Looda Muva Games has started today the beta of its new free to play browser fantasy strategy game Sword and Honor and we had the chance to get a first glimpse of this new game, the first part of the Sword and Honor Trilogy. Its story background lends from Slavic mythology and tells of an ancient prophecy of three warriors; a fairy, a bandit and a knight, who will help the Old King regain his authority over the greedy Dukes who have usurped his power and free the people.
As the video will show this was my first step into the game having never played it before, getting a first look as a newbie and working through the tutorial. It wasn’t without its problems, but the game is only just in beta and our sources inform us that all bugs are being worked on aggressively.
Upon signing up we received an email with a URL to activate our account, which immediately sent us to the class selection screen whereby you could pick one of the three warriors; the fairy, bandit or knight. Their initial statistics didn’t seem to show anything different between the classes, however in game your class choice did give you different missions.
The tutorial walked you through the various icons to show you what everything did; unfortunately once the tutorial was finished there was no popup text over the top icons (resource icons) to let you know what they were, so you had to pretty much remember them. There aren’t that many so I feel that once you have gotten into the game it won’t be that hard to figure out what it what, but it tripped me up as a beginner.
Navigate the available options there are a few quickly accessible options. The first accessible icons are your “Extras”, which are packages available within the game that come in two types: “Booster Packages” and “Skip Packages”. Booster Packages come in various forms put are essentially ways to increase various aspects of the game such as increasing your military, giving you new equipment, extra population for your village, etc. The Skip Packages allow you to level up, skipping the required levelling process that can be done through normal play, and letting you jump ahead. This is particularly alluring as some of the features are only available at later levels. Such things as “Village”, “Alliances”, “Espionage” and “Military” are all features that can only be taken advantage of once you hit level three (I have no idea what any of these things do as I was locked out of them as a lowly level one character). The packages can be bought with Gold, one of the in game currencies (the other being silver) which can be earned in game or players can buy it with real world currency.
So on to the game. The first step as directed by the tutorial character was to take on some missions and join the tournaments, but first I had to heal myself up and get equipped. Skipping through the tutorial I overlooked that the 20,000 silver that I started with was actually silver and thought it was another resource like the other unknown items, so when I came to purchase items it looked like I had no coins to do so. Second to that it was actually quite difficult to find where I bought herbs from (which I learned is what I needed to heal) or how I actually healed up, following the help instructions later on still didn’t seem to yield any success but I eventually stumbled upon it.
There is passive healing within the game but it takes a very long time, unsure on how to heal I did end up making two new subsequent characters to try out all the features. Unfortunately, you appear to be locked to one character to your account so I did have to re-register with two new unique email addresses to keep playing. Committed to the cause!
Combat was simple and easy to work out, an enemy would pop up and you would hit the next button to keep fighting and swinging blows, the game automatically working out what damage you deal and suffer depending on your stats.
Now whilst being defeated doesn’t kill you, it did drop us to extremely low hit point, which meant we were too weak to take on any missions or the tournament, a message automatically pops up when you try to click the icon saying you don’t have enough health. So after our first battle we didn’t know how to acquire herbs to heal up and lacked hit points to do anymore content. Combined with the fact that 50% of the content was locked to level three it was a bit of a struggle, however, as mentioned I did make another account and successfully managed to work out how the shop worked, where I could buy herbs and then work my way through Missions, Tournaments and Duels.
The missions are all essentially the same but with different flavour descriptions, which are also appropriate to your chosen class e.g. as a knights page I was sent to collect a shield from the blacksmith, whereas when I played as a bandit I was given the task of stealing a dagger. Each mission results in the same thing, a monster attacks you and takes you into combat and either you are victorious or defeated.
Tournaments work in the same kind of way, but you must defeat a number of creatures in a row , which get gradually more difficult. You are able to jump out of the Tournament screen to your inventory and heal up, even go to the shop and purchase herbs if you don’t currently have any, and then carry on with the battle where you left off.
Duels are against other players where you can attack players when they are offline, so keeping your character healed up is important.
From Missions, Tournaments and Duels you gain both coins and Honor and Swords, two of the values that go directly towards your current rank in the game, which is shown on an accessible leader board.
The games graphics are simple and colourful and the gameplay is very easy to pick up and play with only a slight learning curve, which would be made even easier with a few extra popups in strategic places. Whilst the early content is quite repetitive, some of the bigger features that are accessible from level three look a lot more promising, which I imagine will spur quite a few people on to purchase the Skip Packages so they can get to even more content. With public ranking system I imagine the game will be quite competitive for a lot of players who stick with it to the higher levels.