Sorcery! iOS review

Sorcery! iOS reviewDespite my excessive geekiness, I have to admit to being entirely unfamiliar with the original Sorcery! novels – first published between 1983 and 1985, or indeed the larger Fighting Fantasy series.

Still, that didn’t stop me being completely blown away by the first chapter of Sorcery! for iOS; “The Shamutanti Hills” is absolutely furging AMAZING.

Sorcery! plays out as an interactive book, described by the team as an “epic adventure through a land of monsters, traps, and magic”, and it’s every bit as nerdy and fantastic as that sounds.

Our unnamed protagonist hails from a continent called The Old World on the fictional world of Titan (the land of Analand more specifically, hence being referred to as Analander), and he’s out to reclaim a powerful artefact known as the Crown of Kings.

The Shamutanti Hills details our hero’s quest across – yes – the Shamutanti Hills as he attempts to reach the city of Kharé.

The level of choice offered to the player in Sorcery! is immense. For starters, you get to choose your own path, perhaps deciding between a potential shortcut and the longer, more direct route, and as such you can forget about seeing the whole game in one playthrough.

Furthermore, you might have the opportunity to do a bit of exploring, in caves for example, and while there’s a good chance you’ll land yourself in trouble, it’s all part of the fun.

Sorcery! iOS review

But the choice doesn’t end there. There are also abundant options when it comes to dialogue and actions, and there are neat points where you can choose to be kind or act like an utter arsehole.

Slight spoiler alert, but I found myself drinking in an inn with no gold, and as such opted to beat up the innkeeper as I left rather than pay. He put up a decent fight, actually, but he was no match for Analander.

As the name suggests, magic also plays a huge part in the Sorcery! experience. The spellbook has 48 spells to master in total, but if that sounds a tad daunting, fear not; the six most important spells are listed separately at the beginning.

Another neat Sorcery! feature is the ability to rewind, crucial if you find yourself in a position with too little stamina for successful brawling, or maybe you just fancy checking out a different route.

The story is also written “on the fly”, expertly making references to choices you made earlier without feeling contrived or shoehorned.

Finally, there’s the excellent Sorcery! combat system. It’s highly unorthodox, and probably a little too complicated to go picking apart here, but trust me, after a few fights it’ll all fall into place.

And that’s Sorcery! for iOS. As I mentioned, this is just the first chapter, and with three more to come, I cannot wait to see what happens next. Bring on chapter two!

Pros

  • Tons of choice
  • The unique combat system
  • The “on the fly” storytelling

Cons

  • The combat system might initially be confusing for some

Summary: Sorcery! for iOS is an unashamedly geeky interactive story, packed with goblins, orcs, giants and more, and the level of choice means you’ll probably want to play through again as soon as you finish. Brilliant.

Developer: inkle

Price: £2.99 @ App Store

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Sorcery! iOS review

Read more about: Apple iPad 4Apple iPad miniApple iPhone 5Apple iPad 2Apple iPad 3Apple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4S

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