Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

After Magicka, a fun simulation of witchcraft battles, we have seen a lot of games about showdowns between magicians. Gift of Parthax, published by 1C, weeds the same garden, but even more accentuated – all the action here is focused on magical duels that take place in closed arenas.

The Magic of Friendship

In fact, Gift of Parthax is not just a series of duels, there is even a plot. We play as Arif, a fugitive magician in a purple cloak, who, along with his friend Veleus, tried to escape from the kingdom of Duredyll – where witchcraft was outlawed. Naturally, they were caught by the agents of the king and thrown into prison – no magic helped here.

Veleus was then exiled to fight in the arena owned by the powerful mage Partax, where Veleus was eventually wounded. Arif, having learned about this, escaped from prison and decided to become a gladiator magician himself – if he defeats everyone, he will receive the main prize of the great champion, the gift of Partax, which will help save his friend.

This whole story, of course, is presented simply, without Hollywood commercials and ornate dialogues. In between fights, when we visit the local store, the library, or the room where the wounded Veleus is lying, Arif can find some object, meet a character, chat, or see scenes that are important from the point of view of the script – all this sheds light to a greater or lesser extent on what is happening and moves the plot. For example, after the first successes in the store, I saw two strangers whispering to each other, who were discussing just Arif and obviously starting something – when he appeared, they immediately retreated. Some kind of intrigue …

This story even has different endings. They largely depend on how we deal with the defeated “bosses” in the arena – kill them or spare them.

Gift of Parthax game review

In battle, you need to accurately shoot magic projectiles and run away from dangerous areas in time.

Runic lore

However, all this in Gift of Parthax is just a backdrop for the magical duels themselves. And they are implemented according to the principle “easy to learn, hard to fight.” Everything really seems to be simple: there is a spellbook, which is gradually replenished with new “spells”, and there are runes that give additional properties to spells – for example, turning ordinary “fireballs” into homing missiles, making summoned creatures more tenacious and stronger, and so on.

There is practically no role system. There are only knowledge points that we earn in the arena or by finding books outside it – having accumulated enough such knowledge, Aref will reach the next nirvana, expand his consciousness, which will make his spells more effective, increase his health and mana.

The winter is coming

Battles are divided into seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. In each there are several ordinary stages, where we withstand the attacks of more and more powerful enemies, and then there is a fight with the final “boss”. Having defeated him, Aref will replenish his magic book with a new ultraspell – some kind of deadly tornado or the ability to summon a huge tree that scatters its bomb seeds.Gift of Parthax game review

Potions do not restore health or mana immediately, but gradually.

It is clear that both opponents and the conditions in the arena themselves differ depending on the season. It’s very hot in the summer, and dragons, demons, and fire elementals are constantly trying to roast you and turn you into a smoking barbecue. And in autumn, some flying fish appear, attacking with lightning with the effect of stunning and slowing down.

Accordingly, the new spells that you learn based on the results of passing such tests will be the same thematic – for the first time you will learn how to throw lightning during the autumn season. Naturally, you need to adapt to different seasonal conditions and different enemies, making adjustments to your arsenal of magical techniques.

Freedom is a magician!

The necessary tactical (or rather, magical) depth to this whole process is given, first of all, by the fact that only four ordinary “spells” and one ultra are allowed to take into battle. And there are actually many times more spells, about three dozen, divided into six elements – fire, ice, earth, air, and so on. Plus summoning magic, magic traps, projectiles…Gift of Parthax game review

Here it is, the magician’s bible!

What techniques will be in your magical arsenal is up to you. You can at least take all four of the same type, betting on fire traps or, for example, on summoning minions. But it’s better, of course, to maintain a balance and have spells on hand for all occasions – a direct projectile, an area attack, a trap and a “summoning”. But even here there are dilemmas – what kind of traps will they be, whom to call on, and so on.

And all this is multiplied by a huge number of runes, with which each of the “spells” can be improved and supplemented. We buy them from a merchant for the money earned in the arena. Those examples of runes that I gave above are just the tip of the iceberg, but in fact there are a lot of options. And you also decide for yourself whether to add to the summoning magic the rune that lengthens the life of the minion or the one that, on the contrary, shortens it, but makes the creature many times stronger.

Moreover, having bought one rune once, you can add it without restrictions anywhere and in any quantity – if you wish, you can put the same rune in all four modification slots, multiplying its effect many times over.

Gift of Parthax game review

Mage battles are reminiscent of bullet hell-style showdowns.

***

Gift of Parthax is, of course, not Magicka: it doesn’t have that scope, and in general there is much less content. In addition, there are not enough interesting opportunities for mixing different elements. Here you will not be able to pour oil from barrels, and then set it on fire with a fireball or make it rain, in order to then pass a current through a puddle or freeze it. But there is just a huge creative freedom in what spells to use, how to improve them and, in general, how to form your arsenal of witchcraft techniques. So all born magicians Gift of Parthax is strictly obligatory for acquaintance. Especially after the authors still add network battles between players, without which it is simply impossible to fully unleash the potential of such a project.

Pros: exciting and challenging magic duels; greater creative freedom in what spells to use and how to level them; nice graphics.

Cons: little content; no multiplayer; primitive plot.

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