Top Critic Average
Inkle is fast becoming one of my favorite studios. 80 Days was excellent. Sorcery is much the same, forsaking the off-kilter Victorian Age for a more cliched land of swords and spells and knavery—and yet, by some combination of Inkle's own talents and Steve Jackson's original source, managing to wring some truly compelling ideas from the game's thin sword-and-board pretenses.
inkle has two Sorcery! books down and two more to go. If there's anything to complain about it would be the wait between installments- the third book (The Seven Serpents) can't get here fast enough.
Steve Jackson's Sorcery! can seem like a small game, with a focused player able to get through the two included chapters of the quest for the Crown of Kings in a little more than three hours, but there's enough depth in the world to support two or three campaigns.
Sorcery smartly updates only the gameplay side of its source material, allowing the original writing to shine through. Though likely too simplistic for hardcore gamers, players looking for a quiet, absorbing role-playing experience will find much to enjoy.
By wrapping classical adventure writing in a thoroughly modern play experience, inkle have turned Sorcery! into a great testament to the power and place of text in gaming's canon.
Sorcery! Parts 1 & 2 has a great story through and through, and the weight of the various choices and potential outcomes does, indeed, feel very heavy and involved. If nothing else, this will be worthwhile to play purely as a story. However, its short length is its real weak point, as the adventure will be over too soon, but at least there is the chance to try all of the various other paths to add some longevity.
Sorcery! Parts 1 & 2 is an enjoyable enough attempt to recreate the gamebook experience and, as such, is more suitable to players familiar with the format and its inherent limitations, or those that are more interested in following a well-written fantasy than exploring a fictional world.
Sorcery! Parts 1 and 2 is the reincarnation of a classic game from a classic era. While the new polish is inspiring and makes it much more more accessible to a newer audience, there are still a number of issues that arise from its dated design.
When it comes to gameplay, Sorcery! won't be taxing for anyone. While the melee and magic combat don't shine on their own, they support the text adventure side of the game well, breaking up the extended periods of reading. Doesn't try to be an epic adventure, and will entertain over an afternoon.