Tech reviews

Review: En Garde! – Movies Games and Tech

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Have you ever fancied swashbuckling your way through a fictional version of the 17th century? Well, En Garde! Now you can in this charming, high-octane game from Fireplace Games.


In En Garde! you play as Adalia de Volador, determined to rid her city of cruel Count and their tyrannical rule. Facing guards galore, you battle through four chapters and multiple scenes as you get closer to your goal.

If the story wasn’t enough for this action-adventure game, there is also Arena Mode, which lets you pit all you know against some intriguing modifiers.

Backed by a lively flamenco soundtrack, which is perfect for this game, you dart, dodge, and roll your way through different stages, battling various foes. These foes are well-varied, which is nice, and combat can be challenging.

Combat in En Garde!

Speaking of combat, En Garde! is a tour-de-force when it comes to swordplay. As a keen fencer myself, it was a great experience indulging in the more flamboyant sword fighting that this game provides. Mechanically, however, it’s all sound. from parrying and ripostes to basic thrust attacks the whole system is fluid and incredibly fun.

In addition, you actually have to think about where you are and what you’re doing. This isn’t a hack-and-slash really, it’s far more nuanced. Acrobatics, moving out of the way with dodge rolls, and using your environment will all be crucial in winning each battle. This is because, unlike in other games, you aren’t facing one enemy at a time. They will all come for you at once and try and corner you. Do that, and you’re a kebab quicker than you realise. In this way, combat is a great challenge.

En Garde! is Funny

From witty lines from the headstrong lead to a Zorro-like figure who perhaps isn’t all he thinks he is, En Garde! is genuinely funny. If that wasn’t enough, you can also enjoy quips from the guards… like when they question their own purpose. The quips are well-paced and well-written and overall it feels like a slightly hammy, fun parody of swashbuckling movies of yesteryear. You may roll your eyes a little at the over-the-top Spanish accents, but it strangely works with what this game is trying to be. Also, while dying in games is never usually recommended, I do advise doing it at least one to hear the dialogue.

Mind the Furniture!

One of my favourite aspects of En Garde! is how alive each level feels. Forget the art for a moment (which by the way is charming and joyous) because I want to talk about how much stuff there is in each level. From bottles you can throw at the Count’s henchmen to TNT that can be detonated. Tables can be kicked into people (and yes, it will send all the plates and food to the floor!) and you can even throw a bucket over someone’s head. The level of physics that has gone into crafting this interactivity turns virtually every item into something you can use to your advantage. It adds to the comedy, but it also adds to the gameplay and the whole spectacle of the game. It’s also just really fun to throw a bucket over someone’s head!


Visually, En Garde! is really pretty. With its hand-painted style, it builds on that nostalgia and charm. The level of detail is also incredibly impressive. Each area you enter isn’t barren, not by a long shot. From lavish dining halls to the streets, the world is populated with things, adding to the overall visual spectacle.

Cut scenes are presented in an almost comic book style with static images and text accompanied by a voiceover, which works well to guide you through the story.

The most impressive visuals, however, come from the character models. This is because you will be constantly dancing and darting all over the room, trying to defeat foes of varying types. The variety is really good, too, with each guard type being identifiable by how they look.  

Final Thoughts On En Garde!

En Garde! Reminds me of classic hack-and-slash games but with the charm of Monkey Island and plenty of modern refinements. It’s genuinely funny, genuinely enjoyable, and full of charm. You will smile and cheer as you dance around the room, duelling with waves upon waves of dim-witted guards. While there is variety in the foes you face, the game only has four chapters, and you will have reached the end in around 4 hours. It’s a shame, but I think it works for fear of ‘too much of the same thing’ if it goes on longer.


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