My friends at Frozenbyte (Finnish Indie Game Company who made the popular Trine series, also has-been heroes) ask me If I was interested to review their new IP Nine Parchments, couldn’t release the review before to respect the embargo.
Of course I accepted has I had already the opportunity like everybody to try the demo version (Available on the Nintendo eShop for Switch EU/US)
Let’s start with what kind of game is Nine Parchments.
Nine Parchments bring you on a world of beauty and magic where a bunch of wizards try to search for the lost Nine Parchments to complete their Spellbook (Refer to Frozenbyte).
At the beginning you have the choice of playing with Cornelius or Gislan or basically both if you play in co-op mode, yes you read correctly, co-op mode available local and online in this at any time during the game.
First level start with a Examination, a sort of prologue/introduction/tutorial to learn the mechanics of the game.
I’m not going to spoil, I will mostly talk about 4 points (Mechanics, Gameplay in general, Graphics, Musics) the rest, I will let you discover.
The style of the game is a crossover between Shadowgrounds (a Frozenbyte IP also, one of the first one), the popular Diablo by you know who and also the popular Trine series, Trine fan are going to love it.
Is the Mechanics of the game good ?
Yes it is better than expected, if you are familiar with Diablo, Torchlight, Sacred type of game is not a problem for you, despite being a little more difficult to control than on those game (I tell you not going to be easy if you play solo) the more you play, the more you will understand and the more you are going to like it, there is a lot of stuff to unlock, each characters are able to reach different Wizards level, same goes for spells/staves/hats style.
There is a French words to definite the work behind the Nine Parchments Mechanics, the correct one will be bien peaufiner meaning by that well polished, you can directly recognise the Frozenbyte care signature. Basically the Mechanics is fully complete, accessible but with needed time of adaptation. Just don’t forget, you can’t not control the Camera, the right stick is mostly to control where to shoot your magic and the left one is of course to move your characters, don’t worry, you are going to enjoy how to take control of all the Mechanics of the game.
Gameplay Good or not ?
I don’t say that because I know Frozenbyte work and their passion of making game to bring the experience they want you to acknowledge, it’s just that Nine Parchments is the type of game that I was waiting for on Nintendo Switch and enjoy playing, it fit really well with the console to the point that you don’t see the time passing.
You have different level of difficulty that you can change at any time during your play ascension from easy to hard (hardcore can only be selected once when you start a new game) I recommend to start with the easy one and after if you want chose another difficulty if you feel is not hard enough, but as I previously said on the Mechanics part, not easy.
Monsters and Enemies (random appear) won’t let you have the time to hide or jump away, you have of course the possibility to teleport yourself like Sangoku but you need to know that spell/teleport and co cost damage/stamina, so use carefully all your spells.
Other than that, as I said not going to spoil the game but for sure, good luck completing the game ☺️, won’t be easy at all and there is a massive amount of levels. Think around over 1xx and me who love exploring, I took over 1hour to finish the first one, that because is my way to play, appreciating the game itself, the environment, music, etc.
Believe me when I say you are going to love this game no matter which platform you play this game, Switch one is on another world.
And Local/Online Coop, don’t start or you will never end playing this mode 😂
You can play the entire game with 4 players in local mode (4 Joy con + one Switch only) or Online Player with 4 Online Friends.
What about Graphics ?
That the question that everybody often ask for the Nintendo Switch now.
Well you know what, correct word is fabulous, it is probably one of the most beautiful level design ever made on Switch or even other platform, as I said POLISHED, Everything look clean, so clean that I can’t stop exploring the environment without fighting enemies, just look around what the designers/devs have done in here, reason why it took hour to Finish/Finnish the first level (it is cold in here)😂.
The game take advantage of Nvidia PhysX in terms of physics/animations, there is also a lot of small details from here to here to water to lights to shaders to shadows to particles.
In the end, you don’t need to worry about the Graphics, everything is in place ! There is no hiccup, no lag, no stutter everything run smooth docked or undocked mode or 4 player same Switch.
Now what about the Music ?
Look I’m going to make it simple about the music, don’t expect Metal ! don’t expect Rock or Rap or whatever you music you expect from Finnish people 😂. No let’s stop here the stereotype, Nine Parchments music is wonderful, put volume up, go let down on your bed and play the game and let me know how you feel. Frozenbyte have good taste of magical musics. That all I can say (check trailer at the end of a example)
I probably expose all what I wanted to say based on my own experience of the game and I aim to repeat everything is subjective, for me, Nine Parchments is on my favourite game Switch list, I will recommend to anyone who ask, is it good ? definitely yes, even more when you know that the game is available at a really good price in comparison of the contents provided and how long they have been working on it, try to provide the best possible experience to gamer in general, make as much as possible a fulfilled complete game and I’m pretty sure there is more surprise coming.
Just something that I’m missing for game like this one, closer zoom in and large zoom out, camera rotation to realise level design details, I didn’t have time to check everything but at the moment other than this, I don’t see, oh yes I would have liked to go back to previous part of each level but they close after while and can’t come back to look around but is not such big deal.
I don’t like to score game in general, as it depend of each person appreciations.
Here’s my score
Nine Parchments and definitely recommend it on Switch or any other platform