Developer: Inkle
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Tin Man Games has done a fantastic job lately, of bringing the Fighting Fantasy experience to iOS. Now, it’s the turn of a different studio, Inkle. Bringing Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! to iOS is quite the undertaking given the mini-series encompasses four books, but if the first book is anything to go by, this is going to be quite the collection.

sorcery2Don’t expect an experience in which players flick through the book’s pages. Sorcery! isn’t like that. Feeling more like a crossover of a board game and an interactive novel, players are presented with a beautiful hand-drawn map as they drag their character’s pawn through the ever dangerous world contained within. Choices are dictated through a series of blue flags, indicating what can be done, rather than simple text.

Combat is more interactive than one would expect, also. Players must read the text preceding the round to determine what action the enemy is about to undertake. Their choice then is to either defend or attack, to varying degrees, by sliding one finger across the screen. It takes a couple of rounds to really master, but it’s a fun way of making combat feel more involving than just rolling a few virtual dice. Spells, a predominant part in the Sorcery! books, also offer a similarly interactive system, with letters lined up through drags and sweeps to create a word.

Much like the book series it’s based on, Sorcery! is quite a departure from typical Fighting Fantasy fodder we’ve seen on the App Store. Is it better? Not quite, but it’s a very worthy equal. While Tin Man Games’s titles capture the authenticity of the Fighting Fantasy novels, Inkle’s Sorcery! re-imagines it, creating a more fantastical world but one that isn’t quite as faithful in terms of its appearance.

Crucially, though, it’s an essential purchase for fans of the books. I’m already eagerly anticipating the second part of the series, Khare: Cityport of Traps, my favorite of the bunch.

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