Over the past several days, I’ve found myself engrossed in a fantastical world. A world that I’m also very much looking forward to staying engrossed in for quite some time. On September 8th, Kindred Games released Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff in early access, finally granting supporters of the game the chance to begin their adventures. Like I said before, I’ve put a lot of time into the game already, and I’m happy to say that the game is a real treat, featuring an impressive amount of content, with many more updates surely on the way. Let’s take a look at what helped Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff make such a good impression.
On the surface, the game is very nice to look at. With vibrant colours and a fun, engaging art design, your eyes will never want for more grandeur. Even just looking at the sea during the first few minutes of gameplay was enough to portray the idea that the player is in a unique, wonderful world. Something else that helps inspire that feeling is the level of depth already present in the lore of the game. Throughout the world as it is currently are several documents detailing various bits about the history of the land, and NPCs discuss the various goings on and changes occurring in their lives. Its lore presented in a way that I really love. Rarely spoon-fed, but take a look just a little closer, and there’s a whole universe of stories and possibilities for you to discover.
The mechanics of the game also feel very realised. Fighting is fun and intuitive, but be warned, it can also be brutally difficult. Already featuring a multitude of combat styles with many different types of weapons, it’s really exciting to see how the game will continue to evolve it’s systems and mechanics. It’s also very easy to appreciate the design of quests. The developer deliberately avoids quest trackers or arrows, giving players the opportunity to discover the world organically, and create their own adventures and experiences. Character creation is well thought out, with many different races to choose from, and it gets bonus points for inclusivity, offering players the option to play a non-binary character. The game also features co-op and multiplayer, and believe me, it’s a fantastic game to play with your friends.
Of course with the game being in Early Access, there are inevitably going to be some possible issues to address. As stated before, the combat is fun and engaging, but it can also be incredibly hard. It’s interesting to learn the mechanics and tactics of a good fight, but the steep difficulty spikes that can occur if players wander into certain areas of the game might turn some people off too soon. The music feels a little muted, and a lot of times I didn’t even notice it was there. However, the developer has stated on the game’s Kickstarter page that a musician for the game is lined up, so hopefully some more grandiose music is coming in the future. The game does only feature one, albeit fairly sized, area to explore., which might leave quicker players running out of stuff to do, but fret not, the game is always growing and evolving, so it’ll be worth coming back to this title regularly. Bugs were virtually nonexistent in my playthroughs, and the developer has been very proactive and communicative with the community in addressing all issues with the game, including bugs. The biggest problem at the moment is the lack of inventory space. That thing feels like it fills up after picking up just a few items, and items like clothes and weapons stay in your inventory even after being equipped, which robs you of a decent amount of space. There are bank vaults you can store items you don’t want to throw away, but don’t have room for, but it’s very time-consuming to run back to these banks all the time.
Even with the issues presented above, Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff has all the makings of a really special game, and Kindred Games should be very proud of what they’ve created. We highly recommend checking this one out, and it’s only 19.99 USD on Steam! Grab some friends and have a great time. Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff was released on September 8th, 2020 to Steam, with a possible port the Nintendo Switch coming in the future.