About This Game
Follow the story of the purple-cloaked runaway wizard, Arif, on his quest to save his friend’s life. In a world where wizardry is outlawed, the magicians, Arif and his companion Veleus, were captured by a group of agents during their escape from the Kingdom of Duredyll and thrown into the dungeons. One day, Veleus, was sentenced to fight for his life in Atixa’s Grand Colosseum, run by a powerful mage by the name ‘Parthax’. Veleus fought valiantly, but was severely injured and incapacitated following his defeat. Arif heard rumors of his condition and knew the only way to save his friend would be to surpass any opponent standing in his way of attaining the champion’s prize, his friend’s only salvation, the Gift of Parthax.
- Create and combine your own spells: Discover 6 magical elements and use some of the 29 spells and 37 powerful spell-enhancing runes to create your own style of play. Every spell has 4 rune slots to add effects onto. Add more of your favorite rune to enhance its effect! These many spells and runes provide you with a great number of spell-customization choices.
- Increase your power and knowledge: For every challenge you complete as Arif, your knowledge of magic will increase, expanding your character’s mind. Every time you gather enough knowledge to expand your mind, you will gain more health, mana and an increase in magic damage.
- Unlock and learn powerful ancient magic: Based on the morality system’s result of your fights against bosses, you will be able to unlock either Light or Blood magic.
- Fight in epic arena battles: Survive 5 Seasons consisting of 25 challenges with mythological and magical creatures in Atixa’s Grand Colosseum.
- Dive into a gripping story: Interact with the colosseum’s characters and objects to discover more about the lore, find loot or learn more about magic.
- Shape the ending of the game: Your moral choices made during boss fights will lead to one of four different storyline endings.
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: 1.66 GHz Dual core
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000 or newer
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 1 GB available space
- Sound Card: Yes
Gift of Parthax is a top-down action game where you take part in the grand arena of Atixa, built by the great wizard Renfry as a place to practise and demonstrate magic for an audience. However, that all changed when Parthax took control of the arena after defeating Renfry in a one-on-one. Now it’s a gladiatorial arena where mages fight for their lives against mythical and magical creatures.
You play as Arif, a mage from the lands of Duredyll and with your friend Veleus; you are trying to escape the civil war which has erupted between those who are magically gifted and the citizens of Duredyll, whom are not. Sadly, before you could make your escape, you were captured by agents, sent from the capital to round up all fleeing mages and have them thrown into the dungeons. Sometime later, Veleus is taken to the neighbouring kingdom of Atixa, where he’s to fight for his life in the grand arena. Despite putting up a brave fight, he’s hit with a powerful spell which has left him critically injured. News spreads back to the dungeon about Veleus’s condition; distraught and worried about his friend, Arif decides to breakout of the dungeon. He makes his way to Atixa with one thing on his mind, to enter the arena, defeat any and all opponents in his way, as he looks to claim the grand champion’s prize and save Veleus’s life.
You start in the Hall of Preparation; here there’s a library, shop and rest area and access to the arena when you’re ready to enter. In the library you’ll find a book where you’ll keep information on any spells, runes and archspells you may have collected or brought as you progress through the arena. Runes can be added to your spells to give them that extra oomph, like giving greater speed to a projectile spell or stunning the enemy. There are quite a few options for you to tinker with depending on which runes and spells you have, so mix n match to find what suits you best. Defeating monsters in the arena will drop gold which you can then spend in the shop. In the shop you can buy runes, health and mana potions to aid you in your quest. In the rest area you’ll find your friend, seriously injured in bed.
Talk to the guard when ready and he’ll give you an option of which challenge you want to take part in (only completed or next challenge are shown) and teleport you to the arena. Moving the cursor over the challenge you want to take, it will tell you what you’re about to face. To start with, you can only access the first arena, Spring 1 – this challenge consists of three waves. Defeating all opponents in these three waves will open the next challenge, Spring 2. There is a total of four challenges per season; once all four challenges are defeated, you’ll take on a master of the arena, and defeating them will allow you to move on to the next season, Summer, and so on. There is a total of twenty-five challenges over five seasons.
As you enter the arena a commentator announces you to the crowd, who are all around you in this hexagon-shaped arena. You start off in the middle of the arena and then all manner of creatures appear around you, and it’s time to fight. Some creatures move, others don’t; some fly while others may charge at you. All have their own attacks and abilities as well as weaknesses. Exploiting these weaknesses will aid you through the challenges ahead of you. Using trap spells to slow down and kill the creatures while you use more offensive spells on others may just give you that extra edge in staying mobile.
You don’t want to get cornered or pinned down surrounded by these hideous creatures, otherwise it’s game over. I found that it’s best to attack certain creatures first (if possible), like the evil fireballs, who have an ability to stun within a certain area around them. If there’s a few of them together, then they can cover a greater area in which they can stun you, which will then allow them and others to get some extra attacks in for a short while. Using a trap spell as soon as the round starts will also help you hold off being surrounded a short while as you try to defeat the creatures elsewhere.
Once you’ve beaten a wave, the next one will follow a few seconds later, and once all waves have been beaten a door will open at the top of the arena, letting you out. It will take you to a room where there’s a shopkeeper, who you can buy from if you have enough gold. Also, here is someone who will teleport you back to the hall of preparation.
Upon completing a challenge you’ll be rewarded knowledge points and spells, which can then be added to your arsenal. You’re able to equip four spells to take into battle and each spell can have four runes attached (can use multiple of the same rune on one spell). After beating a master you’ll gain an Archspell; these can be used once you’ve charged it up enough by killing creatures in the arena. Gaining knowledge will increase Arif’s mind; gather enough knowledge and the amount of health, mana and your magic damage will increase.
Moral choices you make while battling a master of the arena can lead to one of four different game endings, and will also determine whether you unlock ancient powerful Light or Blood magic (archspell). There are two game modes: Normal and Hardcore. Choosing Normal mode – if you happen to die you’ll only lose some of your gold and knowledge earned from playing. Hardcore is for those who want much more of a challenge; if you die that’s it – your save will be reset, and you’ll have to start from the beginning again.
In the settings there’s Full Screen (On/Off), Camera Shake (On/Off), Language and Screen Resolution, there’s also Master, Background and Sound Effect volume controls. Under Control you’ll be able to check out the keys and buttons required to play using a keyboard/mouse and a game pad; sadly you can’t remap any of the controls. The game saves automatically for you but should you feel like starting another game, maybe to try hardcore or to try different runes with spells, then there are four save slots which you can use as you please.
+ Four different endings
+ Plenty of customising of spells
+ Nice pixel graphics
– Unable to re-map keys
– No cards
Enter the grand arena of Atixa, take on mythical and magical creatures as you seek to become the arena’s champion and save your friend’s life.
Key provided by developer/publisher for review purposes via THE CPT FROGGY CLUB!
Any opinions expressed are entirely my own!
For more reviews, great game giveaways and much more.
Come join us @ www.Zeepond.Com and The Cpt Froggy Club Steam Group[/quote
The pixel art in this game is absolutely stunning. Not only are the characters creative, but also beautifully made with awesome animations. Not to mention the pretty environmental art inbetween the "Hall of Preparation" and the arena fights, and in the room after a completed challenge. Hats off to you guys for making such a visually pretty game Foldergeist Studios.
At first I found it hard to get to know all of the controls after the tutorial, but a quick peek into settings did the job. When I played the first challenges in the first season, I found the gameplay pace kinda slow. However, after completing the first season, the game’s difficulty and pace increased. Even though that the first challenges were slow, it did help me to get into the game and prepare me for the upcoming battles in the 2nd season. I really like that the devs thought of making it this way as new players, such as myself, could get a chance to feel like as if you were a really powerful mage before advancing to harder challenges.
I loved the music in this game, I found it to be really motivating in the arena as the music (in combination with the surroundings) made me feel as if, I was acutally present in the arena.
I’m currently working my way towards the 3rd boss and I look forward to see how difficult it will be and what will happen next. I would definitely recommend this game to not only my friends but also to other people that I know. If you like arena games and pixel art, Gift of Parthax is definitely a must play in my book. I’m sure you’ll enjoy playing it as much as i do if you’re into these kind og games.
The game begins by giving exposition about the fantasyaaa world its story takes place in. Tensions between the mages and non-magical humans of the Kingdom of Duredyll have reached a boiling point, inducing the mages to attempt to flee the only home they have ever known. However, not all mages were so lucky as to escape.
The mages Arif and Veleus were captured by agents during their desperate dash for freedom. Veleus was forced to fight in a competition hosted by Parthax, a mage whose skills have no equal. Veleus sustains a fatal injury while struggling for his life, and Parthax decided to draw out Veleus’s misery by letting the injury slowly kill him from the inside out. But by not finishing Veleus off, Parthax left room for someone to come and win the only possible item that could save him: the champion’s prize.
And that’s exactly what Arif plans to do. Gift of Parthax commences with Arif embarking on a quest to save his best friend by fighting in Parthax’s contest. Players control the young mage as he initially enters the Grand Coliseum and begins to fight Parthax’s minions.
Parthax’s competition takes place in multiple stages. Arif begins to fight during the spring, but the game spans all four seasons and more when all is said and done. Each season contains five levels that players must progress through and concludes with a boss fight. Depending on the choices that players make during the boss fights, they will get one of four different endings when they complete Gift of Parthax.
The levels themselves prove to be intense, even on the game’s normal mode. Although the spring levels may not be all that challenging for players depending on their experience with brawlers, the summer season ratchets up the difficulty with alacrity. Players will soon be facing off against beasts of mythology like dragons as well as magical creatures.
Originally, Arif is solely able to sling fireballs at his enemies. But Foldergeist Studios crafted a significantly richer fighting system than just that. Players can customize their playstyle by unearthing six magic elements, 29 spells, and 27 spell-enhancing runes. They can unlock these augmentations by purchasing them from a shopkeeper after earning money by winning matches in the coliseum. Before they know it, players will be setting traps while lithely dancing across the battleground and poisoning their enemies.
Despite being so full of depth, the combat isn’t even the best aspect of the game. Foldergeist Studious absolutely nailed it with the in-game music. The music fits the gameplay perfectly and really adds to a player’s level of immersion. The art style also proves to be a boon when it could have been a detriment, elevating the game by being stunning. It’s evident that the character designs, animations, and environments were all created with love and care.
While the fact that Gift of Parthax doesn’t really tie back into the interesting world that it described in its exposition in any meaningful way feels like a missed opportunity, the game still does a lot right. Fans of the brawler and fantasy genres shouldn’t hesitate to pick this game up and give it a try.
Review copy provided by publisher
Magic is as ubiquitous in games as guns or swords, but unique representations of it can be few and far between. I very much appreciate games like Lichdom: Battlemage and Magicka which offer new ways to sling spells and combine your powers on the fly. I believe that was the intention behind Gift of Parthax, an isometric arena-based magic battler, but it doesn’t seem to have been fleshed out as far as it needed to. While the spell customization is fun to experiment with, it turns out there’s not a lot of game to run those experiments in.
The renegade wizard Arif and his wizard friend Veleus end up captured while trying to escape a kingdom bent on oppressing magic-users. They find themselves in the Colosseum of Parthax, a powerful and mysterious wizard himself. Veleus, being the stronger of the two, fights to earn their freedom but suffers a mortal blow for his trouble. With time running out to save his friend, Arif joins the competition and begins working his way through the ranks of the Colosseum. With a powerful command of the mystic elements and the runes that shape them, he might just have a shot at claiming the elusive Gift of Parthax and saving the life of his dear friend.
As you might expect from that description, the bulk of the game takes place within the confines of the Colosseum. Outside of battle there are a few locations Arif can visit, such as the dormitory where Veleus rests, a library to customize magic spells, and a shop to dole out useful potions and runes. It all serves as preparation or exposition though, and once you’re done puttering around it’s off to battle. The arena challenges are divided by season, with four regular battles and a boss battle for each. Surviving a battle earns you whatever gold you collected during the fight, as well as a new spell to play with.
That means the true heart of the game is the combat, and it comes tantalizingly close to being very solid. The spells you earn run the gamut of flying rock shards, blazing meteors, enchanted spore-belching trees, and lighting storms, and each can be enhanced with runes to add more projectiles, make them home in, cause status effects, or just be bigger and badder. With four spells and a super spell at the ready, along with a very generous dash, you’ll have your choice in how you dispatch your enemies. But there’s not much variety in the enemies you face, with only four or five kinds per season. They all tend to be slow and fill the arena with shots that can be tricky to dodge with your tall hitbox, and fill the usual slots of dragons, boars, fire elementals, and so on.
It’s not that the combat is bad, per se, it’s that there’s so little to do with the spells you create. I made a shotgun blast of poisoned stone shards during the Summer season, and it was a hoot slamming clusters of rocks into enemies and watching them melt. But that was all I did for that season. I had made a perfectly effective spell, and the enemies didn’t really change from challenge to challenge. It’s always the same arena too, sometimes with rocks, sometimes without, and each of the four challenges per season is made up of four individual battles, too. That means you’re essentially fighting the same fight sixteen times to progress, and no amount of flashy spells in the world can save that.
I want to reiterate that Gift of Parthax isn’t really a bad game, it just isn’t one that can hold my attention. As much as I appreciate being able to customize spells, the foes on the receiving end are not going to be entertaining enough to be worth it. It looks fine with a fairly detailed pixel art style, and sounds pretty good with appropriately pitched tracks. If the game had you doing anything more ambitious, like leaving the Colosseum on a proper adventure or even just touring other Colosseum for some variety, I would be much more engaged. As for now, there’s not enough to hook me in the story or the gameplay, and I would be remiss not to warn you that the same could happen to you.
Did you enjoy this review? I certainly hope so, and I certainly hope you’ll check out more of them at https://goldplatedgames.com/ or on my curation page
I like the artwork, and the gameplay is great, you definently can have a good time with this game 🙂
If you like to support indie development, and think this kind of gameplay is for you, you should definently want to consider this for your game collection. 🙂
And it plays fine at 3840×1080/32:9 (though you cannot zoom in/out).
Edit: Playable native Linux build in a dedicated beta branch, see https://steamcommunity.com/app/795610/discussions/0/1739968490553793957/#c1739968490557276157 for details. I wish I’m given the possibilitiy to apply a second thumbsup!
The pixel graphics are good, the controls are simple to get the hang on and the music really sets the mood.
All in all a great little game that is definitely worth it’s price!
I’ve not yet played to the end game, but the first boss fight was sufficiantly difficult and varied to make it fun. Using the different spells for best effect is necessary. So fast ranged spells for flying opponents, and ground traps and summoned creatures for slower walking opponents.
I enjoy this greatly as a filler in between the bigger titles.
All in all, what we have with a Gift of Parthax is a game with good potential at its core, wrapped up in some frustrating design choices that sometimes lend to an ambiguous, confusing experience with poor user feedback. In some cases, the only way to learn about Parthax’s basic mechanics is to go look at its Steam store page or its achievement list. Among other things, this took away from the overall experience for me. I had my share of good moments with Parthax, notably when I strategized how to best tackle a specific arena challenge using my spells, or when I messed around with rune configurations to make customized spells that served different purposes in battle. Unfortunately, it’s still just a little rough around the edges and in need of some polish to bring it all together into the best version of itself.
+ Beautiful art design
+ Great soundtrack
+ Provides some moments of challenge and the need to strategize
– Certain core mechanics never introduced or explained. The overall theme of ambiguity
– Instances of poor user feedback (poorly implemented sound effects, hitboxes that are off, etc.)
– Lacking polish in some respects
– Potential for confusing/frustrating experiences due to above points
The full review may be read at https://www.keengamer.com/article/20330_gift-of-parthax-review