Before Inkle made it big in Time Magazine with 80 Days, it released the first episode of Sorcery!, a narrative adventure based on the Steve Jackson gamebook of the same name. It was originally a mobile game (and a very good one), but the first two parts were ported to the PC early this year, followed by part 3 in April. And in September, the tale will be concluded in the fourth and final episode, The Crown of Kings.
Sorcery! is essentially a “choose your own adventure” book in digital format, with all the attendant bells and whistles: Interactive combat, a gorgeous overhead map, sound effects, an inventory system, mini-games, and more. It follows the story of a young, inexperienced adventurer who's chosen by the people of his village to retrieve the fabled Crown of Kings from the evil Archmage. That's not the most sophisticated setup ever, but remember that this story was first told in the early 80s, when all of this fantasy-fightin' game stuff was still fairly new and unburdened by an excess of lore, rules, and a demand for sprawling, “mature” stories.
The plot may be simplistic, but Sorcery! itself is not. There's a huge number of choices to be made—the announcement claims thousands—each leading to different results, outcomes, and endings: Sparing an assassin may earn you an ally, but rescuing the warchief's daughter may not. (Consider that a hint.) It doesn't feel as expansive as 80 Days, but the bloodline is obvious, and 80 Days composer Laurence Chapman has actually created new music for the conclusion of Sorcery!.
Sorcery!: The Crown of Kings is set to go live on Steam (and the App Store and Google Play, if that's your thing) on September 15. Find out more at inklestudios.com.