Nine Parchments is a co-operative blast 'em up game of magical mayhem from Frozenbyte, creators of the Trine series.
Runaway apprentice wizards seize the opportunity to complete their spell-books by going after the lost Nine Parchments. As the would-be wizards rapidly acquire powerful new spells without learning proper safety measures, it's natural their hasty progress results in plenty of deadly accidents…
Nine Parchments combines real-time spell-shooting action with RPG elements – level up your character and collect magical loot, filling your wardrobe with a myriad of wizard hats and powerful staves.
Nine Parchments is available for purchase on Nintendo Switch (EU, US and JPN) and PC (Steam, Humble, GOG) for $19.99. It's release on PS4 and Xbox One is yet to be announced.
Nine Parchments Launch Trailer
A mysterious explosion at the Antral Academy scatters nine parchments to unknown places. The rebellious students quickly see this opportunity to do some field study and set off to find them for their own use – and possibly return it to the academy in the end, but just maybe.
As a good hook to an adventure story as this is, the story of Nine Parchments begins and ends here. The game is a linear series of levels through all of the nine parchment's locations, each one populated with a boss fight at the end. There are some levels in between to lengthen the journey, each one with one or more minibosses, but that is it. In total, there are 32 Levels worth of 5 to 8 hours of gameplay.
In terms of replayability, there is almost none – you can replay the story to collect all the staves or achievements that you missed, but you have no strong reason or incentive to do it, since the experience will be identical to the first run.
I kind of wish the story was more "RPGesque", with more variations, plot and exploration.
The gameplay of Nine Parchments is a blast. Literally.
In this Action RPG you utilize a wide range of fire, frost, dark and light spells to obliterate all the enemies and strange creatures you come across in a frenetic display of color and movement.
The controls are basic – you can move, teleport switch and cast spells. Additionally, you can melee hit with your staff but lets be honest – no one cares about melee when you can shoot fireballs and frost-beams. I personally played the game with the Steam Link remote because I felt that this is the kind of game that begs for a more "hands-on" approach – once again, literally.
Initially, its a joy to slide between foes and their attacks while at the same time toggle between fireballs and ice cones to tear them apart.
Unfortunately, as the game progresses and you unlock more spell variety, you soon start to notice they all feel the same. The only aspect that impacts your choice is the element of the spell you choose vs the element resistances and weaknesses of your enemies – fire and ice beat each other and the same goes for light and darkness. Besides that, all of the 49 different spells work with one of a reduced set of mechanics – Beam, projectile, area of defect, cone or touch. It's disappointing that a game with so good action is so short in variety, it would really elevate all the experience.
There are 8 unlockable characters and 27 Staves and 31 Hats to collect. The Hats are merely cosmetic while each Staff comes with a unique Stat like enhancing a particular element of damage or reducing a specific spell's cooldown. Besides that, there are some unlockable talents through your character leveling process, but the talent tree is rather simple and basic.
However, and despite all his simplicity the best experience this game can provide you is the multiplayer. There is something beyond magical in a screen full of four wizards jumping, teleporting and casting spells to a horde of magical creatures.
The multiplayer really enhances this chaotic and frenetic action element, which is were Nine Parchments shines and delivers true moments of pure raw fun. Additionally, Nine Parchments makes it very easy to drop in and out of an online co-op game.
There is only one inconvenient catch – if you start a multiplayer game, you loose your progress in your single-player campaign that you may have ongoing. Yes, this is annoying and a bit frustrating, but taking into account the length and complexity of the story mode, it will never feels like a big loss comparing to the experience you are gaining in multiplayer chaos.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
The visual graphics of Nine Parchments are a treat.
The enhanced the color and brightness of this kind of games not only is a joy to contemplate but also fits his play style very well – it makes the action blend and dance in waves of color and ripples of lights. They do a great job keeping the chaos comprehensible, highlighting the different spell thrown at you or cast by you with their different elements and ranges. The movements are very fluid and natural and the spells feel as explosive and deadly as they can be for a Action RPG of this kind.
The diversity and richness of the landscape can almost make us forget we are playing yet another similar set of levels to reach another boss.
The sound is the least important in this mix – if feels fine when you are in the small gaps between the mob encounters and it does not compromises the gameplay focus when in intense combat
If you are a simple guy and wherever you see wizards and spells you press like, this game is for you. Gather your friends at the couch or simply jump online with more frenzy chaos lovers and enjoy pure raw destructive fun!
Nine Parchments is simple and delivers well it's value proposition – a lot of action, color and satisfying jukes and spell kills.
If you enjoy a game with more depth, customization or even an interesting plot, Nine Parchments won't be you kind of pasta.
|+ Blasting gameplay||– Practically no story|
|+ Genuine fun in multiplayer||– Very shallow RPG elements|
|+ Vivid graphics||– Repetitive spell arsenal|