A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn a little about bravery and responsibility and experience healthy body movement while playing this motion-controlled action/adventure game. The story, while fantastical, is about a courageous boy fighting for his home and friends, and carries with it concepts of honor and duty. Plus, players move their arms in sweeping gestures to cast spells, a moderate physical activity that may help develop hand-eye coordination while lightly exercising your limbs. Players of Sorcery may reflect on the game's narrative themes of responsibility for others while mildly exercising with the motion-based interface.
This game has themes of friendship, loyalty, and courage. It serves as a simple allegory for the notion that good will triumph over evil, though it also suggests that it may well require a fair bit of fighting.
Positive Role Models
The hero is a plucky young man. He seems bound to get into mischief, and is a bit naive and over-confident, but he's clearly well-meaning and wants to help those in need. He uses magic for violence (against fantastical monsters), but also employs it to solve simple problems and get past obstacles.
Ease of Play
Four modes of difficulty ensure that the challenge is appropriate for gamers of all levels of skill and experience. The game's motion controls have been well implemented and tend to be fairly intuitive. Directions often pop up on-screen in situations that require specific movements with the PlayStation Move wand.
Violence & Scariness
Players cast magical energy spells toward fantastical enemies, including ghosts, banshees, trolls, and other creatures. Enemies attack the game's hero with magic of their own, as well as weapons including swords and arrows. Defeated characters simply disappear, with no blood or gore shown. However, the blood of various animals can be seen inside clear potion bottles from which the game's protagonist drinks.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some of the game's female characters appear lightly clothed. Early in the game there is a discussion about "mating" for life, with one character wondering how such a thing is possible.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sorcery is a fantasy action game that requires Sony's PlayStation Move, a wand-shaped motion-control peripheral. Players are urged to use the PlayStation Navigation controller in their other hand, but you can make do with a standard PlayStation 3 DualShock controller. Much of the experience centers on magical combat, but it is mild. Players send energy-based attacks at non-human creatures that simply disappear when defeated. Animal blood appears, but only inside bottled potions that the game's protagonist drinks.
Is It Any Good?
Sorcery is the sort of game Sony needs more of in order to take the PlayStation Move beyond its current status as a peripheral for gimmicky entertainment. It may not be particularly deep or quite as long as other action adventure games, but there is a real narrative-driven adventure here that will appeal to players looking for a game with a story and memorable characters.
Equally important, the game’s motion controls are well designed. Players use Sony’s Move wand in intuitive ways to twist keys, aim and cast spells at specific enemies, and solve simple puzzles. Bending magical attacks around objects by deftly flicking your wrist -- a bit like throwing a Frisbee -- is especially fun. If there was any doubt as to the Move motion control system being precise enough, this game should end it. It’s a little too short and not quite glitzy enough to be a home run, but Sorcery shows that the PlayStation Move has real promise as a platform for traditional action gaming.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.