ReviewsReview: Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

Review: Steve Jackson’s Sorcery!

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Random chance RPG stories are a phenomenal way to waste many hours. These enthralling tales take you on a roller-coaster adventure while driving you insane. No matter how much you plan, or how good you are, luck always plays a big part. Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is one such game that’ll have you hooked from the off.

Developed by Inkle and published by No Gravity Games, this is an action-adventure role-playing title. Based on the massively popular 4 book gaming series, this will have a strong fanbase. However, things are improved thanks to the experience of the development team. As a consequence, anyone that tackles this game will have a unique and thrilling experience.

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! has countless decisions to make.
Which option will you choose?

Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is a truly epic experience.

This is one genre that rarely disappoints. If you love fantasy settings and massively wild stories, then you won’t regret a thing. As such, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! offers a truly epic experience. Combining the emotional and lore-enriched world with a wonderful hand-drawn aesthetic creates something special. From the off, I adored the gritty characters, the excellent writing, and the seedy world I explored. The dark kingdom is full of danger, evil monsters, and quests. Accordingly, you’ll have plenty of decisions to make that alter the course of each playthrough.

The story focuses on 4 different chapters. However, there is a central theme that runs through each element. You control a hero who must wield a sword, cast magic, and charm his foes. He is sent on an adventure to retrieve the crown of Kings. As he undertakes his journey, he will explore caves, woodlands, cities, and vast wildernesses. En route, you must choose your path, decide which tasks to complete, and set your moral compass. Whatever you decide will impact your life. Therefore, you must be wise and accept your decisions. If you fail, or luck is not on your side, you will die and your adventure will be over.

Do you have the luck to win?
Not every adventure end in fighting and death.

Decisions matter. 

Like the adventure novels by Steve Jackson or Ian Livingstone, you soon realise that every decision truly matters. Whether you focus on magic, melee weapons, or purchasing rations, each choice will haunt you. What’s more, the game evolves as your relationships develop. Consequently, a malicious and hateful man will be feared, whereas a kind soul may be manipulated and controlled.

What I loved was how well the action flowed from chapter to chapter. Alongside this, I enjoyed the freedom to explore the kingdom at my pace. With many secrets hiding in plain sight, you never knew what to expect. Furthermore, you may miss large areas because of your lack of skills or the relationships you have formed. Accordingly, every playthrough is unique and intriguing.

No adventure fantasy fighting game would be complete without combat. Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! delivers this in spades as you maul your foes, slay them with magic, or charm your way to freedom. This stamina-based encounter is remarkably simple but complex enough to challenge you. If you focus on the arcane arts, you must pick your spell, spend your stamina, and observe the fallout. Alternatively, you can choose to attack or defend your opponent as you battle to the death. Of course, a passive approach can be taken as you lie, cheat, and trick your enemies. Whatever you choose, they beautifully support the story and the adventure you undertake.

Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is beautifully presented.

Without a doubt, Inkle has worked its magic with the story and the aesthetics. The table-top world is awash with sepia tones and rich colours. This is then enhanced by the excellent character models and the basic combat animation. Moreover, the vast amount of text is beautifully presented and easy to read. What amazed me most was how perfectly the developers brought the books to life. However, they added their twist to the gameplay, and this made it a bit more special.

Alongside the incredible visuals was dramatic audio. The soundtrack is wonderfully varied and is reminiscent of other major fantasy games. I cherished every emotive song and enjoyed how it added energy to the text-focused gameplay. On top of this, there are some interesting sound effects. Accordingly, the combat sounds brutal, and the magic is dreamy and surreal.

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! has a wonderfully simple combat system.
Fight to the death.

Excellent controls and UI. 

Originally ported from PC, I was concerned it would be fiddly and complicated. Yet, I needn’t have worried as it is easy to play. With a great UI and straightforward tutorial, you understand the basics immediately. However, many advanced points require trial and error and this was fantastic. Therefore, you never become too comfortable with it, which adds to the drama.

Understandably, a fantasy adventure title with many plot branches will be long-winded. Consequently, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! oozes replay value and longevity. Because of its many secrets and varied opponents, no playthrough is the same. This is amazing if you love the genre, as you’ll get the maximum out of each chapter. Consequently, this represents fantastic value for money as there are many hours of gameplay to experience.

Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is phenomenal.

If you enjoy fighting fantasy books, then you’ll love Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! Every element of this game captures the brilliance of Steve Jackson’s work. The environment and characters are fantastic and the writing is some of the best I’ve seen. Furthermore, it looks amazing and delivers drama at every turn. Subsequently, I can easily recommend that you buy it here! Can you find the crown and save your people from the archmage? Choose your path, make your decisions, and live with the consequences. 

SUMMARY

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! is a fantastic text-based RPG adventure. You must pick your path, make multiple decisions, and live with the consequences. Subsequently, it is a massive game that is full of surprises and secrets. Therefore, you'll lose yourself in a wonderful computerised rendition of Steve Jackson's epic world.


+ Excellent graphics.
+ A nice colour palette.
+ Dramatic audio.
+ A simple UI.
+ Easy to understand controls.
+ Plenty of lore.
+ Masses of replay value.

- The text-heavy approach may be off-putting for some.

(Rating: PEGI 7 Implied Violence Release date: 23/06/2022 Price: £20.99)


(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Steve Jackson's Sorcery!<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Steve Jackson's Sorcery!</em> is a fantastic text-based RPG adventure. You must pick your path, make multiple decisions, and live with the consequences. Subsequently, it is a massive game that is full of surprises and secrets. Therefore, you'll lose yourself in a wonderful computerised rendition of Steve Jackson's epic world.</p><br/> + Excellent graphics.<br/> + A nice colour palette.<br/> + Dramatic audio.<br/> + A simple UI.<br/> + Easy to understand controls.<br/> + Plenty of lore.<br/> + Masses of replay value.<br/> <br/> - The text-heavy approach may be off-putting for some.<br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 7 Implied Violence <b>Release date:</b> 23/06/2022 <b>Price:</b> £20.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>