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Categorized | Game Reviews, Reviews

Sorcery! 2 Continues the Story in Epic Fantasy Style

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 9:47 am by Amanda Andonian

sorcery-2

Like any good fantasy RPG, Scorcery! follows the basic quest structure of an adventurer gathering clues and items to help them along the way towards saving the realm. In this case, you’re either a warrior or a magic user who’s been tasked with the job of finding the Crown of Kings, a powerful magical artifact that’s been stolen by the Archmage of Mampang Fortress. In order to stop him from abusing the power of the Crown, you have to travel through dangerous lands and track it down, preventing the Archmage from plunging the realm into all-out war.

Developed by inkle Studios, the first installment of Sorcery! has been out for a while; and the second part of the story, Khare: Cityport of Traps, hit the App Store about a month ago. Continuing your quest, you’ll find yourself trying to navigate through the corrupt city of Khare, locked within its gates unless you can gather all of the lines of a poem that will allow you to pass freely through. Where the first Sorcery! was concerned mostly with setting up the world, Sorcery! 2 is all about your investigative skills and whether you can make the right choice in tracking down each clue to the gate’s key.

The choose your own adventure style is fun to read initially, but can become frustrating when trying to guide your character down a specific path. Make the wrong choice and you’ll go an entirely different direction than you intended, or just up and die. You always have the opportunity to rewind and try again, but going through the same scenes over and over in an essentially text-based game can grow tiring. Granted it’s the same with any game where you have to start over from your last checkpoint; but as much as I love to read a good story, not even my favorite book can make an enjoyable experience out of reading the same single paragraph ten times over.

Since it’s a choose your own adventure type of game and there’s many paths to choose from, you could get quite a bit of playability out of Sorcery! if you want to see what all the possible paths are. One advantage of sticking with your first play through, however, is that you can import your progress from Sorcery! into Sorcery! 2, thus keeping all of your inventory items across installments of the game. Aside from inventory items, I’m not entirely sure if your progress in the first game affects what happens in the second game (a la Mass Effect), but not having to start from scratch in terms of your gold and weapons is a nice touch.

My favorite part of the game, however, was the spellcasting system. There are dozens of possible spells you can cast, each of which is a three letter word that sort of indicates what it does. You choose each letter out of a sparkly sphere of possible letter combinations, then (if you have enough stamina) cast the spell. Some require special items in order to work, and since your spell book is a pretty large tome, it’s mind-boggling how much stuff you need to become a truly adept magic user. Depending on the situation and moon phase, etc., you have different spell options. Since I have no intention of memorizing 40+ spells (or of flipping through the spell book every time I need to cast one), I enjoyed experimenting with which spells were actually at my disposal.

Although I haven’t read the actual Sorcery! books, I imagine that this iOS adaptation is probably quite accurate as it relies upon your own choices for each development in the story, as well as your imagination in fleshing out the experience. For fans of RPGs and Steve Jackson Games, this is a nice diversion into a classical fantasy setting with gorgeous original artwork from John Blanche (who illustrated the Sorcery! books) and character art by Eddie Sharam of DC comics. This is definitely a game for the more patient fantasy fan, but definitely worth a look for those of you who miss the old days of fantasy RPGs.

The first two installments, Sorcery! and Sorcery! 2, are available now, though you’ll have to wait a little longer to see the end of the story once the last two installments are eventually released. It’s only available on iOS right now, but it should be coming to Android soon. If you have an iPad, I recommend playing Sorcery! on that so as to better see the terrific artwork (and not have to read the story in 10 point font).

Presentation: 9
Gameplay: 8
Replay Value: 7
Legacy Score: 8.3

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

This review is based on the retail copies of Sorcery! and Sorcery! 2 available on iOS.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

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