Simon the Sorcerer is an ancient relic of the gaming world, back from when the Amiga was the hottest console that money could buy and PCs were still running out of MS-DOS. So, has its offbeat charm survived this 20th anniversary Android revival?
To put it simply, this is a game that was first released in 1993 and it feels its age. The graphics may have been retouched and the original music remastered, but the clunky animation and the game’s seriously slow pace feel like dragging your flash new iphone through a boggy mud patch. For first time players – especially of the younger generation – its unlikely to set pulses racing, but Simon the Sorcerer isn’t really on the lookout for new fans.
If you’ve played and loved this game in the past – and if you’ve played it, you’ve probably loved it – you’ll download Simon and the Sorcerer out of pure nostalgia. On that level it ticks all the right boxes – it’s a game with heaps of character, delivered with the same memorable voiceover by Red Dwarf star Chris Barrie. The point and click puzzles are just as infuriating yet satisfying, and the humour and wit of the dialogue hasn’t aged a day. For a game as old as this it’s still amazingly detailed too, and you could spend hours looking around for clues or just talking to the locals in the village pub.
The conversion to Android is almost seamless, although there’s no mouse cursor now, of course, so you’ll use touch-screen controls to trigger the on-screen commands. Because of the size of most android smartphones, these commands (talk to, pick up, use etc) do feel a bit squished at the bottom of the page, so for the best experience, you’ll want to use a tablet and benefit from its larger screen. We’d recommend taking a long afternoon to readjust yourself to the game’s crawl-like pace too, as Simon just wasn’t created with mobile gaming in mind. An adventure game like this isn’t suited to being crammed into brief periods of downtime or a short commute, they require time and patience, but they reward you royally.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Simon the Sorcerer is unlikely to win over many new fans on its 20th anniversary, but those who loved it the first time around will enjoy their trip down memory lane.