It’s a cute time-waster and it’s totally free
When I use the term “time-waster,” I do so affectionately — Deepest Sword is exactly what it needs to be. It’s a free indie game (playable on Steam, Itch.io, and Newgrounds) where you’re a little adventurer with an even littler sword who needs to stab a dragon’s heart.
All you have to do is stroll over to the dragon and plunge it in… but it’s too short to reach! Every time you fail to pierce the beast’s heart, you’ll get another crack at it.
You’ll start back at the beginning with a longer sword, and the level grows in scope, too. There are five cycles to squeeze through to reach the climax and see your completion time; for a while there, I wasn’t sure I’d make it. I almost tapped out during the final push.
Hey, get your mind out of the gutter.
The challenge of Deepest Sword is deceptive in a funky physics sort of way. Your hero can’t effortlessly leap from platform to platform. Heck, they can’t jump at all.
Instead, you’ve got to walk around (using your keyboard) and carefully position the unwieldy sword (using your mouse) in such a way that you can slip through tunnels and vault over ledges while ultimately trying not to get physically stuck once the sword becomes too long. (If you do, there are convenient checkpoints — just tap the R key.)
The creators at Cosmic Adventure Squad did a good job of extending the level outward during each phase while keeping things interesting as you go back through the earlier sections again with a longer weapon. Your sword is never ideal — it’s always too short or too long — and it’s a fun, if at times slightly maddening, dynamic. You know the vibe.
There’s even a devilish bit toward the end of the game with a kinda-sorta fakeout after you finally wiggle up to the top of the trickiest area yet. Learn from my initial failure:
In the end, I beat Deepest Sword in around 28 minutes — but it’s possible to clear it in under 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Yep, there’s an achievement. One thing I appreciate, even as someone who likely won’t try again with speedrunning in mind, is the option to jump into specific sections from the menu so you can fine-tune each leg of the journey.
Deepest Sword was created for the game jam Ludum Dare 48 (with the theme “deeper and deeper”), so keep your expectations in check. That said, it’s cute and it’s worth playing.
I kept spotting the game in Steam’s Popular New Releases section, and I’m glad I went for it. The harder-than-it-looks premise brings me back to the browser games era.
If you survive the gauntlet, post your clear time.