Posts Tagged ‘Sorcery!’

Inkle’s Heaven’s Vault: a stunning sci-fi archaeology adventure

With 80 Days and Sorcery, Inkle have made some of our favourite games of recent years, but Heaven’s Vault [official site] might just be their greatest achievement yet. It’s early days, of course, but a half hour play session at GDC has already convinced me that this science fiction adventure is a very exciting thing indeed. It’s a game about exploring the past, in the future, through archaeology and translation, and it has a remarkable sense of wonder.

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John’s Favourite Games Of 2016

One of my favourite things about end of year lists on RPS is they never match the personal list of any individual writer. They’re a compromise between us all, an erratic, uncoordinated vote where consensus sees games of real worth rising to the top and filling our annual advent calendar. It makes for a list that’s far more broad and useful to the largest number of readers. And because it’s driven by nothing other than what we’ve all enjoyed that year is equally likely to be filled with the tripliest of As and the most obscure of indies. Still though, it leaves me wanting to say, “But! But there are THESE games too!” So below is my list of my favourite games of 2016, far less useful to far fewer readers, but goodness me, a collection of games that deserve adulation. Read the rest of this entry »

The 10 most intriguing PC gaming trends of 2016

As December approaches like a runaway sled and we prepare to say our goodbyes to 2016, it’s natural to reflect on the year as a whole. Those reflections could easily take the form of laments but we’re keeping our focus firmly on the world of PC games, where we’ve identified ten trends that may not have defined 2016, but have certainly helped to shape it. We delve into Sorcery and synthwave, DOOM and Danganronpa, and much more besides.

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How Little Choices Make Sorcery! Feel Epic

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Sorcery! [official site].

From Warlock of Firetop Mountain on I was pretty much obsessed with the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Of course I was: they presented richly drawn fantasies in which I could play a part, my imagination spinning on their words and illustrations. (My favourite illustrator? Obviously Russ Nicholson.) Inkle’s Sorcery! series, four text-based games adapted from Fighting Fantasy co-creator Steve Jackson’s original gamebooks, capture all that made Fighting Fantasy special and add a magical extra: the dynamism of videogames.

In fact, Sorcery! often feels more dynamic and alive than videogames. As you progress through the books, your adventure keeps getting richer, the world more responsive to your passage. It’s partly down to the increasing freedom you have to explore, but more, it’s because each book is filled with choices that feel like they have consequence; that the game is watching and remembers your every move. Sorcery! is fluid and feels player-directed, and yet it’s strongly authored. It’s like Steve Jackson is writing it for you as you play, reacting to your every action.

There’s no AI here, though. Sorcery!’s magic is down to a system that’s far simpler, but yet results in at least as much intricacy. This fantasy epic is actually just a lot of:

THE MECHANIC: Little choices

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Wot I Think: Sorcery! Part 4

With Part 4, Inkle’s triumphant Sorcery! series [official site] reaches its conclusion. It’s still sourcing its core tale from the Steve Jackson classics, but having taken wonderful leaps away to include its own far more elaborate possibilities. And the trajectory of each game being better than the last is not broken in this fourth release, the best yet, and indeed one I now feel comfortable calling one of the finest RPGs ever made. This is spectacular. Here’s wot I think:

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Hexed: Sorcery! Part 4 Delayed To Next Week

If you’ve been expecting to get home today and play the conclusion of Sorcery [official site], Inkle’s adaptation of the Steve Jackson gamebooks, er, bad news. Inkle announced at short notice that Part 4 will be delayed by one week, to September 22nd. Still, this gives you a week to get your robes cleaned and prepare for a launch day feast of peeled grapes (spooky eyeballs), sticky spaghetti (icky worms), tapioca pearls (eyes of newt), and cocktails topped with dry ice.

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Sorcery! Part 4 is Out This September

It’s been a long and winding road, but Sorcery!’s [official site] fourth and final chapter, The Crown of Kings, is out September 15 on both Windows and Mac, bringing the epic journey to a close. Developers Inkle (80 Days) promise that Sorcery! Part 4: The Crown of Kings is “the longest, most complex, and most devious installment of Inkle’s acclaimed narrative series.”

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Wot I Think: Sorcery! Part 3 – The Seven Serpents

Earlier this week I allowed myself to catch up on the Sorcery! series, learning wot I think of the first two games. And since then I’ve been mainlining the third, released just last week. Inkle’s latest, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! Part 3: The Seven Serpents [official site], makes some significant advances on what were already fantastic games – is it for the good? Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Sorcery! Parts 1 And 2

Three games into Inkle’s four-part video game conversion of Steve Jackson’s legendary choose-your-own-adventure (CYOA) Sorcery! books, I decided I should catch up on the first two, and review them. Before noticing Richard already did. Oops. So, anyway, I’m covering the first two today, having chosen my own adventure through both. Then I’ll come on to the latest entry released last week. Of Sorcery! Parts 1 and 2 [official site], here’s wot I think:

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Sorcery! Part 3 Catching Up With PC In April

Sorcery! [official site] hasn’t received quite as much attention as its Inkle Studios sibling 80 Days around these parts. It’s mostly been Richard Cobbett praising this new and more open choose-your-own-adventure, which is based on Steve Jackson’s gamebook from the ’80s but has matured into its own thing.

The first two parts have landed on our bigger screens in February, after starting on pocket telephones. Part 3: The Seven Serpents, the largest and most complex yet, will join them on April 5th, bringing PC up to date with the Android and iOS releases. Part 4 should be released within 2016, simultaneously on all platforms. You have the choice of clicking past the break.

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Inkle’s Sorcery! Adaptation Finally Hits PC In February

Ever since I played globetrotting adventure 80 Days I’ve been looking forward to Inkle’s other adaptation, Sorcery! [official site], finally hitting PCs. Earlier this week we said parts one and two were on the way “very, very soon.” Now we can amend that to a real date: February 2nd.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Inkle Studios On Sorcery!

Inkle Studios’ Sorcery! [official site] has been one of the biggest surprises to hit the iPad in recent years, not simply converting the old Steve Jackson gamebooks like most companies working in the field would have done, but completely redesigning them for the modern era. Finally, they’re on their way to PC – the first two very, very soon, the second two later this year. I had a chat with studio founders Jon Ingold and Joseph Humfrey about turning a very 80s series into a shockingly modern adventure.

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80 Days Devs Announce New Game, Not An Adaptation

A new game from Inkle, the studio behind the delectable choose-your-own-adventure 80 Days [official site] (and the soon-to-be-on-PC Sorcery! series), was always going to be a reason to celebrate, but news that they’re making their own world and characters from scratch this time is doubly so. 80 Days was at its best when it broke away from the well-known tale of Phileas Fogg in favour of alt-history noodling and charming, surprising characterisation.

They don’t have a name for the new game yet, but they have shared a few more details, including that “after four years of adapting books – interactive and otherwise – into great, interactive reading experiences, we’re looking to expand outwards a little.”

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Game Of The Gamebook

ALERT! ALERT! FILTHY NON-PC GAME DETECTED! DEPLOY DOOMHORACE!

Oh, to be able to talk more about what I’ve been playing this week – the third part of Inkle’s conversion of Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! That’s their exclamation mark, by the way, not mine. Unfortunately, it’s not available on PC, so I can’t. I can’t say how ludicrously impressive it is, from the way it’s converted the largely linear gamebook experience to an open world format, to the narrative masochism of then doubling-down and adding time-travel on top of that. Curse thee, thou wretched yet beautiful non-PC game, available right now on iTunes and Google Play. Ahem.

It’s not however the only RPG gamebook in town. This week then, I thought I’d check out a few that are a bit closer to home. Steam, show me what you’ve got in your magic catalogue…

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