Sword and Plow
Fight and dig in Sword and Plow.
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.