Sorcery! 2 Review
- Dialogue and narrative are just as strong as in the first chapter.
- Cityport of Khare is dangerous, offering a real challenge.
- Combat, spellcasting, and decision-based gameplay are beautifully intertwined.
- New dice game is a welcome addition.
- Can be a little too unforgiving at times, forcing frequent backtracking.
A richer - and tougher - adventure than its predecessor, Sorcery! 2 is a visually engaging, brilliantly written continuation of Steve Jackson's interactive saga.
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Part two of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series has no time for altruism. If anything, the second chapter of Inkle's interactive repurposing of the '80s gamebook series is openly contemptuous of do-gooders.
I'm exploring the cityport of Khare, wandering through its cruel streets trying to reach the North Gate, and continue my quest to retrieve the Crown of Kings. The interface from the first chapter is back, complete with its handsome 3D map, alphabetical spellcasting system, and turn-based combat.
I drag my avatar towards the sound of animated voices. It turns out there's a festival in full swing. Small pages of text describe the scene to me, each paragraph stitching itself neatly to the last.
I am presented with options. Do I want to enter the Festival of Thieves, or turn around and go back the way I came? This is one of the hundreds of multiple choice questions upon which the adventure is built.
I reckon I've got enough stamina points to weather a scuffle or two, so I opt to proceed with caution.
After checking out some sideshow acts, I decide to enter a boxing match with an ogre. The creature is far bigger than me, but by gauging its reactions to determine when to strike and when to hold back, I emerge victorious. The combat system still feels a little random, but it's a decent replacement for rolling dice.
10 gold pieces richer, I saunter over to a small child standing near a cask of what appear to be rotten apples. It turns out the apples are rock solid, and I'm supposed to chuck them at his giggling sister. In a rare moment of compassion, I refuse to throw rocks at the young girl. The kid shrugs his shoulders and motions for me to leave. The reward for my act of kindness? Nothing. Nada. Zippo.
Curious to see how things could have played out, I rewind time using one of the red markers. These serve as savepoints which allow you to replay instances and recover from bad decisions and death.
I go through the conversation again, and this time decide to whip the apples at the child. My aim is true, and I whack her in the arm. Clearly approving of my act of random cruelty, the boy hands me a fresh apple, which replenishes my stamina points, freeing me up to cast more spells, and better tackle the sinister inhabitants of Khare.
What did I learn from this little escapade? Well, it turns out that Sorcery! 2 is a worthy follow-up to the first chapter. It's tougher than part one, and you may have to retrace your steps numerous times to get through the villain-ridden city alive. The new dice game is a welcome addition, and every waypoint yields fresh encounters and tough decisions.
Oh, and I learned that I'm a jerk who will throw fruit at kids for profit.
DescriptionAn epic adventure in a city of thieves, traps, and magic. Begin your adventure here! (Part 1 not required.)
*** Rock Paper Shotgun's best RPG of 2016 ***
"Another spectacular rendition of classic interactive fiction" - (Kotaku)
"Fantastic, and you should buy it" - 5/5 (Gamezebo)
"Bigger, better, stronger" - 4.5/5, Editor's Choice (148Apps)
Top 20 Mobile Game of 2013, Touch Arcade
Top 25 Mobile Game of 2013, Gamezebo
"I love this app... It’s better than any gamebook ever was in your head when you were a kid" - 5/5, Interactive Fiction Game of the Year (Pocket Tactics)
"With a seemingly endless number of outcomes, Sorcery 2 offers hours upon hours of gameplay... one of the best games of 2013, and adventure fans, you can't afford to miss it" - 5/5 (Examiner.com)
Dare you journey into the Kharé: the Cityport of Traps, a town of thieves and murderers on the brink of destruction?
+ Fully interactive story written on fly around on your actions and choices
+ Plot your own path down every street of the hand-drawn 3D city map
+ Go down into the sewers, aboard ship, or inside buildings with new interior maps
+ 3D spell-casting system: cast over 48 spells, with weird and wonderful story-changing effects
+ New gambling game: can you outwit the citizens of Kharé at Swindlestones?
+ Adapted from the best-selling gamebook series by legendary game designer Steve Jackson
+ Over thirty different monsters to fight with our unique strategic combat
+ More than double the content of Part 1: over 300,000 words, with 10,000 choices, and every one is remembered
+ Play as a male or female hero
+ Start your adventure from here - or load your characters from Part 1
"A terrific adventure - one fraught with danger, rich in atmosphere, and pleasingly flexible in terms of how you shape its twisting, twisted narrative" - 8/10 (Pocket Gamer)
"Wonderful for genre fans and novices alike" - 4.5/5 (TouchArcade)
"An excellent experience" - 90% (4Players.de)
Kharé is brimming with things to do and creatures to meet. Visit the Festival of Thieves, battle a ghost, escape from slavers, gamble your fortune at the Halls of Vlada, drink at the tavern, worship strange Gods, and much much more. Will you uncover the secrets of the city, overthrow the Council, destroy an invading army, or leave Kharé to burn?
From legendary designer Steve Jackson, co-founder of Lionhead Studios (with Peter Molyneux), and Fighting Fantasy and Games Workshop (with Ian Livingstone), and designed and adapted by inkle, the app uses inklewriter technology to tell your journey in real-time, shaping the story around your choices. The text itself changes based on how you play and what you do. In combat, the action is described on the fly based on how you play.
Featuring original illustrations by John Blanche and maps by Mike Schley (Wizards of the Coast).
"Kharé: Cityport of Traps" is Part 2 of 4. Part 1 is out now and Part 3, "The Seven Serpents", is coming later this year. (But while you wait, check out our new game, 80 DAYS.)