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Swag and Sorcery

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Swag and Sorcery Game Poster Image
Cheesy, tongue-in-cheek tale that's light on adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The story is very tongue-in-cheek, almost parodying the usual fantasy role-playing game tropes. But you still follow the same generic formula of talking to folks in town and then going out to accomplish missions to help them out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There aren’t any real positive or negative role models. Your adventurers are little more than generic shells to send out for missions.

Ease of Play

Players are responsible for using resources to build up the village, recruiting and training adventurers, and crafting armor and weapons. But when it comes to the actual adventuring, there’s very little input required from the player.

Violence

Adventurers attack animals, creatures, and other enemies using a variety of medieval weapons and magical spells. But the combat animations are simple, with no blood ever shown onscreen. Defeated enemies simply disappear, clearing the way for the party to continue on its quest.

Sex
Language

Occasionally, the word “damn” pops up in dialogue.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Swag and Sorcery is a simplified fantasy role-playing game (RPG) available for download on Windows-based PCs. Players manage a hub village where they recruit and train adventurers to send out on quests to gather resources and fend off the attacks of various creatures. Players do need to navigate some menus in order to craft items and equip heroes, but it’s a simple and straightforward process. Meanwhile, the harvesting of resources and combat are done automatically, with player input restricted to casting spells and choosing to retreat from battle. While there's a fairly steady stream of violence when heroes are sent out, the fighting's very tame with no blood or graphic depictions of violence.

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What's it about?

SWAG AND SORCERY is a streamlined fantasy role-playing game that tells a tale of magical adventure, mystic beasts, and of one really nifty set of clothes. Long ago and far away, there was once a fairy kingdom on the brink of collapse. Its resources had run dry while strange creatures lurked just outside its borders, laying siege to the people within. While the King’s Advisor had come up with list upon list of strategy, calculations, and directions to follow, the King had another, simpler solution. His Majesty placed his faith squarely on recovering a magical costume that once belonged to his great-great-grandfather, but had been stolen sometime before. Frustrated by the King’s plan, the Advisor decides that maybe what the kingdom really needed was a new king … namely himself. Left to the devices of a fanciful and fashionable King on one end and a diabolically devious Advisor on the other, what’s a struggling kingdom to do? That’s where you come in. It’s up to you to rebuild and expand your village, recruiting brave adventurers to your cause, training them, and equipping them with the finest (or at least halfway decent) handcrafted gear, before sending them out into the wilds to collect more resources, defeat enemies, and most importantly, bring back some of that sweet, sweet swag.

Is it any good?

While there are plenty of games that fit squarely in a particular genre, there are always a few lingering in the outskirts that are harder to define. Swag and Sorcery is one of those games. The game is one part role-playing game (RPG) and one part city building sim, but neither feels like a complete experience. On the RPG side of things, you’re responsible for making sure your party members are all healed up, in a good mood, and kitted out with the best equipment. But when it comes to the actual adventuring? Well, you’re not really needed. Combat and resource gathering happens automatically on a linear path, with your only input being to cast the occasional spell or call for a retreat when the going gets a little too tough. As far as the city building side of things, while you need to collect the various resources required to build shops and craft materials, you never have much of a say as to what goes where. In fact, building your village is as linear a process as the adventuring, though it at least has a bit more for you to do in the meantime.

Despite being a sort of hodgepodge of ideas crammed together into a disjointed mess that lacks any real depth, Swag and Sorcery still has a certain level of appeal. It’s cartoonish and retro art style feels like a natural fit to story, and the tongue-in-cheek self-referential humor is always good for a chuckle. And even though your adventurers have little more personality than a cardboard cutout, after investing time in their hero training, monitoring their moods, and customizing their looks, you can’t help but get a little attached. It’s almost like raising your own stable of virtual pets … only these pets come armed with swords and crossbows and vanquish the forces of evil at the drop of a hat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Swag and Sorcery affected by the lack of blood or gore, even though your characters are constantly fighting animals and monsters? Would the impact be intensified if the visuals were more graphic?

  • Do you prefer games that are more in-depth and complex in nature, or more simplified games that are easy to pick up and put down for a few minutes at a time? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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