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Paper Sorcerer (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Jo ST (16680)
Written on  :  Aug 28, 2014
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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Summary

Short linear dungeon crawler with own visual style and heavy emphasis on fighting.

The Good

Paper Sorcerer is presented in an own visual style, which is very consistent and very pleasant. Although graphics are minimal, consisting mainly in static pictures, like in the town, the world inside a magical book is very believable.

The character classes are unusual, although their skill sets are common for computer RPGs, with more defending tanks, healers and damage dealers. But as each character is gathering a really huge set of skills, which are also getting stronger during the game (they sometimes upgrade on level ups), the earlier spells don't get useless and also each character has the possibility to vary their role a bit. As equipment has a huge impact it is very satisfying to find a hidden room with that item that gives a character that extra boost on the required stat. Boosting skills at the skill trainer is basically handled as money sink for all the money you can't spent at the merchant buying new weapons and armour.

Fighting is fun and sometimes complex, although you only cast spells or attack specific enemies. The fun results from the required energy and defence management, which can be tricky, as energy is not renewed after the fights, so it is often better to have a longer fight than to start the next fight with empty energy and not being able to take out the healer or sorcerer of the enemy group instantly. Some of the end-of-level guardians are tricky, and potions and items can help a lot to defeat them. The four difficulty levels also add challenge.

I liked the story, which accompanies the fighting through the dungeon well. It also has two twists, one at the beginning (you are the evil and locked away by the good ones) and the one after finishing the game.

The Bad

The levels are very small and linear. Although this gives a good flow of progression as you very often switch to the next level, exploration is not really present in the game. I think this has its good side, too, as there is no auto-map (and I drew enough maps on paper playing computer RPGs in my life).

Puzzles are limited to "find the locked door to the key you just found" or press the button to open a wall somewhere behind you.

Although the art style is unique and consequent, level textures are too repetitive, which sometimes cause problems in orientation, as each corner looks the same than the other (even if the levels are very small).

Despite the consequent art style, music is not fitting too well in the game world, with very different style of tunes, from chip-tunes to Latin rhythms.

Story is reduced to the main plot, which is, although sufficient, not quite complex, too. There are some strange characters to meet in the town, but most of them are only there just as filling, spoiling some short sentences with tips, and I wanted to ask them: "Who are you? Why are you locked here in the book?", which is not possible.

The Bottom Line

A short game with unique style, heavily based on fighting, with a nice little story letting you rush for better equipment, a stronger combination of characters in the party and a better use of the skills you get. Quite linear, but very good fun for some hours and very challenging on the higher difficulty settings.