Here's for an unexpected prequel announcement. Publisher Leonardo Interactive and developer Smallthing Studios have announced a brand new entry in the classic Simon the Sorcerer point-and-click adventure series. The series debuted on the DOS and Amiga, and next year's upcoming entry, Simon the Sorcerer Origins, will be the first entry in nearly 13 years.
The Simon the Sorcerer games were known for having humour that was comparable to the Monkey Island series and Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. The first was developed by British studio Adventure Soft, and the character was voiced by Red Dwarf and The Brittas Empire comedian Chris Barrie.
The franchise has changed hands over the years, with Silver Style Entertainment handling the fourth and fifth games. A sixth game was in development around 2014, but in 2016, Irish studio StoryBeasts announced that it would be halting the Kickstarter due to the departure of a key member of the team. You can read the developer's statement from back then right here.
The game is coming to multiple platforms, but most importantly, the Switch! We've grabbed all the details from the game's Steam page:
Simon The Sorcerer Origins is the official prequel of the legendary Simon’s saga.
The game starts a few weeks before the events of the first episode, which left the players of the time with many unanswered questions about the reasons why Simon ended up in that mysterious magical world.
Origins tell a story about what happened before the events of the first chapter.
Simon’s rebellious life will be shattered by the unexpected arrival in the wizarding world where he will unleash an absurd and ancient prophecy that will trigger a lot of trouble! During his adventure, the rebellious Simon will do something great, obtaining moral redemption and proving that he is not just a disappointment to his parents.
He will meet his guide and mentor: Calypso. Thanks to this encounter, Simon will be able to gain a new friend who will represent a symbolic grandfather for him.
The narrative and gameplay paths unfold in countless ways without forgetting about the core elements of the saga: comedy and sarcasm. A strong bond with these features has been maintained in the dialogues, situations, and animations. Simon will often break the fourth wall by speaking directly to the players. “Hey, I am talking to you, the future player I can magically sense who is reading the Steam Page about my game!”
- Legacy – A tale that travels through time from a legendary past towards a great future.
- This is Not a Remake, Guys! – Simon the Sorcerer Origins is a brand new game with its roots deeply bonded with the contemporary gaming world.
- Stunning 2D Art – Simon the Sorcerer Origins‘ visuals and animations, refined in every detail, let the player live his adventure in a continuous flow that goes from gameplay to cutscenes and vice-versa.
- Puzzle and Comedy – The player will encounter a wide range of different kinds of puzzles. You could either challenge your wits with the classical “take and use” ones, seasoned with unexpected comedy interludes, or you can be called to solve magical arquebuses that will require the help of a little bit of sorcery. Hunt for clues, objects to combine, and all the weird stuff in the middle to reach the skill of a decent mage.
- Original License – This is a canonical chapter of Simon’s saga.
- Easter Eggs – Look for them because they could be anywhere, also in a description of a Steam Page.
We've got to wait a bit before we can start practicing magic with Simon as the prequel isn't due out until 2023. Steam currently lists the release date for 28th March 2023, but this might just be a placeholder for now. You can also get most of the games in the series on PC and mobile nowadays, but regardless, this is an exciting update for Amiga and point-and-click fans!
This origin story also comes with a brand new art style for the series, with lovely hand-drawn characters and painterly backgrounds, which is in line with the styles of some of the Monkey Island rereleases!
Let us know your thoughts on this surprise prequel in the comments!