Price: FREE (in-app purchases)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini (non Retina)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Runic Sorcerer can be best described as an initially free-to-play role-playing adventure that is set in medieval times. Backdropped by mystical caves and sorcerer-like hideaways, the player is challenged to navigate the map and learn the basics of gameplay along the way.
Allowing the player to set their own difficult level, and with a choice to play either a solo or multiplayer campaign ($0.99 to play ranked games), Runic Sorcerer starts out at Chapter 1 where players take the role of the sorcerer himself. The stage is set by having players talk to a 500-year-old ghost who aims to put them on the right path.
The first aspect to note is that the map is in 3D, and it can be moved and navigated with a touch and drag. To select a character, simply tap on him (or her), and moving to a new point on the map can be achieved by tapping the destination point - provided this is accessible to the Sorcerer to walk to without encountering any obstacles.
Along the way players will meet creatures and monsters that they must defeat or risk losing their precious health. Runic Sorcerer offers up a collection of mystical items, including potions, mushrooms, and mana-based magic in order to fend these evils off and send them back into the shadows from whence they came. In the event that one encounters more than a couple of these creatures at once, using two fingers to draw a virtual box around the group of monsters will see the Sorcerer focus on the most important of the group (the one causing the most amount of health loss), before automatically moving to fend off the others.
In terms of visuals and sound, I have to say that Runic Sorcerer is pretty impressive. The game's environments are detailed enough to be immersive, while the use of 3D sound that intelligently moves along with the player's navigation of the core map makes for a captivating few hours - especially when using headphones. The use of dynamic lighting is also apparent, which makes for a useful addition against the game's mostly dark setting.
The only downside to the game's controls was the lack of ability to zoom-in on or rotate the map. Players can navigate the map using a touch-and-drag gesture, and the map key located in the bottom left will allow them to navigate the map more quickly - providing a complete overview. The ability to zoom isn't majorly important due to the game's characters appearing at a pleasant size, but it might be good in battle scenarios. Also, the game currently relies on a top-down camera angle. I felt that the addition of a first-person camera angle could also be beneficial in allowing the player to become even further immersed in an impressively-designed environment.
Those who enjoyed Skyrim are likely to love Runic Sorcerer.
Editor Note: Since the publishing of this review, a reader got in touch to point out Runic Sorcerer's current ability to save the player's state of progress, while also highlighting that the game currently doesn't allow the iPad display to remain on if left idle for a short period of time. Having contacted Plexus Games, we can confirm that this functionality is on its way for version 1.0.2, (and version 1.0.1 we're told has already been submitted).