Sorcery! 2 Is A Pretty Adventure In A Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy [Review]


Sorcery! 2

It’s been a little while since I reviewed a fantasy game with a branching plot, so I picked up Sorcery! 2, a new title from developer Inkle Studios and designer Steve Jackson, co-founder of Lionhead Studios (maker of the Fable series of role-playing games for Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles) and writer of the gamebooks on which this franchise is based. Not the Steve Jackson who created the GURPS tabletop RPG platform, but that’s an amazing coincidence.

Sorcery! 2 by Inkle Studios
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $4.99

Sorcery! 2 is the second (duh) in what will be a four-part adventure series, and it’s equal parts visual novel, RPG, and gamebook. And it all takes place in a beautiful, hand-drawn world with multiple paths and interesting old men to talk to. I mean, I don’t think you only talk to old men, but I spent about an hour with the game, and I did talk to some old men of varying crotchetiness. And a restauranteur who may or may not have been a star-spawn of Cthulhu.

Why haven’t you downloaded this yet?

I hadn’t played the first Sorcery!, but this one tells you everything you need to know: Your character has just been on an adventure, and now they’re going to Kharé, a sword-and-sorcery version of Star Wars’ Mos Eisley. So now we’re all caught up. You move your character around by dragging them around on a map screen; it looks, cleverly enough, like you’re moving a piece on a game board. It presents you with choices as to where to go (e.g. turning left or right, going into buildings, etc.), and every once in a while, you’ll stop and talk to somebody. And then sometimes you will fight them.

The combat involves a bit of strategy: You drag your character towards your opponent to set the strength of your swing, or you can defend. The game will punish you for trying to go all brute force all the time; your character will lose strength. Blocking lets you save energy for a bigger hit next round. It’s all a nice break from the dialogue and choices of road forks, which are interesting, don’t get me wrong, but variety is usually a good thing.

Why haven’t you downloaded this yet?

You won’t really find a “wrong” way to play Sorcery! 2 because it’s basically fine with whatever you want to do. You may find clues for exploring different paths, or you can take a more direct approach. I ran into one jarring situation, however, when narration didn’t quite match my choice. I’d snuck into a prison to talk to the old man in there because this game is seriously loaded with old men. I’d gone in willingly, but later on in the scene, the story told me I’d been arrested. It took me out a bit, but it didn’t last long.

But hiccups like this are rare, and Sorcery! 2 is an interesting, dynamic, and fun game well worth your time.

Sorcery! 2Game Name: : Sorcery! 2
The Good: Excellent art, fun and varied gameplay, and interesting decisions to make.
The Bad: The plot and decisions don’t always mesh perfectly.
The Verdict: It’s a pretty and interesting take on gamebooks with plenty to do. So yeah, go ahead and buy it.
Buy from: App Store