Archives for : Sorcery Games

Pellmell Review

Pellmell is an indie game by Sorcery Games that you probably didn’t even try. If you want to know what pellmell means it’s “in a confused haste”. So now that you have your new word of the day, lets get to how it relates to the game. This is a fast pased shmup where you play a guy running pellmell through the stages.

In Pellmell you can play arcade or co-op mode. The game supports up to 4 people locally and while I never got four people I did manage 3 and it was fun. Like any good shmup you have your power-ups, your various enemies, your goal to get the next stage and plenty of things to shoot at. You will also do some wall and floor trap jumping to add to your blasting away enemies.

Some really nice things you have to look forward to in this game is, your not in a ship. Your just a little guy running and shooting. Your looking at a floor instead of the blackness of space. Not too many shmups stray from the space route, but this one does it well. To boot this gem boasts 100 levels to play your way through. If you’re like me and you’re saying “There is no way I could complete that”. There is the wonderful feature of any level you’ve gotten to can be where you start the game.

Since power-ups are limited use in this game starting at a higher stage doesn’t effect what you at all. You won’t be starting out going oh man I’m so underpowered. You will have the same advantage you had the first time you played the stage. So think of it as a great little continue system that lets you replay any of the stages you beat or just get you back to where you left off.

I have to say I had the most fun playing this game with my girlfriend and son. As long as someone finishes the stage you all start up on the next one. Another nice thing is that there is bonus points awarded for reaching a certain score for that stage, you usually have to pass up the first stage exit to reach that point total, but don’t worry once you make it to a stage exit they start appearing pretty close to each other. You can also earn in game awards, an indie game may not have achievements but getting some of these awards are worth showing off.

If you like shmups you’ll like this, it’s fast paced. It has a good difficulty progression as well as the ability to up or lower the game difficulty as a whole. It also appeals a little to platformers in that you have the jumping obstacles that really hurt if you run into them. Okay so it’s not really a platformer but it has that little extra over your average shoot-em up. Local leaderboard to show your well.

For it’s little starter story, great gameplay, excellent varied enemies and the great time you’ll be sure to have playing it. My rating was an easy decision to make.

5 out of 5 in my book.

A Shooter Review

Okay “A Shooter” is a game by Sorcery Games for the Xbox Indie Marketplace. Yes, it is a schmup and yes the title pretty much says it all. You fly in your ship horizontally blasting your way through each stage. To me this game felt like it fell right from my old SNES Collection.

Graphically this game looks and feels like an SNES game. It’s simple design and game play make it real easy for people of any age to get into. I love that your not shooting at a bunch of asteroids or geometric shapes. You’re shooting at enemy ships, what appears to be mines and later on something that reminds me of a bunch of borg ships. The game has Arcade mode which is your single player option or cooperative where you can have up to 4 people blasting away with you.

One thing I really like is that on cooperative play its a little harder to make up for the added help. Another thing that is great is everyone sort of has one life. If anyone dies they are dead until at least one player makes it to the next level. Then they come back with full health, which is great when playing with others and they die on the first stage. If all players die that is it though. poof. Makes sense to me.

There are leaderboards for the game both local and online, but be happy if it ever syncs with someone. This game looks to have been over looked by most. Now I’ll give you my greif on the game. About the first 5 stages seem really really slow to me. Which I know most people won’t play past that point, and that is a shame since it gets better once you get to the harder stages. The bosses are a nice touch at the end of each stage, each with a different movement pattern and firing pattern.

Overall though I found the game to be quite enjoyable even if it’s not the best schmup out there.

4 out of 5

Aceball Indie Game Review

Sorcery Games’ Aceball is an enhanced pong indie game. I don’t say this as a bad thing, no I thought this game was great. Now I’m sure you’re saying why do I want a pong game for. Well, if you say you absolutely hate paddle games then there is probably not much I can say to change your mind. I’ll try though.

Aceball has two modes single player and multiplayer, which supports 4 players in the multiplayer mode. This was a very nice addition to the game. Also it’s not just about getting the ball past your opponents paddle. The game has a point system, so depending on how you play, whether for points or to get to the next stage it has a little for both playing styles.

In single player arcade mode, the stages vary from the first stages layout of the standard paddle table. The other stages start to change it up with walls extending off the table that could cause the ball to come back at you much quicker than expected. That is not all, it also has stages with breakable bricks on the stage similar to a game of breakout, except your still trying to get the ball past the opposing paddle. Another addition to this game is the floating heads and little aces. When the ball hits a head it racks up points and bounces that ball off the head. While the joker head can be the most dangerous one to hit since it appears that hitting this head can send the ball off in any wild direction and not the one you would expect. I love the randomness of it. Now the little aces the ball goes right over just adding points to your total. Some stages force you to juggle multiple balls and others don’t end until you knock a certain number of balls past the enemy paddle.

The multiplayer options are equally interesting. You can play you and a partner against the computer through the same stages in arcade mode. One players paddle is in the standard paddle position while your partner’s paddle is a farther up. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. My partner had the wonderful ability to put their paddle right in front of me when I bounced the ball forward causing it to come right back at me. So many balls lost this way, I felt like I just couldn’t handle my own balls. Anyway the other option sets two paddles on both sides and allows you to choose which side you will be on and the AI level of the computer paddle on your team. This is important since easy AI almost always seemed to get in my way more than it did help me.

So in closing, this game is better than your standard paddle game. It is a great deal of fun alone or with up to 4 players locally. It does have the downside of lacking a leaderboard to show how many points you racked up in comparison to others, but for local and single player play it is an acceptable loss. So get out there and pop some heads with those balls of yours.  You won’t regret this purchase.

A definite 4 out of 5.