Sorcery! Part Two picks up exactly where the first Sorcery! adventure game left off, with your hero approaching the gates to the thieves’ city of Khare. You can import your character (complete with gold and items collected) in just a single tap, but we were a little bemused to discover that our manly warrior had somehow morphed into a sultry lady (one of the new features of part two is the ability to choose your sex). Perhaps a result of some mischievous mage’s wand waving?
Gameplay remains mostly unchanged, with you dragging your hero across the enormous virtual map, encountering all manner of interesting characters and foes in your journey across Khare. Encounters are described in text, accompanied by the occasional funky drawing and suitable sound effects, which add a little atmosphere. Each step requires a decision – do you approach the band of shifty-looking beggars or stay out of arm’s reach? Some choices result in rewards and others end in peril, and while common sense helps a lot, you’ll need a fair bit of luck to successfully steer through too. Thankfully there’s a ‘rewind’ option to get you out of any tricky corners.
Occasionally you’ll have the option to cast a spell or fight your way out of a situation, and we’re big fans of the simple yet entertaining combat system. In each turn you choose to defend or attack, and if you attack at the same time as your opponent, the one with the strongest attack wins. You can opt for a full-powered attack, but this reduces your stamina and leaves you vulnerable in later attacks – so careful tactics are the key to survival.
In part two we seemed to encounter less fights than the first Sorcery!, but that’s likely down to our approach – rather than stampede into every situation swinging our sword, we actually tried to think our way through each encounter instead. One of Sorcery!’s greatest strengths is its flexibility, allowing you to play as you like – you can be a merciful wanderer or a bloodthirsty warrior, whatever floats your boat. There are also many branching paths, so no two adventures should play out the same.
One new addition in part two is a fun little betting game called Swindlestones, which involves secretly throwing dice and guessing what your combined total with the opposing player might be. It's a cool minigame that we greatly enjoyed, with the ability to bluff and call out your opponent if you think they're pulling a fast one.
Khare itself is a fascinating and dangerous swinepit, reminding us of Newcastle’s Bigg Market on a Friday evening. The place is teeming with all manner of creatures, many of whom don’t get along too well, and you’ll have to tread very carefully to avoid incurring their wrath. We also love how much variety the developers have packed in. One moment you’ll be slipping through a boisterous festival with one hand on your coin purse, the next you’ll be exploring some spooky deserted house complete with mysterious hidden passageways. Along the way you’ll need to collect clues to open the North gate and escape the city, a neat addition that encourages you to explore even the dodgiest corners of the city.
We’d recommend checking out Sorcery! Part One to experience the full story before ploughing into this second effort, to get the full story and also properly develop your character. Already we’re looking to the next instalment, not least to check if our penis makes a welcome return...
Available now on the Apple App Store for £2.99