Game Reviews

Spellcaster: Forgotten Spell

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Spellcaster: Forgotten Spell

While Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy franchise may be the most famous example of a role-playing game book series, there have been numerous other offerings over the past few years.

Take Louisa Dent Pearce's Spellcaster trilogy, for example - it offers the same non-linear storyline mechanic and has been skilfully adapted for smartphones and tablets by Australian studio Tin Man Games - the team which has done such excellent work with Jackson and Livingstone's aforementioned novels.

While Fighting Fantasy was primarily concerned with scaring you witless and placing you in all kinds of dangerous combat situations, Spellcaster: Forgotten Spell is a little more sedate, but just as bewitching.

Put a spell on you

Starring as a young teen with hidden magical powers, you are sucked into a world of fairies, goblins, and other sinister beasts. Blessed with the ability to cast spells, you find yourself in great peril as you attempt to unravel the secrets of the city of Suidemor.

Tin Man's Game Book engine works wonderfully here, effortlessly replicating the feel of its paper-based inspiration but providing technological benefits that only a smartphone title can afford.

The page-turning mechanic remains in place, and Tony Hough's exquisite illustrations - updated for the 2013 edition of the book - come to life in full colour. You can tap the drawings to see enlarged versions.

In the case of some of the book's puzzles, inspecting each image is vital as they hold the answers to some of the tasks you face. If you're playing on a phone with a small display then you may struggle, as some of the clues are quite hard to pick out, but this is a minor grumble at best.

You know, for kids

Although it's aimed at a younger audience and features fairies, Spellcaster: Forgotten Spell is set in a world which is quite disturbing and malevolent.

It's this setting which provides the game with its biggest draw - the universe created by Dent Pearce is simply fantastic, and its lore is fascinating. It's a joy to explore the streets of Suidemor, despite the perilous nature of your quest.

Once you've completed the book then there's little reason to return aside from taking alternative paths or gazing at Hough's gorgeous artwork, but Spellcaster: Forgotten Spell provides more than enough entertainment and enjoyment to cover its price tag.

If you've already appreciated Tin Man's excellent Fighting Fantasy adaptations then this should be your next port of call.

Spellcaster: Forgotten Spell

Set in an enchanting yet nightmarish fantasy world and packed with gorgeous illustrations, Spellcaster: The Forgotten Spell draws you in from the first sentence and provides a solid companion piece to Tin Man's other gamebook adaptations