Sorcery! – iPad
Publisher: Inkle
Developer: Inkle
Release Date: May 2, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, RPG
Reviewed by Mark Smith

Review Score: 4 of 5

A long time ago I remember playing through a series of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain” was the first I believe, and it came out in 1982 just as I was graduating high school and prepping for college – the same time I was heavily into D&D. The concept was cool. You would read along and make decisions on what to do and the book would redirect you to a new page and paragraph to continue the story based on your actions. You could read/play each book numerous times and never have the same ending.

Well Steve is back and this time he’s taking this magical formula into the world of e-books with a new series of games, the first of which is Sorcery! Based on a series of four books, this new game franchise promises a whole new way to play pen and paper RPG’s…without the pen and paper. Mixing elements of reading (gasp!) and traditional board games, this interactive novel blends multiple gameplay elements into something wholly unique and original.

The game opens with a few paragraphs of text before dropping you onto a gorgeous map of the world not unlike the map of Middle Earth from the Lord of the Rings movies. You have a classic D&D style miniature figure that you can tap and move around the map to various blue-flag waypoints. Each new location will offer up new choices and path to carry you to the conclusion of your adventure.

Rather than rolling some virtual dice combat is handled through a unique slider system that allows you to either defend or choose the strength of your attack; almost like wagering how much power to use. There is also a fantastic spell system in place where you actually have to learn the three-letter combination to invoke a particular spell then choose those letters from a starry sky and align them in three holes in a parchment.

Sorcery requires a lot of reading and something else modern day gamers haven’t had to use in a while…their imagination. Steve Jackson is a great writer and paints vivid imagery for your mind without having to show it all on the screen. Regardless, the game does have some great art, both in the map and the various hand drawn images for combat, etc. While there isn’t any speech and only minimal sound effects, the music is quite enchanting and serves as a suitable backdrop for all the reading you’ll be doing.

If you have been looking for a new spin on the interactive fantasy novel then look no further than Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! This is a bold new approach to reading and gaming on the iPad and with more installments on the way, this is one series that you won’t want to miss.