Scroll Thief review


Scroll Thief is a proper puzzlefeast with spells. Although it’s said to be an unofficial sequel to some famous Infocom games, any unfamiliarity with those should not deter anyone from playing Scroll Thief. At least it did not me, and I’m all the happier for it.

Most of the game deals with understanding and using spells to obtain more spells, and this was at times deviously tricky. The back story sustains the puzzles perfectly and is capturing enough to fuel a puzzled puzzler forward. A particularly impressive point of note is that Scroll Thief contains some really new (for me at least) and interesting way of interacting with NPC’s.

When first starting the game and reading about how to do all the magic stuff, I was afraid that it would be a bit overwhelming and/or tedious with all the copying and preparing and scrying and whatnot, but this was actually much easier than my first impressions implied. It turned out these things were automagically simplified for the player.

There were a few things I found confusing, however. Scroll Thief is listed as polite on the cruelty scale, but seeing this actually prevented me from progressing in the beginning; the proper way to move forward gives the same warning as one that (presumably) would prevent the player from winning. Also, several puzzles have multiple solutions, which I generally condone, but here, for me, these ended up as red herrings that took me a lot of time to unsuccessfully figure out.

The second act of the game went much smoother, and having learned how to best utilize the magic at my disposal it was simply pure fun. Then it suddenly ended.