As to how the game is organized, "Barbarian – The Death Sword" offers four different game modes: Story, Arcade, Survival and Multiplayer.
As expected, in Story mode, the adventure unwinds as the player begins a journey in the search of the beautiful Princess Mariana, kidnapped by evil wizard Drax. During his journey around the world (represented by 5 different combat arenas), various enemies under Drax's command appear along the Barbarian’s route to try to stop him from completing his quest.
Just as in the original version, the player has a wide choice of attack and defense moves at his disposal during combat (rolling, kicking, head-butting etc.), including the famous decapitation move, which requires excellent timing and involves a certain amount of risk, to end the battle in one single sword stroke. New features in "Barbarian – The Death Sword" include a Rage Gauge, which fills up according to the damage inflicted or received (whilst in guard position). This gauge allows players to perform special blows, which vary in strength, such as a shoulder barge to knock the opponent to the ground, a deadly sequence of moves or a crushing surprise attack. Another interesting feature is the variety of natural obstacles (bats, lava flows, lightning bolts etc.) present in the combat arenas, which can injure both the player and his opponent.
Two difficulty levels are available in Story mode: Normal and Hardcore (for more seasoned players). A third, even more advanced level (Death Sword), will be released soon as an update.
Quick games are available to play in Arcade mode, where players come up against randomly selected opponents until they get to the big boss, and in Survival mode, where the warrior’s endurance is tested through a series of battles. This means that the player keeps the same life bar during the whole series of battles, and any damage received in each individual battle is carried over to the next one.
Finally, the Multiplayer mode allows two players to battle one other via a local network, using one of the nine available fighters. This is a cross-platform mode, allowing, for example, PC players to fight against iPad users who also have the game.
Additionally, in order to make the game more accessible to younger players, there is the option to make confrontations less violent and gore-free, and there are around twenty trophies to be unlocked on iPhone/iPad, thanks to Apple's Game Center.