Well, then, roll up, roll up, for there is a web demo, and separate downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux, available over on the game’s official website right now. If you were lured in by Paper Sorcery’s concept and distinct art style, then you’ll definitely want to check that demo. It should determine whether or not it’s the game you were hoping it to be and, indeed, if it’s any deeper than being just a good-looking RPG.
I’ve had a play of that demo and have come away even more impressed by the game’s many systems, tactical mix-ups and branching gameplay than the visuals ever managed.
In Paper Sorcerer, you play the eponymous rogue sorcerer after he’s been banished to a prison inside a book that is able to contain him (or so they thought) and separate him from his minions that fuelled the tyranny he spread across the land. This gives reasons as to why the game’s visuals are as they are, and why you start off with hardly any of your magical powers available to you. That latter point won’t last for long, though.
“Paper Sorcerer is a stylish, first-person, turn-based RPG with adventure game elements.”
Due to the aid of small and furry talking accomplice, you’re able to escape from the prison cell you’re locked in and soon start attacking the guards. I guess somewhat appropriately (given that you’re inside a book), all of the events that happen outside of the battles are told to you through text. It’s actually written pretty well, with descriptions that help you imagine the shocked faces of the guards that aren’t illustrated within the game world itself. This is a good sign that the narrative should hopefully be compelling throughout.
Other than reading, outside of battles, you’ll be spending your time exploring the stone corridors for chests and equipment that you can use to buff the sorcerer, as well as the minion/s he’s summoned to help him in his bid to escape.
You may have picked up that a lot of time in Paper Sorcerer is spent in battles. They’re turn-based and played from first-person, so when you cast a spell at an enemy, you’ll see a hand arise and strike down with the force emitted from your fingertips. As said, you’ll have summons with you, meaning that you’ll have to manage a party and their equipment and try to cater to the strengths of each character in each battle too.
Attacks and defensive moves are charge-based, meaning that you have to take into account how many turns it takes for each action to burnout and try to select the move that will benefit you most at that time. For example, if you anticipate your health going down fast, then you may want to save the healing spell for a couple of turns down the line and use the spell that boosts your party’s defense right now to help delay the inevitable.
There’s a lot to consider with each turn, which is why battles didn’t bore me too much or feel that repetitive as you’re constantly having to adapt and think each turn, rather than just spamming the basic attack and winning each time, as does happen with some (boring) RPGs. It seems that UltraRunaway Games are looking to launch Paper Sorcerer some time this month on Windows, Mac and Linux, and perhaps even iPad and Android too, if not in October, certainly November.