Steve Jackson’s fantasy adventure continues in Sorcery! 2 on iOS. Sorcery! is a four-part adventure, published by Inkle, in which players make tens of thousands of choices, thus creating their own story along the way. The game allows players to cast spells, engage in combat, and communicate with the story’s characters in whatever way they choose.
Sorcery! features beautiful hand-drawn maps and characters that create a genuine fairy tale feel. The player chooses either a male or female character that remains stationary as they traverse across the map. The chosen character looks like a hand-drawn tabletop figure. Movement of the player appears to be modeled after moving a pawn around a game board. These visuals are endearing and fit very well in a mobile game.
Since the game has similar aspects to visual novels and other written-narrative driven games, I feel like the sounds need to create a sensation of immersion in the story to be told. The sounds of hustle and bustle when moving through the city of Kharé fits well with the atmosphere created. The tonal changes during intense story peaks carry weight as well.
On the world map, players will plot their own course to progress. The story is highly interactive, creating a natural story progression in which decisions weigh heavily on context clues and player ideals. The sword duels feel slightly boring for what they are. Sliding the player towards the enemy varying amounts produces different attack strengths and may leave the character exposed for attack. Often times, I just guessed when to attack during combat and came out on top. Sorcery! offers 48 magic spells that can be utilized throughout the story. By selecting three symbols or letters from the sky, the character may cast a spell of varying effect. I found it very hard to decide when a spell was necessary, and when I could just talk my way out of situation. I suppose this is just a way of furthering the decision making depth of the game, but I felt I needed more clear instruction for spells. Those who have played Part One will notice the new Swindlestones mini-game within. This dice game is all about lies and deceit, but can be very confusing to understand at first. I lost many games of Swindlestones due to the simple fact that I could not truly grasp the concept of the game.
I must say, I love decision based games. Sorcery! really hits the spot for me as a gamer and I love the amount of decisions I am able to make. These decisions are meaningful and change the overall story quite a bit. This is a game that left me anxiously waiting for the remaining two parts of the series. My only complaints are derived from the confusing Swindlestones game and the dry combat.
Sorcery! 2 definitely deserves the rating of 8.75 out of 10. Players who seek an engaging and unique story driven by their own choices will not be disappointed by any means.