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Review by
Steve Cooke
(The White Wizard)

 

 
Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Sorcerer
1984 Infocom
By Steve Meretzky
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the second issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (June 1985).
 
SORCERER
Infocom, 45.30 disk
 

inally, this month the White Wizard waves his wand over another disk-only game. Seriously, tape users, how much longer can you go on before you start saving up for a disk drive? Read on, and eat your hearts out . . . .
.

Most 64 owners will have heard of Infocom, and most disk drive owners will have cottoned on to the fact that although Infocom games change hands at more than 30 a time, Commodore have started releasing them at an earth-shattering 11.99. You can already get hold of the Zork Trilogy, which was the series originally responsible for forging Infocom's world-leading reputation, and recently Deadline, Starcross, and Suspended have been added to the list. The White Wizard will be looking at some of these next month, but this month we'll splash out on a fully-priced Infocom game -- Sorcerer. Can it really be worth paying over 45 for an adventure?

Whether or not you've braved the earlier Infocom titles and defeated the infamous Krill, you'll find Sorcerer a tremendous challenge and full of surprises. The game comes excellently packaged with a copy of the Enchanter's Gazette and an Infotater.

The gazette is really only there to add a bit of variety to the package, but the Infotater is essential to playing the game since it contains various code patterns you will need to refer to during the game.

The plot is simple. Belboz, master enchanter, has disappeared. There is every indication that something is seriously wrong and as a young enchanter of reknown you must sally forth, locate the errant wizard, and set the world to rights.

What, no graphics? Who cares when you get location descriptions like this one -- from Infocom's Sorcerer.

Like all Infocom games, Sorcerer is text-only, but don't let that put you off. The vocabulary is enormous, and the program can understand extremely complex inputs. Even if it can't give you a direct response, it will often suggest a way of finding out what you want to know, although there are limits to what you can find out by asking questions directly (as indeed there should be.) For example, entering Where is Belboz? Will get the reply: You last saw Belboz a few days ago. You can't begin to guess where he is now.

The game features numerous spells, including the notorious Meef spell (causes plants to wilt), not to mention the Gaspar Spell, the Izyuk Spell and many others, all of which can be experimented with -- often with hilarious effects. Even if you use a spell in circumstances which are not appropriate, you will often be treated to some highly original sequences -- for example, trying to dry up a moat (thereby stranding the horrible creatures that inhabit it) doesn't help much, but does reveal details of the moat's automatic refilling system!

Sorcerer is not one of Infocom's best known titles, and at 45.30 a throw it's certainly not cheap. However, if you have an unexpected windfall you can be sure of a tremendous game, with lengthy location descriptions, great atmosphere and highly addictive qualities.

You'll meet a number of quirky characters, face some extremely tricky (but entirely logical) puzzles, wander through locations that are so well described they could almost be real and have tremendous fun, whether you decide to look for Belboz, or simply want to wander around exploring.

Nevertheless, the White Wizard has to say that 45 seems a very high price to pay. The sad truth is that, although many disk-based games offer a great deal, they do more than extract their pound of flesh for the privilege.

 
Atmosphere 94%
Interaction 92%
Lasting Interest 88%

Value for Money

65%
 


If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

The 1985 re-release, in the more advanced 'grey' format, is also worthy of your attention.

Infotater.txt (needed in order to complete the game)

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (6 September 2001)

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