Puneet Varma (Editor)

Sorcerer (video game)

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Developer(s)  Infocom
Designer(s)  Steve Meretzky
Publisher(s)  Infocom
Engine  ZIL
Platform(s)  Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, CP/M, DEC Rainbow, Kaypro II, Macintosh, NEC APC, Osborne 1, MS-DOS, TI-99/4A, TRS-80.
Release  Release 4: January 31, 1984 Release 6: May 8, 1984 Release 13: October 21, 1985 Release 15: November 8, 1985 Release 18: September 4, 1986

Sorcerer is an interactive fiction computer game written by Steve Meretzky and released by Infocom in 1984. It is the second game in the magic-themed "Enchanter trilogy", preceded by Enchanter and followed by Spellbreaker. It is Infocom's eleventh game.

Contents

Plot

Following the unlikely defeat of Krill in Enchanter, the player's character has progressed from an Apprentice Enchanter to earning a coveted seat in the Circle of Enchanters. Belboz the Necromancer, the leader of the Circle, has become not only a mentor but a close friend as well. Lately, though, Belboz has seemed different. He's always distracted, even talking to himself at length. Whatever he's dealing with, Belboz doesn't see fit to confide in anyone. Surely he knows what he's doing.

But then, Belboz suddenly disappears. If he is under the influence of some evil power, the results could be disastrous — Belboz is one of the most powerful Enchanters in the land. Someone must uncover what has happened to him, and naturally that task falls to the player's character.

Sorcerer has 70 ways for the player to die, the most of any Infocom game as of early 1985. It features several memorable puzzles, including an invisible but deadly glass maze and a toxic coal mine where the player must engage in short-term time travel. In addition to the spell-casting system introduced in Enchanter, there are also several magic potions to be found. Potions, naturally, are used by drinking them and each can only be used once.

Feelies

Sorcerer continued the wildly popular tradition of including, in each game box, extra items related to the game. These so-called feelies were:

  • A copy of the fictitious magazine Popular Enchanting featuring a profile of Belboz
  • An "Infotater", a paper code wheel disguised as information of creatures in the game. The Infotater was found in the original package only. When the game was later re-released in the "gray stripe" box format, the Infotater was replaced by a "Field Guide to the Creatures of Frobozz" brochure containing the same information. Consequently, original Infotaters are highly sought-after by collectors (the Field Guide is necessary to opening the chest and acquiring its contents).
  • Reception

    St.Game stated that "The world of the Sorcerer is rich in detail and wonderment. The magical experiences resemble the exotic adventures of Carlos Castaneda", with "several diabolical traps and puzzles", and concluded that "The final solution is like a delicate orchid achieving full bloom. Long after the game is over, the heady fragrance stays with you". PC Magazine gave Sorcerer 10.5 points out of 12. It noted the dramatic opening and the game's "predisposition against violence", offering the player spells instead of weapons. Zzap!64 noted the high (£45.30) British price of the game and necessity to own a disk drive, but called it "a tremendous challenge and full of surprises ... lengthy location descriptions, great atmosphere, and highly addictive qualities".

    References

    Sorcerer (video game) Wikipedia


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