Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! promises to be a fine addition to your iOS storybook collection.
Back in the early 80s, Steve Jackson created a four-part gamebook series entitled Sorcery! that took readers/players on an epic quest for a powerful artifact called the Crown of Kings. Now that tale of action and adventure is coming to the 21st century thanks to a team-up with developer inkle, which is recreating that four-part series as a gamebook for iOS devices.
Sorcery! will unfold as a four-part storybook, but it won’t be a straight-up adaptation. The game will be “massively expanded” beyond the original storybook, with dozens of locations to explore and thousands of decisions to make. Everything you do has the potential to change the direction of the story, and even the combat is “written on the fly” as the game unfolds, according to inkle Creative Director Jon Ingold. “Sorcery! was a gamebook when we started, but now it’s something entirely new,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s ever made a game like this before.”
Players will choose their own route across a gorgeous, hand-drawn 3D map and explore a “massively ‘branchy'” storyline. Nearly 50 magical spells are on tap, while warriors who prefer a more physical approach will enjoy the unique, “simple but deep” sword-fighting system designed specifically for touch-screen devices. Every enemy in the game has a unique strategy and weaknesses that must be exploited for victory to be achieved, and a procedurally-generated writing system describes all the action as it happens.
But the story is the rub, and possibly even more compelling than the swords and sorcery are the “moral tests that can make or break a hero.” Every decision is recorded and remembered, and the series will grow more complex and difficult as the story progresses toward its ultimate conclusion.
The first part of the Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! series, “The Shamuntanti Hills,” is scheduled to hit the App Store in early May, while part two, “Kharé: Cityport of Traps,” is expected to follow in the summer.