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?
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.