The Game: You’re the sorcerer, and your first job is to commandeer a magic flying carpet-lookin’ thing that zips randomly through the air above you, taunting you. Once a carpet flies low enough for you to board it (simply by moving the joystick up), you can go to the right and begin doing battle with all manners of magical adversaries, including trios of non-descript guys and lizards that look like they’ve been decorated for a Fourth of July parade. If they shoot you, you fall off your flying carpet and your body drifts lifelessly to the bottom of the screen. If you shoot them first, they inexplicably transform into treasures that you can pick up before going to the next screen. (Mythicon, 1983)
Memories: I remember sitting in a crowd at the Classic Gaming Expo auction in 2003 and hearing John Hardie pitch the next item – a minty-fresh Mythicon point-of-sale display stocked with still-shrinkwrapped Mythicon game cartridges for the 2600 – as a bunch of games that were essentially the same. I thought he was joking. Now that I have played Sorcerer for myself – having already played and reviewed Firefly here – I have learned that John speaks the truth.
Sorcerer is essentially identical to Firefly, with a different coat of paint on a different set of sprites. Other than that, and the “flying carpet capture” screen, this is exactly the same game. The enemy AI, if you can really call it that, is exactly the same, right down to your targets turning into a treasure when they’re shot. (It doesn’t make any more sense here than it does in Firefly.)
Whatever its employees’ and designers’ intentions were at the time, Mythicon comes across now as the epitome of the lowest-common-denominator, jump-on-the-bandwagon-to-make-a-quick-buck game publisher from the Atari days. I distinctly remember that point-of-sale display from the 2003 auction proclaiming that Mythicon games were “only $10!”
Make it five, and maybe we can talk.