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Open Sorcery

by Abigail Corfman profile

Episode 1 of Open Sorcery
Science Fiction
2016

Web Site

(based on 64 ratings)
5 reviews

About the Story

You are online.

You are fire and order.

You are here to protect.

----

"Open Sorcery" is a game about technology, magic and becoming a person.

It follows the development of an Elemental Firewall--a creature of intertwined magic and code.

There are 90,000 words of text, five animated sequences, and eight possible endings.

In this game you can:

* Search for malicious spirits
* Protect your network
* Make friends
* Burn everything
* Learn
* Dream
* Become sapient


Game Details


Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Winner, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation; Nominee, Best Use of Multimedia - 2016 XYZZY Awards

21st Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2023 edition)

Editorial Reviews

80% Relatable
Two Queers Play Open Sorcery
What happens when a fire elemental with emerging sentience is tasked with becoming a living firewall? Turns out: a whole lotta gay. Yeah, we didn't see it coming, either.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(46)
4 star:
(14)
3 star:
(2)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Stupendous use of Twine, very engaging!, December 22, 2016
by Hanon Ondricek (United States)

I'm late to the party on this one, as I've heard spectacular reviews, and first encountered Corfman's clever ...Ways to Kill a Vampire in IFComp.

This narrative is even better, weaving cyberpunk, horror, some incredibly moving scenes expressed very simply, and a quest arc that involves gathering powers that can be used in the finale.

It has a bit of a Choice of Games feel, where you gather stats to funnel into the correct ending, but this felt a bit more immediate and engaging with just enough formatting and multimedia glitz that does not come off as excessive or superfluous.

The finale is timed and that gives a sense of terrified urgency, but I didn't feel like the time limit was imposed to make me click faster. (Spoiler - click to show)My playthrough ended unsuccessfully, but I think that was more a matter of I hadn't learned enough during the buildup, and became more of "what else can I try?" instead of "I don't have enough time to do this." Cleverly, the game foreshadows this with a smaller timed sequence earlier on. Seeing as I lost, the game gave me the satisfying option of hurling myself at the boss in a redemptive (although sadly unsuccessful) kamikaze effort.

The timed finale feels very earned and satisfying, even on a fail, and I am actually planning to try this again soon. The game remembers your progress via a browser cookie and doesn't make you start completely over which is a huge plus.

Great game. Should be attempted by everyone who wonders how to create a Twine that actually has legitimate gaming elements.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Outstanding fantasy/sci fi blend. Lengthy illustrated twine game., May 16, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game plays out over the course of several days in-game, perhaps a week. It is quite large, on the order of size of Twine games like Birdland, but feels a bit smaller than Spy Intrigue. I have played it once, but it seems to have high replay value.

The visuals on this game are gorgeous, especially when sleeping. The font, letter spacing, and color choices give a DOS type feel. The game is sprinkled with occasional images and animation.

You play a living firewall, an elemental charged with protecting a magic/tech network with 4 locations.

You are presented with a sequence of mysteries, one a day, which you use clues to solve. You can then deal with the mystery in many ways, raising and lowering various stats a la choice of games.

The game includes several times sequences, some violence and some sexual activity.

My only quibble is about one image, and it's a tiny issue: (Spoiler - click to show)I didn't like the illustration of the main antagonist, I thought it was cheesy.<\spoiler>

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Good, May 11, 2016

This is very good interactive fiction. There is much more decision-making than there is in the average IF game, with multiple locations and days.

You play to find and eliminate spiritual threats in locations of importance to your creators, and the way you eliminate them is up to you - this aspect of the game is quite tactical, allowing you to use assets and your own wits to gain more of those assets to employ in dangerous situations later.

The only complaint I can think of is the expanded version. I am not sure what "Expanded" means in this case, but if it means it is a more immersive experience then I find it irritating that I don't have an iPhone or android to download and play this "Expanded version".

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See All 5 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Open Sorcery:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible stories of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Story in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Games of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

The Best Games of 1st Half of 2016 by Anya Johanna DeNiro
Sometimes by the end of the year and after the Comp it's hard to keep front-and-center the games that appeared earlier in the year! Here is a place to list what has tickled your fancy so far. One vote per game only please.

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