Sword and Fairy Inn 2 is a spin-off of the popular role-playing franchise, Sword and Fairy. Instead of a fully-fledged RPG, this two-game spin-off series is more of a sim-management RPG, albeit with a heavier focus on the RPG side of things than the management side.
Following on from the first game, it’s your job to run a successful restaurant and inn. Alas, the road to economic success is paved with the potholes of drama. Whether it’s the travails of your staff, mischievous guests staying at the inn, or just troubles in the local town, Sword and Fairy Inn 2 will have you interfering in many lives. Will you even have time to run your own business with all these shenanigans going on?
Involved business management…
While Sword and Fairy Inn 2 does put you in charge of running an inn, the business management element PLAYS second fiddle to the game’s story elements. It’s this focus that will either make or break the experience for you depending on why you’re here for. Suffice it to say, if you’re looking for a deep, mechanics-driven sim, you’re most likely going to be disappointed.
Initially, your business will start off very small, with a measly two tables for customers in the restaurant, one room for guests, and three staff members. As a result, growing your business means opening more rooms, setting up more tables, and hiring more staff to manage all that. That, in turn, means you both need to make money and pay attention to your expenditure. You’ll be choosing which dishes go onto your menu, deciding how much the specials cost, and paying close attention to your resources.
That means you’ll be tasked with shopping daily, deciding which meat or vegetables to buy for your menu, usually based on what you’ve run out of on a day-to-day basis. Before you can open your inn for the day, you can assign your staff to whatever role you want them to take on, whether that’s cleaning or waiting but bear in mind that specific people are better suited to specific tasks – it wouldn’t do to make your chef clean the inn for instance. Of course, staff can also be trained in physical disciplines such as speed and strength, or in how to raise the quality of their dishes, but that costs money.
…but only if you want it
Becoming successful and self-dependent involves farming your own supplies, which is a balancing act between how much space you have versus what you can afford to buy. Initially, it seems really in-depth, whether you’re checking out your warehouse supplies or the ratings from your daily customers, but within an hour or two, you’ll realise it’s all really simple.
So simple, in fact, that the game lets you automate the running of the inn during actual business hours. You could micromanage this daily routine to see what a customer wants, and then serve or reject them, but if you place one of your staff in a manager position, the process becomes fully automated and runs at double the speed making the day fly by.
This is a great feature if you’re just here for the story and roleplaying, but disappointing if you want to be a business tycoon. Running the inn, at the end of the day, ultimately came down to keeping an eye on my wallet while trying to hit milestones, such as earning a certain amount of money or having a certain amount of customers daily. There are rewards for these milestones but they’re all so easy to meet that you’ll tick them off just through standard play – even if you automate management.
Roleplaying and deadlines
The RPG side is where, no pun intended, the meat of the game really lies. Whether you’re dealing with the interpersonal drama between the staff, or certain guests that become important to the story, there’s plenty of voiced dialogue to listen to and read through. If narrated dialogue is important to you, be aware the voice track is only Chinese with subtitles for other languages.
When you’re not pushing the main narrative forward, you can build up the affinity between the cast by having them go on dates and just work together. It’s a process that involves no real exploration like a typical RPG. The only time you’re in control of a character is when you head out into the one-street town to buy supplies, effectively making Sword and Fairy Inn 2 feel more like a visual novel with cute, animated 3D models and stylish backdrops doing the heavy lifting.
All of which might have been disappointing if the story wasn’t so much fun. The general quality of the writing (and translation), coupled with the feeling you’re taking part in a bit of a comedy, helps elevate Sword and Fairy Inn 2 above many of its peers.
To keep you on track, there’s a checklist of potential interactions to complete each month that push the story forward. These are all time specific, so you can miss out on events if you don’t initiate them within the allotted time. Most were pretty self-explanatory on how to get the events rolling, but there were a couple that left me stumped since the game doesn’t indicate exactly how to trigger them.
Cute Culinary Comedy!
Overall, Sword and Fairy Inn 2 is a pleasant diversion into the Sword and Fairy franchise and a great fit for the Switch – aside from one notable issue. There’s some nice 2D artwork on display and the character models used in the dialogue scenes are cute enough, but it has a low resolution overall. Both in town and in the inn, the visuals appear very fuzzy – even on a small screen – which seems strange given the 3D visuals are hardly complex. Resolution issues aside, I enjoyed Sword and Fairy Inn 2 as while its management side might be too simplistic for a sim, its light-hearted storytelling and characters more than make up for it.
Sword and Fairy Inn 2 was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a code provided to gameblur by the publisher. It is also available on Xbox One/Series S|X, PlayStation 4/5, and PC (in 2022).
Sword and Fairy Inn 2 (Nintendo Switch) ReviewSword and Fairy Inn 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review
- Fun, humorous story and characters
- The "sim" elements are easy to handle...
- ...maybe a little too easy
- Low resolution visuals on the Switch