PAX South 2019: Swag and Sorcery hands-on preview

Get a peek at what its like to build a fantasy world in Swag and Sorcery.

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Developed by the team behind Punch Club, Swag and Sorcery sticks to the management sim genre like the other titles from Lazy Bear Games, but switches up the setting for one dipped in fantasy. It is published by tinyBuild and was announced in August 2018, with a release window for sometime in 2019. At PAX South, I got a chance to check it out and came away pretty pleased with this charming title.

The rhythm of Swag and Sorcery centers around collection mercenary adventurers, equipping them with gear, sending them out on quests, and leveling them up. I also had to place those characters in the different crafting buildings to make the materials and to build that material into better gear. When the adventurer goes out on one of the quests, I could see the gear on their person and watched them fight and gather resources.

In my demo, the flow was as expected for the entry-level part of the game. New quests for me kept rolling in as I tested out the various parts of the village and built new ones. I hit a wall while building stats so one of my heroes could wield a particular sword, but that’s mainly because I overspent my money elsewhere. The training building requires a monetary donation that grows regularly and the price to raise my first hero from level five to six was out of my price range.

swag and sorcery pax south 2019 hands on demo tinybuild

Eventually, I hired a second adventurer for my village and got a better taste of what the game will be like. Sending two adventurers out on the same question introduced different lanes of attack (the front character is the only one that attacks if they both have melee weapons, but ranged items are available), but I’d already played a good bit and needed to step away.

Ultimately, Swag & Sorcery felt pretty solid in this first hands-on. It felt pretty polished in this stage and definitely has an addictive formula that should keep management fiends busy for a long while. It also has the same art style as Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper, maintaining a theme that is clearly inspired by classic 16-bit games of old. Swag and Sorcery will feel like a hands-off fantasy adventure early on, but it still felt like I was building up to something of epic proportions.

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