Sorcery

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Sorcery Game Poster Image
Fun fantasy for teens has memorable story and characters.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

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.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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What's it about?

A rare PlayStation Move-exclusive action adventure game, SORCERY puts players in control of Finn, a young sorcerer’s apprentice who embarks on a journey with a talking cat named Erline through magical lands on a quest to protect his world. Players hold the PlayStation Move wand in one hand, flourishing it in specific ways to cast spells that include magical energy attacks against fantastical enemies as well as conjurations of a more benign nature that simply fix structures and open doors. In their other hand players wield either the PlayStation Navigation controller (or grip the left side of a standard PlayStation 3 DualShock controller), which is used to control Finn’s movement within the world.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fantasy. What is it about plainly unbelievable and unrealistic creatures and events that appeals to people? Do you like to use your imagination to conjure up fantastical worlds, characters, monsters, and stories? 

  • Families can also discuss violence in media. How do you determine what is okay for your kids? Ask your kids how they feel about what they see and experience in games.

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