Sword & Spoon
Combat is hungry work. A full day of orc-slaughter can really bring on an appetite, you know? Well, Goody Gameworks' newest title, Sword & Spoon, gives some much needed respect to those unsung heroes of warfare: the cooks. This strategy game has you defending your castle from an encroaching horde of nasties, with able-bodied (and empty-bellied) men at your disposal. In addition to constructing ranged and melee units, you also need to build potato farms and create servants who deliver the delicious tubers to your men when they run out of health and come jogging back into the castle. You can control where your units stand on the battlefield, as well as deploy some cooldown-inducing powers like summoning spearmen or burying the enemy under potatoes (seriously, is there anything potatoes can't do?), but much of the game is spent managing your food production behind the scenes, giving everything a time management feel. Seriously, you can run a war, and you can run a kitchen, but can you do BOTH at the same time?!
Sword & Spoons presentation is as engaging as they come. Retro graphics and a joyful soundtrack complement each other beautifully. The game's not particularly deep as far as strategy games go, you can only control your units as clumps of ranged and melee fighters and choosing where they rally on the field doesn't change much most of the time. The challenge comes with strategic deployment of your powers and clever resource management. You have finite spaces in your castle to put barracks or potato farms, and you'll need to make some tough decisions on the fly over whether you need more men on the field or more food to feed the ones you already have. Everything's upgradeable too, so you can watch your soldiers turn into knights and your servants turn into... better servants. Hey, it might not be glamorous, but Sword & Spoon knows that resource management can be fun.