“Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is a four-part fantasy adventure like never before. With tens of thousands of choices, the story rewrites itself around your actions. Battle weird and deadly creatures, cast powerful spells, play with honour, or lie, cheat and steal. The fate of the land of Kakhabad is in your hands!”
Late nights and a new Samsung Tablet that was just begging to be filled to bursting with games and the first thing that caught my eye was ‘Steve Jackson’s Sorcery!’… because you know Mr. Jackson’s (Munchkin, Revolution!) name attached to anything that says sorcery is going to be right up my street! As the blurb for the fame highlights this is a four-part fantasy adventure, each part plays out like a book, one where you are empowered to plot your own journey. First released back in 2013 for iOS, the game got an Android release last month and while chapter two is currently available to those with an i-[insert gadget] Android users are still waiting on the release of the second instalment.
My childhood was spent with my nose in books, in particular the R. L. Stein (don’t worry this isn’t the ramblings of a decaffeinated loon, I have a point!) Goosebumps series! Every now and again I’d be gifted a book, sometimes I’d already have read it (I had a pretty sweet collection!) but then there would be the rare gem, a tell your own story book – you would make decisions, flick through the book to the corresponding page and find out what consequences there were to your decision.
Sorcery! follows a similar process, you start your journey out by selecting your adventurer, female or male and ready your pack before setting out in search of a ‘Crown’ but your not the only one!
Unlike the books of my childhood Sorcery! is able to take advantage with sound and visuals with beautifully crafted pages and map that only endeavour to draw you further into the world. Gameplay elements are pretty simple in execution, you drag your hero icon to different open points on the map from here a story is woven and more points will open up and close themselves off depending on your choice – in some cases (and far too many for my first adventure, you’ll also wind up dead!).
As well choosing your own path, you can also wield sword or spells to aid you in your journey and fight off bandits, hungry creatures and mythical beasts. The spell system is a little flat even if it looks pretty, you cast simple words using star constellations, from simple fireballs (HOT), protective shields (FOF) or even growing giant size (BIG), your spells can help or hinder your progress depending on your predicament and spell choice.
The combat system is very different and very interesting, (see the second image from top) your energy levels (stamina) has a huge impact on your ability to defend yourself, charging into a marauders camp after not eating all day and travelling without rest means you can’t fight at full strength. You face off against an opponent who can also defend against your attack, depending on your move, text for the fight is generated as part of your story and whether you prefer to fight with your might or your magic you’ll always have the choice.
Playing the game straight through from start to completion took me less than an hour and that’s peeling my eyes over every single word – it’s straightforward and with a fairly simple system you aren’t faced with tutorials or time wasted familiarising yourself with the controls. That said though this is only the first chapter of four and the option to replay and revisit, retrace and redo your adventure over with all new choices and a whole different journey is there and that’s where I am at the moment. Forget the road travelled and head off into the wilds! The games best feature is it’s ability to weave your story, to tell it and to draw you into Steve Jackson’s world. Chapter I – The Shamutanti Hills pits you against angry children, mischievous Elvins and is the perfect hook for any adventurer looking to tell their own story!
[easyreview cat1title=”The Arcade Verdict” cat1detail=”Immersive, creative and addictive – perfect for Adventurers of all levels” cat1rating=”8″]
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!