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Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Adventure

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! is a game of interactive fiction that started in 1983 as a book. Now inkle brings us the iOS version of the narrative for $4.99. Sorcery makes you an adventurer on an epic quest to save the king's crown. You'll meet many people and creatures, some of whom will be helpful and some will be harmful. Playing Sorcery reminds me of my time spent in Dungeons & Dragons, and I really enjoyed it.


The visuals aren't a huge feature of the game. They're simple but very nice drawings. There are no 3D models or special effects, just good storytelling through visuals as well as text. The illustrations are very detailed and provide a great window in the fantastic world of Steve Jackson's Sorcery!


The sound effects in Sorcery are superb with lots of great ambient noises. I play while walking often, and I repeatedly looked around wondering what was making the noises around me before realizing that they were in the game. Between voices, laughter, the wind, animals, and more, I felt very immersed in the world of Sorcery.


Most of the game takes place in what I'll call scenes. There's text you can scroll through to read with choices available at the bottom. Sometimes these choices will be actions you can take and other times they'll be dialogue choices. Your choices will shape the direction of the story.

As with any good adventure, sometimes you'll run into monsters or enemies. This is when it's time for combat! An attack power bar on the left displays how much power you have. You're on the left of the screen, and the enemy is on the right. Each turn, you can drag your character to the right. The farther right you drag, the more powerful your attack will be. If you leave your character on the left, he'll defend. Whoever uses the stronger attack will win that round and damage the other. If you attacked and lost, you'll lose more health than if you were defending. In addition, the stronger your attack, the power attack power you'll lose from your bar. Defending will allow you to regain attack power. The strategy seems to be to attempt to beat the enemy each round while using as little attack power as possible.

Outside of these scenes is a world map with various flags indicating scene choices. Sometimes you may have only one while other times you could have multiple. For example, when you see a town you might have "enter the town" and "go around the town." You can also touch an old flag to rewind the story to that spot. This is a great feature because with it, Steve Jackson's Sorcery allows you to freely explore the story if you want.

There are a few other minor gameplay mechanics as well such as rations, gold, and magic. I used magic very little, but that was probably due to personal preference. You can check your spell book from the world map, but when it comes time to cast a spell, you don't get to see the spell book. You cast spells by selecting three letters, and this is done by dragging constellations. Not only was this difficult, but I also failed to remember what letters cast what spells. I preferred using my sword anyways!


Steve Jackson's Sorcery provides a very fun story in a great package. It's a lot like classic RPGs but without grindy mechanics. Sorcery is like other RPGs if those RPGs had been boiled down to what makes them special - an interactive story. I love the ability to rewind as well. If you don't like your current path, rewind. But remember, sometimes it's fun to live with the consequences of your choices. It's available on the iTunes App Store for $4.99. I really enjoyed Sorcery and would highly recommend it.


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