I loved this game What is it? An adventure game with several hours of play. Simon a young boy, gets sucked into another world when Calypso the wizard is captured and needs help. You solve various puzzles to help beat the evil Zordid who has captured the wizard. But to do this, Simon must first become a wizard himself. Graphics I have seen worse, but I've also seen better. There's quite a lot of detail in the backgrounds with lots of creatures flitting about. It's quite colourful but not too overpowering as some games can be. Simon and the various other characters you bump into on the way move quite smoothly too. Characters The characters that Simon comes across range from being incredibly annoying to very funny. Zordid has a very gruff voice and is actually quite scary to look at! The Troll from Three Billy Goats Gruff is quite comical and looks like a typical troll. The Woodcutter is very irritating, but you have to laugh at the snowman! Sound Do I detect the voice of Chirs Barrie from the Brittas Empire as Simon? If not he sound just like him! Some of the voices in the game can be annoying but generally the dialoge is funny. You get a choise of what to say to various characters which is to be expected of this sort of game. The music though is very annoying. Gameplay It can take a bit of getting used to on the controls but once you've got that, away you go. It's a mouse opperated game and of the point and click variety. There's the usual control panel at the bottom of the screen with options like pick up and speak. Puzzles These can be really hard. I found sleeping on the probem helped. Not all of them are devilish though. Some are too easy. Where can you get it? I got it in GAME in one of their 2 for £10 (bought the second game in the series at the same time) It's also available on Ebay What does it run on? Windows
95, 98 and ME Overall A very good game. Probably best suited to the thirteen year olds and upwards. And those with a saucy sence of humour as some of the jokes are a bit near the knuckle!
Imagine your predicament, you are just minding your own business on a typical boring day when suddenly your dog runs up into the attic and starts barking wildly. Barking dogs are annoying so you decide to go and give the mutt a piece of your mind, not really interested in what all the fuss is about but getting a splitting headache from all the racket! Image then your surprise when you find the reason for the rumpus is that there is an old chest in the attic which just happens to be dancing about the place in the way that inanimate object aren?t really meant to do - and you haven?t been smoking anything strange that day either since your mummy confiscated his pocket money after the last ?incident?. Intrigued he opens the chest(well you would wouldn?t you) and finds an old spellbook inside - you know its an old spellbook because its called ?Ye Olde Speelbook? which kind of gives the game away. Magic? Huh, loads of codswallop and you're just about to wander off downstairs again now that the damn dog is quiet when the pages flip open, opening up a portal into another world which the aforementioned damn dog decides to wander through! There nothing else for it - you have to follow... ...and that?s how your adventure begins in one of adventure gaming?s more interesting and more accessible titles. You soon find yourself on a goblins dinner table - they wished for food, you dropped out of a portal into their cookpot, so I suppose they can be forgiven, then shortly afterwards become embroiled in a quest to save the land from an evil megalomaniac wizard who plans to take over the world! Everyone else who has tried to stop him has failed, so of course, its up to a 14 year old boy(oh did I mention you are a 14 year old boy called Simon? Well you are - I know its a shock, but you'll get used to it) to save the day! So, save the day you must and save the day you probably will in time because its not an impossible game to complete and for a few quid it?ll offer a c
ouple of days gameplay and undoubtedly make you smirk along the way as well. Can?t say fairer than that. Simon the Sorceror is a ?point and click? adventure - by that I meant that its mouse driven as opposed to the old style of games where you would type in commands or some of the newer ones where you control you characters actions in much the same way as you would in an arcade game. The control system that LucasArts thought up here and used throughout most of their earlier adventures is simple and intuitive and to me is still the best they have made - some of the later games can best be described as ?fiddly? although they do allow for more of the screen to be devoted to gameplay. These earlier versions split the screen into two halves, the top half is where all the action takes places and the bottom half is where you can rummage through your inventory and select which action to perform. Hovering your mouse over the action window will highlight objects and people to interact with, selecting from the actions window will complete those interactions - simple! This feature makes Simon the Sorceror a joy to play, incredibly easy to pick up and play without wading through a manual and a game which can therefore be enjoyed by all ages. Looking at the graphics now you?d be forgiven for thinking they were a little weak, but remember we are talking about a game which is pushing 10 years old now. In its day, the graphics were superb, much better than the Monkey Island games which were making us all laugh our pants off around the same time and when you consider they are VGA graphics you have to hand it to the artists for doing such a stellar job. Looking at them now I would still say they are rather good, but of course, nowhere near up to the quality which you would expect from a modern game. Sound effects as well were a big bonus at the time, the characters actually spoke to you and you back to them which was a big ?wow? factor back in those days - if of cour
se you had the CD version and the right soundcard because it doesn?t offer support for all of them! The voice of Simon is provided by Chris Barrie - so you know what to expect and its a perfect choice for this character. The big thing about Simon The Sorceror and the thing which will keep you coming back for more and has meant that this game still holds a great deal of appeal even all these years later(you can still find copies in the shop!) is the humour aspect. Simon the Sorceror is a very funny game, packed with humorous characters and events and puzzles which aren?t mindbendingly difficult but lets just say you have to be on the same twisted wavelength as the creators. Its a fantasy game which it wouldn?t be unfair of me to class alongside Terry Pratchett?s Discworld series because it is that kind of humour, very irreverent and very funny. Despite the rather iffy introduction to the game(how many times have we seen that one pulled!?) the story is actually a long one and a very clever one, highly entertaining and it?ll keep you or your young uns glued to it until its completed...and then there?s the sequels to play through! Put simply, its a very good game. Don?t be put off by its age, just because its getting a little creaky doesn?t mean that its no longer enjoyable because it is just as much fun to play as it ever was. Someone told me recently that adventure games are dead - which may or may not be true. Truth be told they don?t make them as funny as this any more which is a real shame, the focus more upon the kind of stunning graphics you?ll see in the likes of Riven then really fun gameplay which just may drive the final nail into the coffin. I hope not because I?m sure there?s huge scope for more excellent games like this and as some of the newer Monkey Island releases have shown, new technology can just make them even funnier. Go check this out now - its suitable for all ages, easy to pick up, very difficult to put down again and best of a
ll its damn cheap as well! What more could you ask for!
Adventure games are dead. Or so people keep telling me. "Nobody wants to play those things anymore – we've got Quake 3 now". Hmmm. Thankfully, these sorts of people are invariably proved wrong, and you can see plenty of good adventure games around these days in the form of Escape From Monkey Island, Grim Fandango and a few others. But I still love the old ones, lots of puzzles, simple graphics and a large slice of comedy. Ah – those were the days! Simon The Sorcerer is what the games industry refers to as a 'point and click adventure game'. This is exactly how it sounds – all the game operations are performed by moving the mouse somewhere on the screen and clicking on something to execute an action. This is the classical style all the original graphical adventures based around. Before I go into more detail about this, let me tell you a little more about the story… - The Plot Simon is your everyday 12 year old English boy. He has homework, he likes to play, and he's adept at pointing out when people are wrong! Our story begins on his birthday, where he's playing games, having jelly and ice-cream and gleefully explaining how the magician does all his tricks. Later in the day, the doorbell rings, and what should be sitting on the doorstep, but a little dog (who he later named Chippy) with an old book in his mouth. Simon fosters the dog, chucks the book in the loft and forgets about it. Until one day… Chippy gets into the loft and pulls out the purple book. Simon comes to see what all the commotion is about – taking the book from Chippy, and observing it has 'Ye Olde Spell Booke' written on the front, he chucks it over his shoulder in sceptical disgust. However, the book falls open and creates a portal in the loft. Both Simon and Chippy step in, and are gone. The next thing we know, Simon is dressed in a purple cloak and magician's hat (over the top of his jeans
of course!) and is dropped into the middle of a food invocation ceremony! After being put in a cooking pot and subsequently rescued by Chippy, Simon makes his way to a cottage, where he finds and reads a note. The basic gist of it is this – Simon has been selected to rescue the wizard Calypso from the evil wizard Sordid, and he can use the spellbook to help him. Unfortunately, he has to become a wizard first! And this is where the game begins. - Verb based adventure system What?!? What's that? Actually, it's a lot simpler than you would have thought. The way Simon The Sorcerer works is the same as all adventures of it's time. The screen is split into two - the game screen at the top and toolbar at the bottom. The game screen is, quite obviously, where all the action happens. The toolbar, which takes up the remaining third of the screen, is how you MAKE things happen. The toolbar itself is split into three – the verb bank on the left, the inventory on the right, and the status bar at the top. When you place the cursor over something you can do something with on the screen, the status bar tells you what it is – "Sleeping dwarf" or "Pile of manure". You can see what you've picked up in the inventory. However, the most important of these parts is the verb bank. This contains everyday verbs you can use in conjunction with the things on the screen or in your inventory. So, we have phrases like "Look at", "Walk to", "Pick up", "Wear" and "Use". There are 12 verb phrases in total, and it all makes for a lot of choices for you to make when trying to solve puzzles. - Outspoken Unless you're unlucky enough to have bought the disk based version, all the conversation and general dialogue is spoken. So we get to hear Simon chiding small pieces of wood, making smart comments about people's dress sense, and coughing up bowls of green soup! It may
seem like an obvious thing these days, but it wasn't so long ago that it would have been surprising to hear much sound at all from adventure games. So – who IS the voice of Simon then? Well, it's none other than that great man himself – Chris Barrie. In case you don't remember who he is, he's the man who delighted us with comedy classics such as Mr. Brittas in The Brittas Empire, or Rimmer in Red Dwarf. He's got a pretty suitable voice for the part, and it sounds great. - Beauty isn't everything Well, ok, you've got me here. The graphics are looking a little dated these days. Still, the game looks nice enough nonetheless, even if it is a bit pixelated. Don't expect it to be perfect - it's quite old now - it serves its purpose, and it's nicely crafted enough not to look horrendous. - Laugh your rear end off! Like all good adventure games of its time, Simon The Sorcerer has it's fair share of comedy. In fact, it's thrown about liberally throughout the game. Of course, Chris Barrie adds to this comedy just by the sound of his voice, but there's plenty of situations Simon manages to get himself into that'll make you smile, if not laugh out loud. I particularly love the cute but pathetic Swampling living, um, in the, er, swamp! The voice is perfect for him, and his friendly persistence and pathetic loneliness makes you actually feel sorry for him! I actually found myself desperately trying not to hurt his feelings, which made me laugh when I thought about it. So, what else can I say about Simon The Sorcerer? Well, it's a classic adventure game, with good dialogue, good puzzles and good comedy. It has a well written story, which always helps with this sort of thing, and the way each character has been written carefully into the story is a credit to the development team. It's good fun to play, and addictive too, so you could be there for a while playing it. I sup
pose the comedy aspect helps this, as the more you laugh, the more you want to play to see what will happen to Simon next, and you also get a real buzz out of solving something you've been trying at for ages. The control system is simple and easy to get the hang of, so no problems there, and the conversations are generally only as verbose as you want them to be – you can talk for ages, or get your information and go. So, there must be some problems with the game? Well, there's no trouble running it on modern systems, so don't worry about that – it's load quite happily under Windows, and everything worked fine for me. I suppose the graphics won't be up to everyone's standards, and the music can get a little irritating sometimes (it can be turned off), but these are minor concerns. As regards to the gameplay, the puzzles can sometimes be a little, well, obscure, but with a little hard work and some lateral thinking, you can usually come to the solution fairly swiftly. All in all, Simon The Sorcerer is a great adventure game, with enough gameplay and comedy to make it a success. It may not be amazingly modern, but in the end, who needs all that modern stuff, when you can just have a good old fashioned laugh? Great stuff.
I myself purchased this game after playing its sequel. The second game had enthralled me and I was eager to see its pre-decessor. Despite being inferior to Simon 2, this is still a hugely entertaining game. The humour is pure and totally original, and the plot is intriguing, if not a bit peculiar. Simon (or rather his dog) has found a peculiar chest in his attic, which transports him to another world, where he is mistaken for a sorceror. The teenager is given the task of saving the world from the evil Sordid, a diabolical sorceror bent on world domination. Despite this however, Simon, as well as his many accompanying characters, manage to slip in a long string of puns and jokes to lighten up the experience. Like any other point-and-click adventure some of the puzzles are....well....puzzling, and can have you stuck for a while. However none are too hard to ruin the game, and they should all just add to the enjoyment. The graphics are fairly impressive for the period it was released ('92 i think), and the whole game is in 'talkie', ie no text speech, in fact the actor providing the voice of Simon is none other than Chris Barrie (Red Dwarf, The Brittas Empire). Altogether, a worthy buy, and due to its age it should be priced reasonably.