It often feels like Inkle is pushing the digital gamebook in directions that are taking it farther away from the genre's pencil-and-rubber roots, adding elements that can only work on mobile.
This third episode in the Sorcery! series adds a more open world feel, chucks in some clever time travelling elements that let you manipulate the world in different ways, and still keeps the high polish we've come to expect from the dev behind 80 Days.
The game picks up where the Sorcery! 2 leaves off, with you stumbling out of Khare into a vast and inhospitable desert. Then you fight a Goblin and nick its sword. Or at least I did - you might get to do something different.
You can continue with the same character from the previous games, or start afresh. If you're a newcomer then there's not much hand-holding here, and you'll have to dig around to get a handle on the mechanics that have been introduced earlier in the series.
Your directional choices here are represented on a world map. You draw a line from place to place, and if you don't like the outcome you can rewind time and make your choice again. Then there are dialogue options, and fights too.
The fights use a sort of bartering system. You slide your character left and right to select how much energy you want to expend in attack. There are usually clues in the text as to what your foe is about to do. Overreach and you leave yourself exposed, defend too much and you'll end up hacked to bits.
The story focuses on you trying to step seven messengers from reaching their master and revealing your plans. There's some time-travelling, a slightly bonkers hermit who hates kids, and some magical beacons.
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The game is smooth and responsive, and the adventure carries a weight that's sometimes lacking from less polished gamebooks. In fact, it feels a bit inaccurate to call this a gamebook any more. It's taken the template, shaken it vigorously, and spurted out something pretty special.
It might not have the universal appeal of something like 80 Days, but if you're looking for some fantasy adventuring then Sorcery! 3 is going to be right up your beast-infested alley.
Want more? Check out our growing collection of Sorcery! Part 3 articles!