Summary Simon finds a magic book in his attic that sends him to a fantasy world full of weird creatures and odd people. There, he is sent on a quest to save Calypso the wizard from the evil Emperor Sordid.
Description Type: Puzzle Adventure
Platform: Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Amiga CD32, DOS, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh, Windows, Android
Players: 1 player
Age: 12 plus
Game Time: 50 hrs plus
Developer or Designer: Adventure Soft
No help/way to progress if you get stuck
The Simon The Sorcerer series is one of my all time favourite game franchises, with the original first being released in 1993. It is a point-and-click puzzle adventure with lots of satire and parodying of fairytales and folk stories.
Due to its immense popularity, Simon The Sorcerer is still available to download for Microsoft Windows 95/98, and buy on CD-Rom for XP. In 2013 the series reached twentieth anniversary, and to celebrate, the first game was also made available for tablet systems such as the iPad and Android. I downloaded Simon The Sorcerer for £2.70 from Google Play.
The Android version allows you to choose between the original or enhanced soundtrack/graphics, and has helpful 'hotspot' hints, that show clickable items. The graphics are pixilated, but in a good, retro kind of way. If it was any different, I would be disappointed.
There is a lot of cutscene sequences where Simon is interacting with other characters. Personally, I love the added depth of storytelling, but I know some people get annoyed by lengthy cutscenes. For those who want to get straight into the gameplay, you can skip the cutscenes, but do so at your own peril, as they often include important information. Honestly, these scenes are so funny, I don't know why anyone would want to skip them. They're pure gold. Simon has a fantastic dry wit, and like many teenagers, rude and sarcastic. For this reason, the game is rated for 12s and over.
The game begins when Simon finds a Ye Olde Spell Book in his attic. The book opens up a portal to another world full of goblins, dwarves, giants, and other weird creatures. After narrowly escaping being eaten by trolls, Simon discovers that he has been summoned by Calypso the Wizard to partake in an important quest: his rescue. Calypso has been captured by the evil emperor Sordid, and it is up to Simon to save him.
In order to do this, Simon must interact with objects and characters, gathering information, completing tasks, and solving puzzles. Many of these puzzles are quite challenging; you really have to think outside the box. When I played the game on the PC many years ago, some of the answers were so obscure that I had to search for an online walkthrough to help me progress.
You can interact with things by using the tool bar at the bottom of the screen. This displays Simon's inventory and the possible things you can do. If you choose an action that is not possible, then Simon will make some hilarious replies. For example, if you ask him to consume his dog, Chippy, Simon will say 'That's not part of a balanced diet'.
Talking to characters can be as long or as short as you want to make it. You are given several options for things Simon can say. Some are important to the quest, such as 'do you know anything about Sordid?', while others are purely for a laugh, such as asking warrior women 'what are your measurements?'
Simon the Sorcerer can be compared to the roleplaying board game, Dungeons and Dragons, although, in this case, the story has already been written, and it is your task to follow it through. The writing for this game is a work of true genius, and it is almost like reading a book or watching a film that you get to be a part of. I highly recommend you try it.