Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse (Review) Nintendo Switch

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Developed by Revolution Software and released for PC, the Broken Sword series is a collection of point-and-click adventure puzzle games that were well-received by gamers everywhere. Broken Sword 5 is the fifth installment in the series, and it’s now available for the Nintendo Switch. Gamers unfamiliar with the series will be elated to know that prior knowledge of the previous games is not needed to play this release; it’s a standalone title with its own story.

The player assumes the role of two protagonists – George (an insurance agent) and the feisty, outspoken Nico (a newspaper journalist). Both characters end up meeting at a art gallery, where a thief disguised as a pizza delivery boy steals a cursed painting named ‘la Maledicco’. Before escaping, the thief ends up shooting the art gallery owner, Henri, for intervening in the robbery. The entire game is spent investigating the robbery; the murder; and following leads that are connected to the art gallery and its owner. The game is presented in a ‘Murder She Wrote’,  ‘whodunnit’ formula that is both engaging and fun to play.

Like most games in the point-and-click genre, the player is presented with a series of obstacles (i.e. puzzles) to complete before the in-game story will progress. For example: the game opens with George inside the art gallery, shortly after the botched robbery occurred. From there, the player must investigate their surroundings to find clues that lead to unlocking the manager’s room. This involves investigating Henri’s body, speaking to Father Simeon (who attended the art event because he believes the la Maledicco is cursed), and finding a way to revive Hector Laine (who fainted during the crime). This is only the tip of the iceberg. 

As the game progresses, the player will visit a variety of locations inhabited by a cast of eccentric characters. In addition, some of these locations will sometimes contain thought-provoking puzzles that require the player to think ‘outside the box’. For example: Bassam is an outgoing street vendor who needs assistance with naming his business. This is achieved by rearranging the lit letters on his semi-functional neon sign. If the player speaks to Bassam more than once, he will offer some hints on naming his business. It sounds easy, but it actually isn’t. Broken Sword 5 is designed to make the player think, no matter how obscure or vague a puzzle or situation may be.

Broken Sword 5 uses a basic inventory system that can be accessed by pressing the X button. From there, the player can highlight an item with the Left Analog Stick and then select it by pressing the A button. The item in question can either be used in the surrounding environment (if it has a purpose) or combined with a different item to solve a puzzle. It really depends on the location being visited. If the player prefers, they can also play the game via the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen, which responds well to the player’s input. If only more Switch games utilized this feature.

Broken Sword 5 is a compelling, thought-provoking game that keeps the player guessing the moment they start playing. The puzzles are challenging, but not inherently hard; and the gameplay – while initially designed for a keyboard and mouse – feels right at home on Nintendo’s portable console, making it the perfect title for fans of the point-and-click genre.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Revolution
Publisher: Revolution
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $29.99

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse Official Website:

Review Score
Beautiful, hand-painted 2D graphics.
Professional voice acting throughout.
While casual, the game can be enjoyed by gamers of all skill levels.
Broken Sword 5 is a compelling, thought-provoking game that keeps the player guessing the moment they start playing.
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