Title: Sword and Fairy Inn 2
Release Date: July 27, 2023
Reviewed On: Switch
Genre: Sim RPG
Once again, the Sword and Fairy series is making itself known in the West. Sword and Fairy Inn 2 is a spinoff series within the cafe-sim genre. Although it was previously released on PC, it has now come to consoles for more players to spend time in this fantasy world. However, as cozy as Sword and Fairy Inn 2 appears, it remains a repetitive and messy experience that should have been subjected to a mobile-only release.
Sword and Fairy Inn 2 has a very charming appeal to it. The chibi characters and brief interactions between them are packed with an overwhelming wholesomeness that you might forget how dull the gameplay is. Okay, so the story is about these characters from the Sword and Fairy series who have opened an Inn. Later in the campaign, you meet a few rivals, but the overall narrative is bleak.
As days advance, you’ll unlock new event scenes that happen naturally. However, you can unlock other scenes by talking to certain guests or sending characters on dates. I believe this has something to do with the calendar dates, but you’ll eventually unlock festival events and watch the characters get closer. Why? I’m not sure. Regardless, you get stuff for hitting milestones, and eventually, you gain access to new explorable towns to purchase ingredients for your Inn.
Sadly, the actual cafe-sim gameplay is pretty mindless. An automated system kicks in once your open and guests fill the seats, who sometimes leave tips. Elements that are under your control are the menu and staffing. The menu system is deceptive and makes you think you can simply pack your menu with all the finest dishes and call it a day. However, eventually, you’ll run out of ingredients, so learning how to manage that aspect is the only genuine hurdle here.
Each character has its strengths in various fields. New positions will open up throughout the campaign, and you’ll have a pretty nice self-sustaining business in no time. However, this ushers in the repetition. After a few in-game months, you’ll find yourself doing the same tasks over and over, with no real challenge outside of having enough ingredients.
There are things to do each day, but it all feels like chores. The actual sim portion of the experience is so surface-level and automated that you can do anything and still hit milestones. This made me consider that the developer was aiming for a more relaxing experience, but the sheer amount of systems and tasks that unlock make your daily checklist more of a hassle.
As time goes on, you can upgrade your Inn and backyard tools. This doesn’t change much about your day-to-day, though. Instead, you just have more tables and ways to earn money to keep your business going. Even after unlocking new mechanics, nothing changes about the core gameplay loop.
Even though my time with the game was full of boredom, the game works. It is possible to find some cathartic fun progressing the story. Honestly, I never cared about what was going on in the story, and the repetitive dating events and game flow weighed on any enjoyment that I was having.
One of the most frustrating features of this console release is the controls. This game is not made for consoles. You need to use the shoulder buttons to navigate different areas of a screen. However, it’s difficult to tell where you are exactly on the screen or which menu you are in.
This becomes extremely frustrating when you’re simply just trying to back out of a menu but end up staying on the screen cause you’re not in the right section. It’s tough to describe, and I’m sure the developers did their best, but this game was made for mouse and keyboard or touch controls. Strangely, the game sometimes says to “Tap” areas, but I touched the Switch screen, and nothing happened. So, I’m unsure if this is just remnants from a mobile version or bad localization.
The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was that the game carries a lot of charm. The in-game world grows significantly over the campaign revealing some unique ingredients and menu items to discover, but it really doesn’t affect the actual game. Playing this game made me sleepy, but I know some gamers might enjoy this experience; I just couldn’t keep up.
Sword and Fairy Inn 2 reveals its gameloop within the first few hours. Outside of the event scenes, you’d have experienced everything the game offers in that time, with new areas and menu items only making your daily checklist longer and more monotonous. The cafe sim features aren’t present and are coupled with a capable auto feature that, if anything, gives you a break from playing. Sword and Fairy Inn 2 is cute enough to want to check in, but you’ll be checking out just as quickly.
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