Abarcy

Sorcery

  cover
Sorcery is a wand-waving fantasy that looks like it straddles the gap between pure immersive storytelling and the more physical type of gaming I usually cover on Abarcy. You play the part of Finn, a young apprentice sorcerer whose overconfidence tends to get him into trouble. He's accompanied by Erline, a talking cat who guides him through his adventures.

When Finn accidentally breaks one of his master Dash's potions he has to go off and get some of its rarer ingredients, and while he's doing this he attracts the attention of the Nightmare Queen. So he begins a quest through the Faerie Kingdom to put right what she's destroyed and eventually defeat her.

Gameplay is two-handed: you cast spells with the Move controller and steer, dodge and block with the navigation or wireless controller. As you progress new spells become available, and mastering them means learning a series of gestures. To begin with your arm may ache, because the instinctive reaction when enemies are coming at you is to flick the wand repeatedly until they all die. This makes it seem like a fairly physical game, but to get anywhere you have to think about the best spells to use, and what combination to use them in. Sorcery is as much about working things out as it is about zapping your way through by brute force.

Enemies don't re-spawn infinitely, and nor does gold. So there's no going round and round in order to level up, and the way back is periodically blocked off so you can't do this anyhow. The game is very linear, and there are no side quests. Resources are limited: you need to collect money and treasures to buy potion ingredients, but you won't be able to get them all unless you're very careful (and even then, I'm not sure whether it's possible to buy everything). Players must pick a strategy rather than relying on eventually picking up all the upgrades.

This is quite a short game. It has a little replay value if you want to go back and pick up all of the trophies. However I wasn't blown away by the fairly generic story. Finn is cocky and reckless, but the Nightmare Queen is a goth drag queen with an evil laugh, but without the humour that implies. The plot twists were guessable, and I didn't find it moving.

However the graphics are pretty, and the gameplay is somewhat involving, at least the first time around. It makes you think far more than it makes you sweat so it's not the best use of the Move controller, but it is at least fairly entertaining.

3 star rating

Review Ros Jackson