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Sorcery! 2

by Steve Jackson and inkle

Episode 2 of Steve Jackson's Sorcery!
Fantasy, RPG

Web Site

(based on 18 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

Per the first game in this series, this is an adaptation of a print-based game book originally published in 1983, updated for modern touch-screen devices. The player quests across a fantasy map (this time of a single city, versus the first game's rolling countryside), dealing with all sorts of encounters using a text-based choice system. Character stats, a turn-based combat mini-game, and a rules-bending magic system all add twists to the tale.

From the game's App Store description:

"Khar� 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 Khar� 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 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 description on the fly based on how you play.

Featuring original illustrations by John Blanche and maps by Mike Schley (Wizards of the Coast)."

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: inklewriter
IFID: Unknown
TUID: a3559c86fe59c4on


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Number of Reviews: 3
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Hive of scum and villainy, January 26, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
The second part of this series is where the changes of the digital and book versions really start becoming larger. First off, there is a mini-game introduced called Swindle stones. Its basically a gambling dice game that you can play with various characters in certain locations. Its an opportunity to win more gold and even information so its worth playing it from time to time.

The goal of this step of the journey is to get through the city port to get to the Baklands. This isnt easy, not only because Khare has a higher crime rate than Detroit, but because you have to learn four spell lines which are each held by a different noble in the city. Of course youll have to figure out who these nobles are and where to find them in this big city.

This is made a little easier than it was in the original books since theres a bit more backtrack allowance around the city. One particular large area you have a lot of freedom to move around at is the festival area of the city. Still, even if you somehow miss spell lines during your march towards the north gates of the city, youll get another chance, but more on that later.

Besides the nobles youre supposed to seek out, theres a wide variety of characters to interact with as is fitting of an urban setting. The most notable one youll hear about or even meet is Vik. You might have even heard of him in during the Shamutanti Hills chapter. In the original book, he doesnt play as much of a role, but name dropping him can help in a lot of situations as everyone seems to like him. In this version however hes a bit more of a sinister figure. You can certainly still gain him as an ally, but its a little tougher.

Flanker also pops up again if you spared him (As he does in the original book). Flankers a bit more directly helpful in this book as well.

Most of the locations you can go to are the same, with a few extras. One major location in the original which was nothing but a time wasting stamina drain were the sewers if you should be unfortunate enough to fall or get thrown into them. This maze area of the game was really tedious though it could be avoided. Same thing here though the mapping system at least allows for you to see more readily where youre going. Still something you probably want to avoid though. You can also lose your spirit animal here and it be replaced by one of the gods or even an angry spirit.

So as you get closer to the north gate, youll discover one major thing which wasnt in the original book. One of two things is going to happen and it all depends on if you have the four spell lines. If you dont then you get the option of going back in time to find the lines you didnt learn. This isnt like the traditional rewind that you can automatically do within the game. This is built into the story itself. Whether you have to go back in time or you got it right the first time around, having all four lines allows you to go through the gates and get the more traditional ending.

Of course you could just ignore all that and exit the city without the four spell lines. Doing this however changes the ending. Quite a bit to the point where it follows you into the next part of the journey.

Regardless of what you do, the situation with the north gate is a lot more forgiving than the original book which gave you a non-standard ending if you didnt have the lines. (And a death ending if you said them in the wrong order)

Overall, the changes to this one in comparison to the original werent bad and for the most part welcome. While some of these changes made the game easier, there might have been a couple parts where the changes actually made the game harder than the original, but then again it isnt considered one of the most dangerous cities for nothing.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Fantastic gamebook adaptation, July 24, 2018
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
I wasn't blown away by the first Sorcery! That game hewed very closely to the standard gamebook format: you traverse a garden of forking paths by making unmotivated choices ("go left or go right") towards a predestined end. To its credit, it managed to be quite a bit more merciful than the original books while keeping the charm of such adventures intact; but all in all, it wasn't precisely a shining example of game design. I hesitated for a bit about whether I wanted to buy the second part as well. I'm very happy I did.

On the surface, Sorcery! 2 looks a lot like the first game. Combat works in the same way, there is still the same rather cumbersome magic system, and you still drag your character across a nicely drawn map. This time, the map is a of a city and we also get maps of the interiors of buildings and even of a sewer system; but that alone need not make a major difference.

In other ways, however, Sorcery! 2 differs markedly from its predecessor. Most importantly, instead of the uninspiring quest of getting to the other side of the map, we are now tasked with finding four missing nobles, each of whom knows one line of a crucial spell. Successfully completing this mission requires the accumulation of many hints and clues which allow us to slowly understand what is happening in the city. Combined with a game mechanic -- I won't spoil it -- that allows the player to traverse the city almost at liberty, what we have is much less a traditional gamebook structure and much more an interactive investigation in which the player can make informed choices about where to go next. The plot is good; the sense of discovery is real; and finding all the clues feels very satisfying.

It also helps that the game is much, much bigger than the first game. I assume that the makers felt more free to take liberties with the source material, because there is no way all this content could have fitted into the original book. There is so much to discover, there are so many pieces of the story to fit together, and there are so many opportunities to just have fun in the game (including by challenging people to play the excellent little mini-game Swindlestones), that Sorcery! 2 will keep you busy for quite some time.

To a certain extent, the aims of the game are limited. This is still very much a sword&sorcery fantasy yarn with much emphasis on plot and adventure and very little on emotional or philosophical depth. But I find it hard to imagine a game that would more successfully combine the sensibilities of a fantasy gamebook with those of the modern player. Coupled with my intense enjoyment of the experience, that leads to a 5-star rating. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Wow! A hardcore fantasy CYOA with beautiful graphics and dnd module vibe, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours
I love this game. Travel through the city of Khare using a beautiful 3d map and posable figurine. This city is a den of thieves, traps, liars, sorcerors, the undead, and worse. A stew pot of evil where the weak are mercilessly worn down, you must find a way to leave the city, or to save it.

By far the longest CYOA I have played. Allows unlimited rewinds to undo any number of actions. Innovative combat and gambling systems. Spells that you cast with 3 letter combinations with available letters changing at different locations. God's to serve, people to kill or save.

High fantasy at its best. Very strongly recommended.

If you enjoyed Sorcery! 2...

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by jakomo on 10 October 2016 at 2:22pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item