Swag and Sorcery
In a faraway kingdom the Kings coffers are running low and there are enemies occupying the far frontiers. The King’s advisor has prepared a list of things to be done in order to sort the kingdom’s problems out. However, the King is bored of your lists and says the only way to solve all these problems is with his great-great-grandfather's magical costume. Sometimes the King has had some great ideas, although this doesn’t seem like one of those times. However, as the King’s word is absolute law, he orders his heroes to go forth and retrieve his great-great-grandfather's magical costume.
After the King’s decree you’re taken to an overview of a village. There are several buildings in which you can interact and later you’ll have a few more. To start with you have a Church, Spa, Market, Guild and Stable. In the top left corner of the screen you’ll be notified of any quests or events currently available to you. You’re first quest (a most important mission) is to hire a hero from the Guild so you can head out and search for the magical costume the King wants in order to solve all the kingdom’s problems.
Selecting the quest will open a window which gives you some information on the quest at hand, as well as the rewards you’ll get for completing the quest. In this case we need to hire a hero from the guild. Selecting the Guild on the overview (indicated by two crossed swords) will open a window; currently you can only hire one hero but there is space in the guild for eight heroes.
Hiring a hero will cost gold, and each new hero will cost more and more than the last one. Luckily for you the first hero only costs one-hundred gold and you just so happen to have that amount. Hit the green button to hire a hero (if you don’t have enough gold for any other heroes this button will be greyed out). Now that you’ve just completed your first quest, head back to the top left corner where the quest now shows it’s been completed (some quests will require multiple items etc to complete and will display the number of items you currently have for these, until you have enough to fulfill the requirements) and collect your reward.
You now have your first hero, shown as an icon above the guild. Clicking and holding the mouse button down will allow you to move the character to another building. You cannot do this on all buildings, but only the ones with square icons, (currently only the Guild and Stable has these). These buildings allow you to craft items like armour, weapons, and building materials; if you have the requirements, you’ll need to construct these buildings first. The Stable allows you to leave the village in search of resources, fight creatures and hopefully find the magical costume.
Dragging your hero over to the Stable and then clicking on the building will open the Stable screen. Here you’ll find any location you’ve unlocked so far, along with Resources and Monsters which you’ll come across. These for the time being are indicated by a question mark; once you’ve come across any of the resources or monsters then they’ll be revealed to you and you can get some information on them. The name of the current location is displayed along with the level your hero needs to be. The first location is the Magical Forest and requires you to be level one to five.
You may notice that there are two fight buttons - one that is green and one that is greyed out at the end of a bar showing zero percentage. The green button will take you to the magical forest and other locations when they’re unlocked. The other fight button can only be selected once the bar is filled to one hundred percent; this will then allow you to fight the end of level boss. Defeating a boss can open new locations for you as well as bringing in some rewards.
Upon hitting the fight button you’ll be taken to the adventure screen; here the screen is divided into three main windows. Currently you only have one of these windows open and you’ll need to unlock the other two as you progress through the game by unlocking all three stable slots. Your hero starts on the left side of the window; a mist covers half of the screen so you’re unable to see most of what’s up ahead. Your hero walks forward, and as he does, resources or monsters will appear from the mist. If it’s resources, then your hero will hit them with either an axe or pickaxe, (depending on the type of resource it is) and collect them.
Above the windows there’s a Random Event notice, which will turn green when a new event comes your way. These can disappear after a short while, so you may want to click on the icon to find out what the event is. Clicking on the event will pause your hero's movement, giving you time to check the event, and will commence once you’ve closed it down. You also have a spell book and mana for later use once you’ve unlocked them. You can also click on the village to go back while your hero carries on through his adventure. This will allow you to send other heros out at the same time on other adventures, thus the three windows. You will need to unlock all three stables first before having three separate adventures going off at once.
If you come across a monster in your way, then it’s time to fight! The rest of the time you have very little to nothing to do while your hero makes his way through the magical forest or any other location. Almost everything is done for you, with the exception of retreating, using spells and viewing new event notices. However, you still need to keep an eye on your hero, especially in a new game. You only start with a wooden sword and you’re only wearing your boxers, so you’re a little vulnerable. If your hero’s health reaches zero, they don’t die but instead are sent back to the village for some recuperation. You may be thinking, Great! But there is a down-side to losing all your health - any resources you’ve collected out on an adventure will be lost.
If your health is getting low, it’s much better to retreat (you’ll keep the loot in your loot bag). The loot bag holds the first resources you collect on an adventure; if you retreat, you’ll take these with you, but you’ll only take part of the other resources left. To retreat, just hit the White Flag which is behind your hero and it will return you back to the village.
Defeating monsters will also give you some resources, as each monster has its own resources that they’ll drop. These, along with other resources, such as different types of wood or metal ores that you collect as you walk through an adventure, can be used to craft new armour, weapons, buildings and upgrades. Any resource you’ve collected will be displayed on the adventure window above your hero. Once you reach the end of your current adventure all resources will be stored in your village for you to take advantage of. Reaching the end of a run will give you some percentage towards filling the bar up which will allow you to take on the final boss once it reaches one hundred percent. You can also lose some percentage from the boss filled bar if you die, which isn’t a problem unless you keep dying, as you’ll be going the wrong way.
Once you’ve completed a run you can either head straight back into an adventure or head back to the village. If you decide to go back into an adventure you can heal and relax yourself before heading back. Both will cost some gold which is determined by how much is needed to bring you back to full health. Health can restored itself over a short period to help you save a few pennies if you can wait thirty seconds or so, but you’ll have to pay to refill your mood meter. You can also restore your health at the Church and restore your mood at the Spa in the village.
As you progress, you’ll be able to build and upgrade buildings like the Smithy, Training Camp, Hunting Lodge, Fashion House, Library, Magic Store, Market, Guild and Laboratory. You’ll be able to craft various things which will improve your heroes' attacking and defensive stats along with potions etcetera. To craft something, you’ll need to be at the right building (you can’t craft a magic robe at the smithy). Once you’re at the right place you just need to select what you want and how many you’d like, and then hit craft, making sure you have enough resources for the job.
You also need to have a hero at that building, so just like placing your hero in the stable you place them on the icon square above a building. Only when you have a hero placed at a building will it start to craft what you asked for. Each item you craft takes time to create, and the amount of time required is shown on that item’s craft page. The times range from a few seconds up to complete. Upgrading a building will increase the range and types of items you can create.
Crafting can be hard work and if you work them too hard then your hero's mood can change. Adventuring can also influence your hero’s mood; if left unchecked you can end up in a Bad Mood. If this happens then you are at risk of losing a turn, maybe gaining fewer items while adventuring, and having no chance of crafting better items. Making sure your hero is in a Good Mood will bring you benefits such as a chance of a double attack, the possibility of finding more items while adventuring, and the chance to craft better equipment. So, keeping them happy is a must, and to do this you can either pay at the end of an adventure or head to the Spa and relax yourself into a better mood for a few gold pieces.
The equipment a hero can either wear or use to defeat monsters depends on the hero’s current level (although on some items you’ll need more than just the hero and equipment levels to be at least the same before you can use them. Some also require that you meet a certain attribute criterion in one or more of your hero attributes, like Strength 35 along with Agility 42 before you’re able to use that equipment.
As you progress through the game and start upgrading the buildings in your village, you’ll be able to take advantage of some Buffs. These can be found at the Church and Spa; these buffs will only last for one adventure. You can apply two buffs at any one time; there are a few to choose from, like Vampirism I, Heavy Hand I, Bulwark I and Stout Heart I. Each buff cost some gold, but they can improve your health points and make you more resistant to magic etcetera.
Increasing your hero’s level is a bit different from the norm; instead of leveling up through experience points, you buy your levels with gold. To do this you need to go to the Training Camp, where your first level upgrade will cost you one-hundred gold, then three hundred for the next upgrade. With each level you upgrade, the more gold it costs for that level. You can also buy Strength, Agility, Intelligence and Stamina attributes, again increasing in price the more you buy.
Other things to do in the village include entering the competitions at the Fashion House. Here you’ll compete with random heroes for one of three prizes. You’ll be judged by three judges on your hero’s attire, and you can enter three heroes at a time. For finishing in the top three you’ll be greeted with some rewards. You can also buy blueprints for various things at the fashion house which you can then go and craft. Also, at the library you can research buffs and spells to help you progress through the game.
If you get stuck or need some information on something at the bottom right of the screen, you’ll see the letter “i” in a speech bubble. Everything you need to know is here. At the side of this is a chest, which is your inventory where all your resources, weapons, armour etcetera are stored. Any equipment not needed can be sold at the market and some could be used to bribe judges in the fashion house.
On the main menu screen there’s Play, Settings, Credits and Exit. Upon selecting Play you’ll be taken to the Game Save screen. Here you need to select one of the three save slots available to you before clicking Play and proceeding to the game. Selecting a saved slot from a previously saved game will display that game’s current status; date of Last Save, Time in Game, Gold, Mana Points and any characters you may have.
In the settings you’ll find options for Master, Music and Sound volume sliders. Languages; English, Russian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Resolution, Screen Mode; Full Screen, Windowed or Borderless. V-Sync; Enabled/Disabled and Mouse Pointer; Hardware, Software or Default.
The game is very enjoyable to play, it’s relaxing and can be played at a pace which suits you. No button bashing to defeat monsters only the minimal use of spells and using the white flag are required by yourself. The music and sounds are great, the story intros are good (especially the cat and his attitude), and the graphics are nicely done. So far, really enjoying the game - time has just simply disappeared when playing. Lots of crafting and upgrading can be done to your heros and village. The game is grindy but that’s how it’s supposed to be, and honestly, it’s not that bad.
I haven’t really had much in the way of problems, although I did have one small problem when trying to bribe a judge; my bribe wasn’t taken and when I left and returned, I had a duplicate helmet, although this disappeared upon my leaving the fashion house again.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Very enjoyable and relaxing game
+ Easy to play
+ Great graphics, sounds and music
Negatives- A little repetitive
Build and upgrade your village, fight bosses, enter costume competitions and hire heroes to find the magical costume of the King’s great-great-grandfather.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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