Ernie Eaglebeak is a young lad living with his cruel stepfather Joey Rottenwood, who keeps him locked up in the attic. Ernie is secretly in love with his neighbor Lola Tigerbelly, a young woman definitely out of his league. Things take a turn for the better when Ernie gets accepted as a freshman by the Sorcerer University, a prestigious school of magic. At first Ernie is fascinated by college life and meets a few attractive women as well. However, when the magical Sorcerer’s Appliance gets stolen, Ernie is sent on a dangerous mission to recover that powerful device. Armed with his spellbook and a magical surfboard, Ernie must cross the Fizzbuttle Ocean and travel to various islands searching for clues.
Spellcasting 101 is the first game created by Legend Entertainment, heralding their hybrid graphical and text adventure format. Continuing Infocom’s tradition of humorous text adventures, the game can be played in text-only mode. However, graphical depictions of locations can be activated as well, and the game gives the player the opportunity to combine verbs from a list with on-screen objects in an almost point-and-click fashion. The game contains many puzzles following a peculiar sense of logic; it is also possible to get irrevocably stuck and die.
Magic spells (including such exotic ones as increasing a person’s bust size) can be learned and then used in appropriate situations to solve puzzles. The player’s actions advance the game’s internal clock, and some of the tasks are based on being in the right place at the right time. The islands are tackled as separate scenarios and are self-sufficient gameplay-wise. The game contains many puns and jokes, some of them college-oriented (e.g. Tappa Kegga Bru or I Phelta Thi fraternities). It is possible to activate the "Naughty Mode", which shows the game’s female characters semi-naked in some scenes, and also makes the corresponding text descriptions explicitly erotic.
Having recovered the Sorcerer’s Appliance in the previous game, Ernie Eaglebeak begins his sophomore year at the Sorcerer University. Having chosen Hu Delta Phart for his fraternity pledge, Ernie is given exceedingly difficult hazing rituals by the Pledgemaster Chris Cowpatty. Meanwhile, Ernie’s wise adviser, Professor Otto Tickingclock, who became the president of SU, asks him to unveil the true secrets of the Sorcerer’s Appliance.
Like its predecessor, Spellcasting 201 is an interactive fiction game in which the protagonist’s roster of spells will come in handy. A list of commands and objects (including spells) is on the left of the screen to be chosen from. Movement is in the eight compass directions. Ernie must make contact with the girls, and solve tricky puzzles. Nice Mode turns off the more lurid details featured in Naughty Mode. As opposed to the previous title, the entire game takes place within the vast campus grounds, allowing more freedom of movement but also increasing the difficulty.
It’s spring break time for the students of the Sorcerer University! Ernie Eaglebeak and his friends from the Hu Delta Phart fraternity load their flying carpet with booze and sun lotion, and head to a beach resort. However, there they encounter students from a rival college, more specifically the Getta Lodda Yu fraternity. These young men are noticeably more muscular than the nerdy SU alumni and do not want them in their path to amorous conquests. When a mysterious beautiful woman appears on the beach, the two groups initiate a contest – and at first it seems that Ernie and his friends stand no chance in disciplines such as body surfing, bullfighting, and throwing wild parties.
Spellcasting 301 is similar in gameplay to its predecessor. It introduces VGA graphics, continuous music tracks, and a slight changes to the interface. Like before, most puzzles rely on clever usage of spells. Spellcasting levels can be raised by running errands for the local sorcerer guild. In-game time advances with each action performed by the player, sometimes necessitating scheduling for various activities. The game has somewhat more explicit sexual scenes if the player activates its Naughty Mode.