What is it?

Sword & Sorcery is a co-op dungeon crawler set in a familiar D&D type setting. It is miniature and dice based and has a focus on a strong narrative without needed a dungeon master.

What do you get?

Sword & Sorcery comes packed with miniatures, dice, cards, board sections and a few different rule/scenario books.

How does it work?

Sword & Sorcery is a very smart RPG with a scenario book and a book of secrets. It has you set up the board and put down locations and secret enemy tokens. Shuffled decks and random tiles make sure you rarely know what is going to happen next.

The prize of the game overall goes in its narrative storytelling. Every time you reach a story point there is an extra book of secrets meaning that you follow the books instructions for what happens next. This is very inventive and keeps you on your toes for whatever happens next (it’s usually bad… that’s my D&D experience).

The miniatures are really nice. Some better than others and there are some generic awkward poses but nothing you’d be ashamed of.

The combat mechanic is crystal clear and easy to do with a lot of variation between attacking and defending as well as class types and what they may equip.

The enemies are done through an AI card on each enemy. They have preferred targets at various ranges typically but the amount of thought and difference to each and every action is incredible.

Is it any good?

Yea. 3 missions in and we’re really digging it. After Gloomhaven and Kingdom death it feels very much in the same category yet somehow still very fresh. Comparing it to those two I’d say it trumps both for its linear narrative story, somehow the variable quests seems like a great idea but it often just comes out as disjointed. Gloomhaven has a smarter combat and co-op mechanic overall but everything else about Gloomhaven isn’t as good really.

I guess you could argue the levelling up mechanic but overall S&S has a better system for dealing with death, yet I wouldn’t claim either of them has it right… Kingdom Death punishes you for death which is probably the more correct way to go about it but it’s still a little steep in terms of gameplay mechanics.

S&S does so much right but note it is not a short game. Our shortest game to date is some 3.5 hours but it’s been an absolute joy and mental challenge so far.

Conclusion

S&S is superb. No way round that. It has one of the best AI inventions out there with some of the coolest basic mechanics. There is a lot of innovation in S&S and as long as the story holds up surprises, it won’t get boring fast. Well done Ares Games can’t wait for the future of the S&S genre even if Immortal Souls has ended, ancients looks ace and it will be interesting to see what it to come.

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