Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! (2016) is a four-part series of choose-your-own-adventure game set in a world full of weird magic. You play a lone adventurer who must cross the wilds to recover the crown, armed only with a sword, a spell book and the power to choose which path you take. Unlike the classic Fighting Fantasy books, the scope of choices on offer and deep role-play mechanics and puzzles make this stand out while staying true to a handwritten adventure.
Play involves making choices about where to go, who to speak to and how much stamina to put into attacking enemies. At each point, you need to pay attention to the well-written text. Before combat, you need to pick up on hints about your opponent's health and actions so as to pick the right attacks and not put in (and waste) more stamina than you need.
As you progress you learn to make use of magic. This comes at a stamina cost as well but can offer new and efficient ways to dispatch enemies or find a way forward. From launching fireballs, mind-control or even turning into a giant, learning the letter combinations for the spells is both entertaining and useful.
Throughout, the writing and reading that is centre stage. For example, you can find responses that trick enemies, distract foes or even let you cheat your way out of a tricky situation. Unlike other choice-based narratives, here there is a real sense of investigation and discovery of almost endless options.
The result is a highly refined adventure that is both simple and deep. The systems don't have you wading through stats and numbers, but the writing and the breadth of options and choices make it feel like an epic experience.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! 17 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.