Swag & Sorcery is a game I picked up on sale in May 2019 about the time it came out and finally decided to play. The story goes that the loyal subjects of a kingdom need to find the king’s grandfather’s magic outfit to save the kingdom. The king is a rather vain fellow that cares about looking good. The villain in the story cares about a decently ran domain. At least that is how it starts out.
You run a little village that hires heroes that you send off on adventures. Hiring heroes becomes exponentially more expensive as you hire them. Eventually, you can have multiple heroes on an adventure together and up to three adventures going at once.
The heroes do all their adventuring on their own, but you do have the ability to have them retreat. Eventually, you can cast spells if you make mana to help your heroes. Still, beyond that, there is little interaction directly with the heroes.
On their adventures, they kill monsters for gold and materials. They can also harvest materials they come across. You use gold to build up the town to start crafting gear for your heroes as well as for selling. Gold is used for building things, research, and on your heroes through leveling, training, healing, and resting.
I do like that there is both a health and rest component to the heroes. When they are not well-rested, they do not fight or craft as well, so there are benefits to keeping them well-rested. Healing only really needs to happen if you are in a hurry. Heroes will naturally heal over time.
All your gear has attributes that are typical for all RPGs like how much defense, attack, strength, etc. the item gives the person wearing it. However, other attributes are used for the “Swag” part of the game. Colors, materials, and style of the item all play a role in the voting for the fashion shows. You read that right; fashion shows, that you can sign your heroes up for. This increases your reputation for your town.
To be honest, I really did not figure out this component of the game or what the value is other than for collecting or crafting some outrageous looking gear for the shows. Even crafting the equipment is a bit random based on the stats of the hero doing the work. Some stats are better for the smithy while others are better for hunting log. The equipment can turn into higher quality or has an attribute like ‘blue’ or ‘gold’ for the metal breastplate. I would just make a lot of something and hope to get lucky with some extra attributes on the pieces. This also meant a lot of grinding the same adventures over and over.
There are also quests you can do that will sometimes reward you with money and a particular weapon or armor. These tend to have the extra attributes and just be better pieces overall. Some quests require nothing more than a decision on your part. An example is if you will give material to a shopkeeper. Another is what to do with an accused burglar in town. The outcomes are not always the same, so you can pick whatever and hope to get lucky.
The graphics are well done for the 2D pixel graphics style. Even the adventures have a lot of detail in the background of the scene that keeps things exciting and fun once you catch it. The music is also cute and straightforward. Nothing too obnoxious after hours of repeating.
Though, after putting in my three-hour minimum, I am so torn on this game. I like it, but I do not love it. I cannot see it getting better with more time, it would just be more grind. (Hey, that rhymed!) But it is still a fun time-waster that can be done while watching something on your other monitor or paying full attention. I never felt like there was nothing to do. Basically, just know you are getting into a game that is grindy, and if you heed that warning, I do recommend it when on sale. Because remember, friends don’t let friends pay full price.
Game: Swag & Sorcery
Developer: Lazy Bear Games, Uroboros Games
Initial Release Date: May 9, 2019