Sorcery Hands-On Preview

Based on the popular Fighting Fantasy gamebooks released in the 80s, Sorcery by Steve Jackson Games returns as a dynamic iOS game. The team at Inkle spent some time with us at PAX to show us how this new Sorcery experience works.

The app blurs the lines between e-books, tabletop RPGs, and videogames. This hodgepodge of genres has allowed Inkle to create an exciting experience that is shaping up quite nicely.

The story unfolds on a large beautiful fantasy map with rich, flowing text describing your journey. The player will be faced with a series of pathways to choose from, and events will unfold as make your across the map that will change dynamically based on your choices.

The original books required the player to use dice rolls for combat, but the combat system built into this adventure isn’t based on dice. Instead, it’s based on how you measure up your foe. The combat is a test of stamina, and it requires the player to choose how powerful their attack will be versus the enemy’s attack. Either combatant may also choose to defend, which will still allow a small amount of damage.

stevejacksonsorceryOnce you’ve determined how your enemy fights, you can use a sliding power scale to launch attacks and hopefully break their defenses. The system is unique and features flowing combat text as the battles unfold. This isn’t just flavor text– the story of your battle may help you learn how to defeat an enemy.

And what would a game called Sorcery be without spells? Sorcery features a large spellbook that players can learn from and use to their advantage. One example we saw in the demo was a spell that saved our character from a seriously high fall. Be aware that Sorcery has consequences. For example, you may want to think twice before casting a fire spell in a field if you don’t want to set that field ablaze.

It’s hard to call Sorcery a game, because it seems like so much more than that. We’ll have more information for you when the game launches in the coming months.

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