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Simon the Sorcerer 3D

aka: Szymek Czarodziej
Moby ID: 6401
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Description official descriptions

Continuing the series after seven years, Simon the Sorcerer 3D marks the return of the young spellcaster. The game is a direct sequel to Simon the Sorcerer 2, and starts precisely where the second game ended: Simon is imprisoned in Sordid's body... At the beginning of the game, the evil wizard Sordid is free again. He is now selling a mind-changing cola and you must stop him, and this time, unlike in the first two games, also save the world.

Many familiar characters from the two previous games are back, and so is Simon himself with his red cloak (and not the violet clothes from the first game). The classic adventure gameplay is based mainly on wacky puzzles, like the first two games, but the game is now entirely rendered in a 3D world. There are some action sequences, less linearity in the plot, and Simon can die. Besides, some puzzles can only be solved in a 3D environment and require extensive exploration.

Spellings

  • 魔法师西蒙3D - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Windows version)

33 People (22 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 62% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 6 reviews)

A huge failure

The Good
I consider this one of the worst games I ever played, the only ray of sunshine in this game was the writing. Fortunately the writers continued to write Simon with the same excellent dialogs that we saw in Simon 2. I really enjoyed Simon's cynicism. This is about the only good thing I have to say for this game.

The Bad
Where to start? I really loved the two previous games - especially Simon 2 - which to this day is my favorite quest game. Needless to say I was impatience to see the release of the sequel.

The control interface was completely changed from the classical point and click mouse control, now we control Simon via the keyboard in a very uncomfortable way and there are control bugs which cause Simon to run against the walls almost every time you try to move him.

The puzzles also changed for the worst, while the two previous games were pure quest games with inventory based puzzles, this game chose to add mini-games. Those mini-games are extremely boring and tedious and had nothing to do with the adventure game and it seem they were merely added for the sake of using the 3D environment.

The new 3D look is the major area that the game creators really screw up, the characters look extremely ugly and so is the rest of the game environment, it really looks like the game's programmers didn't know what they were doing.

Another blunder of the new 3D look was the game environment, it's simply huge and empty, so you find yourself spending a great amount of time running in empty fields or streets looking for something that Simon could interact with, this get very tedious and contribute to your feeling of boredom from this game.

The Bottom Line
Despite being a huge Simon fan I found this game simply unplayable, by level three the control bugs got worse and worse, so that a simply task like walking the streets became a chore (running into walls would cause that...) and this made me abandon the game.

I think what made this game a real disappoint is that it has the great plot and writing of the previous games, but horrible controls. If the creators would have invested more time programing a better and bug free 3D environment, or if this game was made in 2D it could have been an excellent game.

Windows · by Ingsoc (1366) · 2011

Hey, babe, why don't you and me ...

The Good
I have mixed feelings about this game. Simon the Sorcerer 3D is a Windows adventure that acts like an action arcade wannabe. Everything about it screams "console" - from the keyboard-only interface to the "LifePad" restoration points. But, I don't think it was ever released for any console platform. The mouse is supported only for some of the menu operations and those, too, are arcade-like.

The star of this show is, of course, Simon whose off-the-wall comments and unconventional thinking are brought out well in this game. Simon 3D was rated by the ELSPA as 11+ for good reason. The humour is "tongue-in-cheek" and mostly adult in nature, full of sexual innuendos typical of a young male's adolescent mind. Most of the content will go right over the heads of younger players. As an adult, I found the jokes hilarious! Simon was somewhat subtle in his approach and never rude. I was never offended - in fact, it was a refreshing change.

The story has a good plot with many twists and turns, and I'd consider the true "adventure" aspects really good. Puzzles are situation-oriented (do or find this to do or get that) and they're layered rather deeply, so be prepared. The situations are funny and different - some really bizarre (which I understand is typical of this series). Some hints are contained within conversations, so it was helpful to be able to turn Subtitles on for that reason.

The game is divided into six Chapters each with its own in-game map. Hop into one of the strategically placed telephone booths to travel around. This really helps because some of the world maps are really huge.

Yes, there are some "arcade" puzzles. Simon must learn to run away from danger, perform a balancing act on a tightrope, throw some darts, and pick up things using a special yoyo. None of those are particularly hard if you can master the keyboard controls. You can reassign the keyboard keys to suit your own style. (See more comments on the interface below.)

The voice acting is excellent. The music is wonderfully orchestrated and appropriate. There are 42 save game slots - plenty. The manual was well written and easy to understand.

The Bad
Adding "3D" to a game's title seems to signify "new and improved", but that's not true in this case. If Simon 3D had been released several years prior, I might have had a different opinion entirely. Its delay resulted in a game that was outdated when it was finally released. The "3D" technology it advertised was no longer considered innovative, but rather a bad representation of older technology.

The graphics of the environment as well as the characters are blocky and pixelated. Changing the resolution doesn't accomplish more than making the on-screen text and map smaller. For me, the shifts in scene views and "looking through Simon's eyes" were disorienting and unnecessary for gameplay. In addition, parts of the game were too dark while some were too bright. Gamma corrections within the game options are a good feature, but why should I need change the setting more than once?

There's a pretty hefty learning curve especially for anybody accustomed to mouse-driven games. The keyboard-only interface is awkward and could easily have been made more "user friendly." While there is no jumping involved, there are several parts where you must crouch down or run very fast to accomplish the needed task.

Using the keyboard for movement is terrible - mainly because the diagonal keys are not supported. Turning a corner, for instance, is harder than it needs to be because you can only move forward, back, left and right. (Spoiler here - running away from a rolling boulder is not a biggie, but turning 2 blasted corners while you're running is a pain in the behind!)

I didn't like wandering around wondering what to do in the big, wide world with nothing happening. If it weren't for Simon's sense of humor, the travel map and some good hints, I would've quit out of frustration a long time before the end.

The Bottom Line
This is my first "Simon the Sorcerer" game, so I can't compare it to its predecessors. The comedy and the intricately laced puzzles kept me playing, and it really was quite a lot of fun. And it's not short. It will keep you busy for a good long while.

Simon fans will enjoy this for nostalgic reasons, because Simon is still his old whacky self. On the whole, the adventure aspects are diverse and different and you'll definitely need your thinking cap on. If you can get over the weird interface and the not-so-good graphics, you'll find yourself laughing your way through this odd and challenging adventure.

Windows · by Jeanne (75977) · 2003

Swampling Stew. Swampling Stew. To your bog, your swamp be true. Swampy be true. Swampling Stew.

The Good
Simon the Sorcerer 2 ended with Simon being separated from his own body and placed into Sordid's, thanks to Runt, Sordid's evil apprentice. That was way back in 1995. Now Simon the Sorcerer 3D, made seven years later, continues where the last episode left off. So what took Adventure Soft a bloody long time to make it? Well, they were sick of Simon for once and went on to produce The Feeble Files. How did they remember how Simon 2 ended? They must have written notes on how it ended or just referred back to their saved games.

Simon 3D begins with Runt announcing that he has just made Sordid a new body suit, as appreciation that his last experiment was successful. Meanwhile, Simon is knocked out while his friends put his lost soul back into his body. But when he wakes up, Simon must prove himself worthy by solving a series of obstacles. Simon 3D consists of six chapters, and the first one outlines how Simon overcomes these obstacles.

In each of the six chapters, you have missions to complete. These missions range from getting to the town of Poliganis to finding a way to gain entry into Sordid's fortress. All of the chapters feature stunning graphics. In the second chapter, I enjoyed walking around the meadows, while exploring sights like the waterfall, lonely hut, and the many rivers. From chapters three through to five, I enjoyed walking around town, seeing what there is and whether I can enter the establishments. The chapter opening, where the chapter that you are about to begin, is well done. Of these, chapter one features Indiana Jones-style graphics, while chapter two has graphics similar to Forrest Gump (but instead of Forrest sitting on the seat, it's Simon).

You will be interacting with a lot more characters than you did in the previous two episodes. Most of the characters from the previous two episodes make a return in this game. Some of the characters are hilarious to listen to, especially Coneman the Barabrain (obviously, a parody of Conan the Barbarian), where he plans to knock the living daylights out of Simon because Simon is always rude to him. Then there's S.I.G.N., the Signal Integrated Golem Narrative, who is one minute happy to give directions to lost travelers, but becomes an aggressive drunk the next. One of the most memorable moments for me is learning the “Swampling Song”. I always found it funny to hear Simon screw it up.

I loved the mini-games that you can play in the fifth chapters, which you can only play at the carnival. Most of these mini-games are easy to win, but then there's the Shooting Gallery, where you don't use a gun to shoot the targets, but your little yo-yo. To make matters worse, I got in the situation where I was “too close, but not close enough”. But with a little bit of practice, I manage to hit all the targets. You win a prize if you manage to win a game, and that prize helps you in your adventure.

The musical score is so wonderful and is easy to listen to. They reflect the environment in which you are walking through. I enjoyed listening to the music that is heard when you are traveling on a rainbird, that enables you to fly between lands faster. I also like the music while you are exploring the meadows and Poliganis. And I forgot to mention the music while you are running to another area within a strict time limit.

As with every adventure game, you have the option of saving and loading games. You can save up to 42 games, and when you load each one, the game tells you what chapter you are on – useful if you are in the middle of one and have forgotten what chapter you are playing. After having whinged about it for so long, I can understand why adventure games like Simon 3D no longer use the mouse for game control. Clicking on various commands or icons is time consuming, whereas you only have to press a key or two to perform actions. According to the game, you use the “Action” key to pick up or manipulate objects, and “Use” to combine objects, both inventory- and non-inventory-based. [Caps Lock] and [Left Shift] keys are reserved for “Sprinting”, “Jogging”, and “Walking”.

The Bad
If you already have heard the same dialogue before, you press the [Backspace] key to bypass that dialogue. The problem with this is if you do press [Backspace], the dialogue still goes on and does not stop unless it is cut-off by sound effects or other dialogue.

At some points in the game, you have to combine inventory objects by selecting one object, and then double-clicking another. This does not always work, and you have to repeat the procedure until they are actually combined.

The fairy godmother appears and tells you how to accomplish a task. The first instances that she pops up, she tells you some useful information that is already outlined in the manual, as if people can't read manuals at all. It didn't help when her information just confused me.

From time to time, I pointed out the fact that different actors are always playing the same roles, and that just does not sound right if it is this way. Except for the swampling and Simon himself, nearly all the original actors, including Calypso, Goldilocks, and Sordid, are voiced by different people.

The Bottom Line
Simon 3D is a much, longer game compared to the first two episodes. It will take you more than an hour to complete each of the six chapters. It will take you at least ten minutes to explore the meadow in chapter two fully, and another ten minutes to get through Poliganis, without the use of a phone booth, which you can use to travel between places faster. Still, you have to get there on foot before you can use the phone booth to travel there faster.

The short ending of the game makes me hope that there will be a Simon 4.

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2005

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Trivia

In November 2000, the game went gold and press copies were sent to various magazines. I played that version and various reviews appeared. A few weeks later, the word was out that publisher Hasbro's QA department was not pleased with the game (especially the graphics) and developer Headfirst lost its publisher.

The search lasted until 2002 when AdventureSoft picked up the game and released it with small improvements. In an interview on Quandary, Andrew Brazier, assistant Designer at Headfirst, responded to all the critics saying it was their first step into 3D, which was very hard, but necessary to get funds as (in his own words) "2D is pretty much dead now".

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Game added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Sciere, game nostalgia, Kola256.

Game added May 17, 2002. Last modified August 29, 2023.