Sword and Plow

Fight and dig in Sword and Plow.

PC GAMER (UK) - - CONTENTS - By Tom Sykes

One of the down­sides of ad­ven­tur­ing is that you tend to ne­glect your poor old veg­etable patch. The state of your turnips is, at most, a sec­ondary con­cern while you’re off slay­ing dragons and de­feat­ing necro­mancers. But what if you could take your al­lot­ment with you, if you could stuff some soil into a pocket and some­how cul­ti­vate help­ful crops as you hero­ically gad about? Here’s a game that lets you do just that, ob­vi­ously, even if it’s a lit­tle more lim­ited in its ex­e­cu­tion than I was hop­ing.

Sword and Plow is a largely lin­ear RPG that al­lows you to move north­wards across a tra­di­tional fantasy realm. There’s a lit­tle bit of wriggle room, in that you can strafe from left to right, but you can’t re­turn to pre­vi­ously ex­plored ar­eas. Not that you’d re­ally need to, as the back­ground is just a can­vas on which ran­dom en­coun­ters hap­pen, from traders to trea­sure chests to the meat of this 2D ad­ven­ture: bat­tles. Com­bat feels fast and fe­ro­cious in S&P, let­ting you use any of your weapons, shields and items dur­ing bat­tle, but with each hav­ing their own cooldown bar. It’s dif­fi­cult, too, so you’ll need to make the most of the gold, equip­ment, and, oh yes, seeds you’ll oc­ca­sion­ally find on fallen en­e­mies.

Seeds can be planted into a patch of soil that some­how trav­els around with you, grow­ing over time into ben­e­fi­cial veg and po­tions. And that’s it: an un­der­utilised, bare­bones gardening sys­tem, but in an RPG with a lot of meat de­spite that. Sword and Plow takes the JRPG and shears away the story and char­ac­ters, leav­ing be­hind a se­ries of brisk, tac­ti­cal bat­tles against a va­ri­ety of colourful en­e­mies.

This tomato isn’t as mad as it looks.

Me, the onion slicer, should be the one who is cry­ing.

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