen deal damage with their weapon of choice, they can occasionally deflect enemy projectiles right back at their source – making them a double-edged danger.
Strapping giant fireworks to your back might not seem like a brilliant idea, but the Rocketeers will do anything to satisfy their emperor’s appetite for new toys. As well as offering a long-range attack option, Rocketeers can deal damage with their final breath by always going out with a bang.
Stealthy Ninja Monkeys are adept at getting behind enemy lines thanks to their ability to teleport. One minute they’re throwing explosives at advancing foes, the next they’re behind them and marching towards their next target.
It never rains but it pours. If you’re fighting the Chinese faction, you’d better hope the heavens don’t open. If they do, there’s a good chance you’re about to be showered with a barrage of flaming arrows.
The power to bestow invincibility on any unit for a brief moment can buy precious seconds in the heat of battle. The Magic Shield has saved many a brave Chinese Warrior for just long enough to strike the definitive blow in hand-to-hand combat.
Enemies think they’re seeing double when the Yin Yang Spell is applied to a unit. Turning one unit into two, the spell always leaves rival factions facing double the trouble.
Harness the power of these and other spells to lead your faction to victory!
Watch the first part of our interview with Ronimo, the developers of Swords & Soldiers for WiiWare. Then tune into the Nintendo Channel on your Wii console to watch the rest!
Getting a well-oiled army off the ground in Swords & Soldiers can be a costly endeavour. Units don’t come cheap, and upgrading those units can be even more expensive than acquiring them in the first place. Even so, it may be hard to suppress your instinct to rush through the upgrade tree as quickly as possible and attain the most powerful units and spells available.
In lots of other strategy games, buying the most powerful unit out there basically guarantees victory. Not so in Swords & Soldiers. You will need to balance your own economic growth with your attempts to keep pressure on the enemy - especially in the hectic multiplayer mode. Trying to get the most powerful unit too early will surely lose you the game. That's because, under the right circumstances, all the starter units can be just as powerful as the units at the end of the upgrade tree.
With this in mind, it’s clear that getting the most out of the units you already have is of the utmost importance. You might want to consider getting some basic unit upgrades at first, whilst sending out your lowest level units as soon as possible. This will keep the enemy busy, while giving you room to expand. Another great idea is just to pick one unit type to start, and add a supportive spell to overcome their flaws. To give a more practical example, Dartblowers make a great starting unit, but they're pretty fragile against Berserkers. However, combine them with the Cage trap spell, and you could simply trap any Berserker coming for you - making it incredibly easy for your Dartblowers to pick them off without ever getting damaged themselves.
Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of knowing when to push through towards the enemy base, since your progress will be slowed as soon as you start to chip away at enemy workers. There is a risk they can use this moment to start stacking their own combat units and break out stronger than before - especially if the enemy has the option of building ranged units and hiding behind the workers in relative safety. As soon as it's obvious you won't be able to push through in one go, you should consider slowing down your production and start saving for those upgrades, or get more workers. One option is to place a tower that will offer you some extra security when the enemy does thwart your first offence.
Of course, this slowdown effect can also be used to your advantage, especially against melee units. Again, using Dartblowers as an example, let the enemy come and reach your workers. As soon as they hit them, build as many Dartblowers as you can. They will start to form a group while the enemy is desperately trying to get through the workers and start damaging your Dartblowers. If this group reaches 4-5 units, they will be powerful enough to beat any enemy Melee unit before they reach them. This means you'll break out completely, forcing your opponent to buy upgrades to counter this group before they reach his base. Keep in mind that if the enemy manages to kill any of your workers this will be a costly setback. So it's up to you to decide if it's worth it.
Everybody remembers their first encounter with the Aztec Sun Giant unit. Sun Giants were once mere mortals, but powerful magic bestowed them with incredible power. This is the same magic which makes the Aztecs' freakishly large vegetables a possibility. Towering over the battlefield with their fearsome solar masks, these monsters posses the power to crush whole armies with a single blow and may seem practically invincible to first-time players. But have no fear; every enemy has a weakness – just as every faction has their own way of dealing with this intimidating menace.
The first step when facing a Giant is ensuring you have ranged units in your army. So if you don't have it already, get your chosen faction’s ranged upgrade. This is essential for the simple reason that the Giant is incredibly slow, and ranged units can deal some damage before the Giant ever reaches them. And since the Giant can absorb quite a bit of damage, he's also an ideal focal point to stack your ranged units against. This means that once you start building ranged units, they'll form a group at the Giant. So as soon as he's down, you'll have a group of ranged units at your disposal which can be incredibly powerful.
You should also try whatever you can to slow the Giant down further while the ranged units do their work. Get some melee units between the ranged units and the Giant to provoke the lumbering beast into attacking them. Even though these melee units will be easily crushed by the Giant, they will slow him down immensely, allowing the ranged units to do some serious damage. Using the Viking Heal spell or the Chinese Shield spell you can even keep these units alive during the Giant’s onslaught. Other viable ways to slow down a Giant are spells like Poison Bomb, Snowstorm and Cage Trap.
The Vikings also have a more advanced way to defeat Giants: The Rage spell. When used in conjunction with the powerful Frost Hammer unit, the Rage Spell can have a chilling effect on a Giant. Here’s how: Frost Hammer units strike enemies with a huge hammer that locks them in a casing of ice. But send one out against a Giant and they’ll always be beaten to the punch – unless you put the Rage spell to work. By using the Rage spell on a Frost Hammer near an oncoming Giant, the two foes will strike simultaneously.
So while the Frost Hammer unit will still receive a fair beating, the Giant will also be hit pretty hard and - more importantly - frozen for a few moments. It is during these moments that your nearby ranged units can do some serious damage. Even more advanced is casting Rage on a Frost Hammer when the Giant is preparing to strike again. This tactic offers only a very small window of opportunity, but time it right and you’ll find yourself with a freshly frozen Giant for another brief moment - without sustaining any damage yourself!
Of course, as an Aztec player there are ways to help your Giant overcome these tactics - such as poisoning groups of enemy ranged units, putting the front unit of this group in a Cage Trap or having a Necromancer nearby. The Skeletons generated by these Necromancers are the ideal shield against incoming Rage clouds.
Whichever side you’re fighting for, just remember that every enemy and strategy has a weakness. You just have to find it!