Swag and Sorcery Review / Test
Swag And Sorcery Review – Test of the Pixelart retro-style hero simulator with explanation and tips
Zap zockt Swag and Sorcery Review (English) – Swag and Sorcery is the new game from Uroboros Games & Lazy Bear Games, the successor of Punch Club & Graveyard Keeper. In Swag and Sorcery, we build a village, train heroes and send them out on adventures to save the kingdom.
► German Version:
Since this is a post that was created from a script for one of my YouTube videos, you can read it or watch the video (German voiceover, subtitles in many different languages). Free choice, how you like it best.
► Swag and Sorcery Review – Video:
- Swag And Sorcery Review – Test of the Pixelart retro-style hero simulator with explanation and tips
- ► Swag and Sorcery Review – Video:
- ► Swag and Sorcery Test – Intro
- ► Game Type – What is Swag and Sorcery
- ► Engine, graphics, sound
- ► Swag and Sorcery Review – Gameplay
- ► Classes, Attributes, Skills, Levels
- ► The village and its buildings
- ► Swag and Sorcery Review – Battle, Adventures and Maps
- ► Quests
- ► Equipment and looting
- ► Crafting and progress
- ► Minigame – Fashion show
- ► State of the game
- ► Swag and Sorcery Conclusion & Evaluation
- ► Outro
► Swag and Sorcery Test – Intro
Hi, this is Zap. In this episode I introduce you to the game Swag and Sorcery in a detailed review, tell you about my game test and my opinion about the game.
► Game Type – What is Swag and Sorcery
Swag and Sorcery is an indie game and currently costs 9,99 € in the Steamshop, or currently, in the middle of May, only 7,49 € because it has a release discount of 25%. The game has been developed by Lazy Bear Games and Uroboros Games, who have already released quite successful games with the predecessors Punchclub and Graveyard Keeper. Swag and Sorcery is a loot-collecting and building game in the roleplaying genre and is completely designed in the 16bit pixelart style of the 90s.
In the game, we build a village, recruit heroes, equip them and send them on missions to retrieve the king’s magic suit and ward off other threats to the kingdom.
► Engine, graphics, sound
The game uses its own engine, but it doesn’t have to do much. Because Swag and Sorcery uses a handsome but simple 8Bit graphic in the retro style of the 90s. The single elements are practical and not ugly, but naturally, they don’t offer any extreme aha-effects in graphic design.
The animations and graphic sequences are partly quite cute and for fans of the 8Bit design they surely offer something for the eye. If you don’t count yourself among these fans, but want to play the game from RPG and collecting passion, it fulfills its purpose without being disgusting.
The game sounds are useful. The music consists of a single longer song. It is a pleasant sound, in the style of old arcade or Amiga games. More titles wouldn’t have done any harm at all, but at least I didn’t find the dubbing directly annoying even after several hours, but my wife used the option to switch off the music quite quickly.
► Swag and Sorcery Review – Gameplay
At the beginning we recruit the first hero, send him out on adventures and use him to collect resources, money, and special materials, from which we then acquire equipment and recruit more heroes. Gradually we can equip up to 3 groups of heroes, level up to 8 heroes and send them on adventures again and again. When the hero groups are on their way, a largely automated battle takes place, in which we can later directly intervene with magic spells.
In the beginning, this is still very clear with only a few heroes and a group. As the number of heroes increases, different maps and several groups, it gradually becomes more management that can be done. We use the collected resources for new equipment and many expansion possibilities in the village. Hero work, new equipment crafting, village, and heroes improve, resource management. Here the game offers a funny little hamster wheel.
At the beginning there are numerous tutorial quests that lead through the different buildings and game options. After some time, however, this becomes less and less and changes into a few random quests and a main quest series, which also drives the main story. As far as you might call this story, everyone probably sees it differently.
Because there is a small background story, which is shown in animated in-between sequences and is also designed in an amusing way. However, you shouldn’t expect miracles here, the story plays with some clichés of the genre and has some things to smile about. However, the whole thing is rather minimalistic in its scope and doesn’t offer a particularly outstanding narrative art at this point.
If you know the stories of the two predecessors, you probably know what to expect here. Shallow entertainment is probably a fitting description. But that’s only marginally what the game is about. The fun of Swag and Sorcery comes from the level mechanics and the loot-collecting passion.
► Classes, Attributes, Skills, Levels
Everyone starts roughly as a melee fighter, but only because the starting equipment consists of a sword and nothing else. So you should pay attention to the start attributes, which are not the same for everyone. Warriors need strength and endurance, archers above anything else mobility and mages should be bursting with intelligence.
In total there are 8 main attributes and 12 secondary values that make up a character. Each hero has 6 slots for equipment and 4 slots for passive skills, which can be purchased during the game. Equipment is available in the categories metal, leather and cloth and a variety of weapon types are also available.
Unexpectedly, leveling in Swag and Sorcery does not take place using experience points gained in combat. Instead, there is a training hall where you can upgrade both the main attributes and the levels themselves with dirty money. I think this is a somewhat odd decision, but the system works.
The advantage of this is that it is easier to adapt a new hero to the rest of his group by simply bringing him to at least a similar level with a lot of money. With a pure experience point system, this adjustment of the different heroes in a group would be more difficult to achieve.
► The village and its buildings
In our small hero village, we are gradually constructing various important buildings and are also upgrading them in several stages. But there are no big decisions to be made here. Each building is unique, there are no variants or different ways to build the village. The village is constantly being upgraded, but this process is absolutely linear. One has the feeling of getting better little by little, but with a few choices, the whole thing would have been even funnier.
The most important building is the stable, here the heroes are sorted into groups and sent on their journey. With later expansion stages we can pack more heroes into a group and also send up to three groups of heroes on the journey at the same time.
The guild gives us access to the individual heroes, offers opportunities to view and exchange equipment and is also where new heroes are recruited.
For the three types of heroes, there are also three production plants to match. In the forge the metals are processed, heavy armor and melee weapons are produced. The hunting lodge refines wood and leather and offers equipment for archers in particular. For magicians, after a while, there is a magic shop that processes cloth and offers magician’s robes, wands and magic balls.
In the laboratory rare monster parts are processed, which are needed in the other buildings, mana and life energy potions are produced and also jewellery is crafted.
There are also numerous functional buildings, all of which cover a special field. There is the training camp for leveling and improving the attributes of the heroes. The church allows wounded heroes to heal quickly after the adventure. With a little patience this happens automatically, so the church is probably the most pointless of all buildings. Later on you can also buy buffs there, but you rarely need that.
In a spa we can and should definitely always make sure that the hero groups are relaxed, because they have a mood and bad-tempered heroes find less good things, crafted worse and sometimes don’t feel like fighting. Whereas well motivated heroes in these three areas get even more advantages.
The market makes it possible to turn manufactured items into money, which you need more and more little by little. In the library you can research passive skills and spells that you can use yourself in combat to support hero groups.
The clothing store offers craft recipes to buy, but also the opportunity to participate in fashion contests, more about this feature later.
► Swag and Sorcery Review – Battle, Adventures and Maps
Via the stable, you collect heroes in groups that match each other and send them out on adventures. Only the first character on the slot on the far right can engage in close combat, all other heroes must have ranged combat or cannot attack.
The same applies to the opponents, so the first character also takes on the role of the tank. Because many simple monsters can also only attack the first hero. But there are also monsters with ranged and area damage, so the back rows should at least be able to take some of the damage.
If you have sent a group into one of the currently 7 cards, the battle is largely automatic. But you can call the group home quickly in case of danger to avoid a defeat. What happens on the journey is randomly generated, there is a fixed amount of points along the way where either a resource like wood or wool has to be mined or a monster is standing. In the beginning, the heroes can’t see what’s coming next, because the path is covered by fog. In the course of the game, this fog is pushed back, so that one can more or less see a few steps ahead and can call the heroes home more easily if the danger is too strong.
Later you will learn a range of spells and you will be able to create mana, which you can then use as “superintendent” to intervene in the battle yourself. There are all kinds of different spells, from pure damage spells to healings, buffs, and debuffs.
Each card offers a specific group of monster types. Some of them have a specific loot, which is only available from that one type of monster, so sometimes you have to farm for specific materials. The monsters vary slightly in their values and each type is always a harder elite type, which you can recognize by the star on the head and the slightly different graphics.
The up to three groups of heroes can also set off on adventures at the same time, and then there are already a few on the screen. If you then want to stand by everyone with spells, it can also become a bit more hectic in exceptional situations.
With every successful visit to a map, an exploration progress bar is filled up and when it reaches 100%, you can challenge the map boss. He has the chance to win special loot and defeating each boss for the first time is part of the main story. After defeating a boss, the progress bar of this map resets itself, so that you can summon and defeat the bosses again and again.
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At the beginning, there is a larger amount of quests for the tutorial that introduces you to the game. Then there is the main quest series that tells a little bit of story, but you shouldn’t expect too much depth here.
And most of the other quests you get are a lot of grinds where you have to collect certain amounts of material or kill a certain amount of a monster type and then unlock certain game features. In the beginning, this grind element isn’t that dramatic, but as you get more time in the game, it becomes more time-consuming.
There are also some randomly appearing quests with a green exclamation mark, which mostly expect a decision, but the outcome is completely random. Here you donate a lot of money or material and then get a great item, nothing or maybe all heroes’ mood values are pressed into the cellar, so that you first have to urgently visit the spa.
Unfortunately, the Quest System is not really extensive. You could have done a lot, a lot more here. The game gives away some depth and variety. The tasks are mostly means to an end and are probably mainly meant to slow down the progress a bit.
► Equipment and looting
Let’s get down to something that the game is really good at. Collect equipment and loot. During the fights, you will not get any direct equipment. But here you can expect a huge amount of different materials, which you can refine and process. But you can always find blueprints for new equipment items and potions.
In the beginning, you actually get the best stuff as quest rewards. But as the quests become less, this source of new items will dry up, except for the green random quests.
Otherwise, it’s craft, craft, craft.
► Crafting and progress
Since you can’t find whole items in the missions, Craften is THE most important feature in the game to get better equipment. And since it is also the best source of money, and money is the other way round the source for better attributes and levels in the training camp, Craften is even more enhanced.
So the building plans or recipes are the cruces of the game and a lot of luck is involved. Because when you make an item, most of the values of it are randomly in a from-to range. And that makes you quickly crafted the same item 2,3 or 5 times to use the best of it. That way you can optimize your equipment bit by bit.
The heroes get the crafting efficiency displayed at the top of the screen when crafting. This increases with time and leads to a blue, purple or even epic result from a green blueprint. And by the way, a little tip: always pay attention to the recovery of your heroes while crafting, well-recovered crafters have better crafting efficiency.
Construction plans you get with luck on the adventure trip, or if you are not lucky, you can also buy them in the fashion shop.
► Minigame – Fashion show
Speaking of the fashion shop, besides the offer of new blueprints, this building is also home to the mini-game “fashion show” competition. Here you send out your heroes to be voted for the chicest costume in front of a jury.
There are trendy colors to watch out for and, on top of that, different preferences of the jury members, which can be explored bit by bit through gifts.
In addition to gold and material, the reward for this mini-game consists of reputation points with which the reputation of the village can be upgraded in a 5-star system. This gives you access to better competitions, another thing you can collect for.
Apart from that this side feature is rather annoying. Because it always takes a long time before the judges come to a valuation. During this time the heroes can’t be used for other things. And unfortunately, this rating can’t be skipped or canceled. You can go away, but still, have to wait before the heroes are available again.
► State of the game
Swag and Sorcery is almost completely free of bug except for some mini bugs. Very rarely things got stuck during my test. So I was not able to equip a certain kind of potion or not produce something. But these bugs were very rare and could be fixed in these two cases by a restart.
Apart from that, I was able to play completely free of crashes and that with more than 15h playing time so far. Sometimes little things like some tooltips are missing, especially in the shop you would wish for that. Comfort functions in some places would make the game even better. For example, a missing “process all” button when processing raw materials, or a “refill all potions” function and send all groups exactly as before because you have to do these things very often exactly the same way.
More content is probably not wrong in any game, in the beginning, you have plenty of quests, through the tutorial, later it decreases quickly and that’s a pity actually. Even some “Collect 10 Rat’s Claws” quests would make it a little bit easier.
► Swag and Sorcery Conclusion & Evaluation
The following rating must of course be set absolutely in relation to the low price. And here I have to say, Swag and Sorcery offers a lot of loot collecting fun for the 9,90 and 7,50$/€ respectively. Of course it is not an epic story masterpiece. For many people it will offer too little game content.
But if you like this kind of relaxed games, if you like to watch 16bit retro graphics, if you generally have a penchant for loot collecting, you will surely have a lot of fun here. To have fun with this game for a longer time, you need a certain resistance against grind, or a special joy in so-called Clicker Games.
I give the game in the state of now mid-May a 70% rating. It’s not perfect, it could be more varied, but you rarely find so much fun for so little money. I only give a clear recommendation to buy the game if the genre should suit you and you don’t mind grind and repetitive gameplay.
If you expect more of a story RPG or a complex building system, you should, however, give the game a wide berth. This is something Swag and Sorcery offers absolutely not. And if you are not satisfied with basic games and little story, you should rather not buy the game.
For a better rating the game would have to offer more variety, more different game options and also more story. Even though looting and collecting can be absolutely addictive, it gets a bit shallow over time and for some players this might not be enough to keep them going for more than 2-3 hours.
But for players who are comfortable with the concept and like to play relaxing retro-style games, Swag and Sorcery can be more than 10 hours of fun. I’ve read about people who spent more than 40-50 hours in a few days with Swag and Sorcery.
Swag and Sorcery Review & Test
Swag and Sorcery Rating:
The following rating must, of course, be set absolutely in relation to the low price. And here I have to say, Swag and Sorcery offers a lot of loot collecting fun for the 9,90 and 7,50€ respectively. Of course, it is not an epic story masterpiece. For many people, it will offer too little game content.
But if you like this kind of relaxed games, if you like to watch 16bit retro graphics, if you generally have a penchant for loot collecting, you will surely have hours of fun here. To have fun with this game for a longer time, you need a certain resistance against grind or a special joy in so-called Clicker Games.
I give the game in the state of now mid-May a 70% rating. It’s not perfect, it could be more varied, but you rarely find so much fun for so little money. But I only give a clear recommendation to buy the game if the genre should fit for you and you don’t mind grind and repetitive gameplay.
You can find more reviews from me in the review overview. Feel free to write me your opinion about the game and my content in the comments and check back next time. I wish you a great day, have a good time, ciao ciao, your Zap
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