We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank inkle Ltd for the review copy of Sorcery! Part 4 used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review.
So far you have made your way through the Shamutanti Hills and Khare the city of thieves. You have braved the Seven Serpents. Finally you have reached your destination of Mampang. It is time to finally retrieve the Crown of Kings from the Archmage to prevent the destruction of the world. In Sorcery! Part 4 you are tasked with making your way into the city of Mampang, searching the city for clues, and hopefully recovering the Crown of Kings.
In the past Geeky Hobbies has taken a look at Sorcery! parts one and two as well as part three. Having covered the first three parts of the game I am not going to really get into too much detail about the basic gameplay of Sorcery! Part 4 as I have covered this in the other reviews. Basically the Sorcery! series is a video game adaptation of a choose your own adventure. The majority of the game involves reading about your adventure and deciding how you would like to proceed. The decisions you make determine what happens to your character and also change events that will occur later in the game. In addition the game has the occasional combat which is interesting since it is quite simple but has a decent amount of strategy as you go back and forth trying to predict what your enemy is going to do.
When I first played the Sorcery! series I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I really didn’t think I would like a game that required reading a bunch of text and then just making a decision on how to proceed. What I ended up liking about the Sorcery! series though is that the game is engaging and has an interesting story. While the game relies heavily on reading which may turn some people away, I think Sorcery! is a unique experience you don’t get from a lot of other games.
What shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, I enjoyed part 4 as well. That is not that much of a surprise since for the most part Sorcery! Part 4 is just more of the same. The majority of the game features the choose your own adventure gameplay with the occasional combat and puzzle solving. One thing I did notice is that Part 4 seems to be a little less straightforward requiring more knowledge of which spells to cast or having the right items for specific events. While part 4 feels like more of the same, that is not a bad thing since the Sorcery! series is good because of its’ storytelling which is really good in part 4 as well.
I would say that there are basically two new mechanics in Sorcery! Part 4. First you can acquire different disguises which impact how characters will react to you. While you can see how this impacts some encounters, I don’t see it as significantly changing the game. The other new “mechanic” is that the game places a limitation on your rewind ability partway through the game. Essentially the game creates checkpoints which you revert back to if you die. All knowledge you gained before dying stays with you but you will have to redo any encounters between dying and the checkpoint. This kind of creates a deja vu situation where you know what is going to happen in different events which allows you to approach a situation in a different way if you didn’t like the outcome the first time around.
I have mixed feelings about the limitation on your rewind ability. I really liked having the ability to rewind time since if I regretted a decision I could quickly go back and change my mind. This also kind of made it easier to fully explore the world since if you went down a path that didn’t really lead to anything you could rewind and go a different way. Being able to always use the rewind feature feels kind of cheap at times though. If you ever made a mistake you could just go back and correct it without losing anything except for a little time. Without being able to rewind, if you make a mistake and die you will be forced to go through the same encounters again to get back to where you previously were. While I hate backtracking this does make you approach the game more cautiously since if you make a bad decision and die you will lose some stamina and have to retrace your steps.
As far as length I would say that Sorcery! Part 4 is comparable in length to parts two and three. If you rush through the game you could probably finish it in just a couple hours. With part 4 it actually feels easier to miss parts of the game if you don’t take your time and fully explore the environments. If you take your time I would expect the game to take most people 8-10 hours to complete. Like the other Sorcery! games though I don’t know how much replay value the game has. Once you have seen everything the game has to offer there really isn’t a lot of reason to immediately come back to the game since you should know the outcome of all the different encounters. You may want to come back to the game at another time but I don’t see Sorcery! Part Four as the type of game that you will immediately come back to.
Basically my recommendation for Sorcery! Part 4 is actually pretty simple. Sorcery! Part 4 is a good game and is on par with the other two Sorcery! games. I acknowledge that the game is not going to be for everyone though. If you haven’t played the first three parts of Sorcery! I wouldn’t recommend purchasing Sorcery! Part 4 yet. It is a great game but it really is the type of game that is better when you play all the games in order. If you just jump into part 4 it will just feel like you joined an adventure right at the end. If you have played any or all of the other games in the series your decision on part 4 should be pretty simple as well. If you didn’t really enjoy the other games, you probably won’t enjoy part 4 either since it is more of the same. If you have enjoyed parts one through three of Sorcery! though I would highly recommend picking up Sorcery! Part 4.