We could see that the point’n click genre was not quite dead yet, and that former glories were ready to return to the front of the stage, like Return to Monkey Island. License Simon The Sorcerer may be less well known than Ron Gilbert’s saga, but it should still speak to fans of retro games, who discovered the first episode in the early 90s. 30 years later, the series returns with a brand new episode which presents itself as a prequel, with Simon The Sorcerer Originwhich unveils here in French exclusivity on ActuGaming its very first trailer.
The sorcerer’s apprentice reveals his origins
Simon is back in this new opus, which will therefore take place before the elements of the very first Simon The Sorcerer released in 1993, a few weeks before the start of the adventure.
The sorcerer’s apprentice will therefore return in a more modern style, which nevertheless pays homage to period games and which retains its point’n click gameplay, with many puzzles to solve imprinted with magic and a redesigned gameplay with some new features. .
This episode will aim to lift the veil on many mysteries related to the first installment of the saga, with mysteries that will finally be solved.
Our interview with Massimiliano Calamai, game director of the game
On the occasion of this announcement, we were able to ask a few questions to Massimiliano Calamai, game director on the game:
- What motivated the return of this particular license?
I love, finally we love this saga, especially the first two episodes. Our company is made up of many veterans, enthusiasts, and gamers, many of whom hail from the developer world of the 1980s. I have been working in narrative video game development for over 30 years. Quite simply, we thought we had a good story for a prequel and our technical and visual possibilities would allow us to express it with intensity.
We felt that Simon needed more things, starting from the “origins”. We proposed a prequel to the original authors, it was not easy to convince them: we are touching their original story, relaunching it with new visuals, it was a dangerous operation, but we believed in it. After several months (about 1 year) of study and research, we received a “WOW!” It was a good time to start working on this new, and let me tell you, intense chapter.
- 30 years later, what novelties can we expect?
Our passion for genre and storytelling has focused precisely on this question. What should new players and fans of the saga expect? To give an answer, we had months of painstaking research and comparisons between us.
We wanted something classic that didn’t shake up the original universe of Simon 1 and 2 and which creates an immediate link with fans of the saga and adventurers. At the same time, we couldn’t forget that 30 years had passed, and many young players didn’t know Simon only partially.
Origins will tell an intense story, full of contrasts, we will get angry, we will laugh at the acid jokes of Simon (who will sometimes talk to the player), we will be moved and we will feel intense things by creating strong bonds with the first episode. The adventure takes place a few weeks before the events of Simon 1, we are in 1993, in a mild English spring. We find an aggressive boy full of contradictions, who has not yet found his place in the world, with a conflicting relationship with his parents.
We will find a much more developed and complete Simon, helped by technology and visuals that we have designed around him: he will be entitled to lots of animations, expressions, staging, visual effects, as in an animated movie, but completely playable with more modern point’n click controls. It will be an intense and complex adventure with a narrative crescendo and difficulty in the puzzles. We will find modern visuals but with warm colors that will always maintain the link with the original series.
- In the 90s, some people compared the series to Monkey Island. It must make you smile to see that this license is also returning (with Return to Monkey Island) isn’t it? Do you think that a renewed interest around the point’n click is happening?
Yes, this incredible coincidence made us smile a lot. After 30 years, Simon and monkey will be together again, it’s something that excites us and makes us proud, and at the same time, we can’t wait to play Return To Monkey Island! We are sure Ron Gilbert will do a fantastic job.
We are honored to share the same timing for the relaunch of two such legendary sagas. I believe that over the past decade interest in point & click adventures has never waned, largely due to the more recent work of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, who have been able to juggle remasters, remakes and new licenses.
But certainly, Return To Monkey Island and Simon The Sorcerer Origins will shine even more of the spotlight on the genre by capturing the attention of nostalgics and attracting young gamers. We are convinced that this will be a new breath of fresh air for the adventures of the next few years, and we have great plans to continue working on Simon.
- Did you draw some influences from more modern titles, or did you essentially stay with the heritage of the series?
We believe we have brought Origins the best point’n click ideas, old and new, but it made the gameplay engaging and complicated: we didn’t want a simple game, it had to reflect specific challenges and correspond to the character of Simon and the absurd world that he is going to visit.
As for orders in Origins, this is a classic point’n click with strong ties to the past, but with many nuances that make it more modern. The adventure, on the other hand, is discovered through puzzles that will require more and more ingenuity, but which will always be logical and satisfying; you will have to immerse yourself in Simon’s universe to understand it.
- Do you have a last word to add for our readers?
We develop this title with a lot of love and respect, we feel honored to have had the confidence of the original authors.
We transfer these feelings and emotions into the game, through a story and events that represent two intense messages (which I won’t reveal). There will be lots of nostalgia, fun, winks, wit, amazement and… a moment later, maybe a few tears.
Simon The Sorcerer Origin set to release in early 2023 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and Switch.