The Forbidden Arts Review
Nintendo Reviews

The Forbidden Arts Review (Nintendo Switch)

Welcome to our The Forbidden Arts review. Developed by Stingbot Games, The Forbidden Arts is an action-adventure Platformer about a young Pyromancer called Pheonix. Throughout the game, Pheonix makes use of his fire abilities to overcome monsters, puzzles and obstacles.

  • The Forbidden Arts
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Stingbot Games
  • Publisher: Stingbot Games
  • Multiplayer: None
  • Available: 7th August 2019 (PS4 Version Q4 2019)
  • Price: £11.79 (U.K), $14.99 (U.S)
  • Age Rating: PEGI 16 (UK/EU), T (US)
  • Review Code Provided

The Forbidden Arts starts off with Pheonix seeking the assistance of a druid, who awakens his pyromancy power, which leads him on an adventure of self-discovery to fully master his newfound abilities. I won’t say much else about the story as I don’t want to ruin it.

In The Forbidden Arts, there are two types of level setup, the main levels are side scroller based, while each hub world is fully 3D. In the main levels, you’ll typically be navigating Pheonix through a dungeon full of enemies, jumps and other obstacles, while finding collectibles and reaching the end, while in the hub worlds you’ll basically travel between levels, meet characters and find collectibles.

The Forbidden Arts Review
One of the game’s 3D hub worlds.

If you love a challenging game, then this is one for you. The combination of enemies and challenging environments full of jumps, climbs and traps really does make for some hard times. Then to top it off, each level features a boss fight and these fights often require a bit of learning to master.

The Forbidden Arts Review
Don’t fall in the Honey.

Although it’s full of challenging parts, The Forbidden Arts does go easy in some places. For example, each level is packed full of checkpoints and there are no overall lives to lose, meaning if you get stuck somewhere for a bit you can freely keep trying without being forced back to the beginning of the level. The game also autosaves at each checkpoint meaning its possible to turn the game off for a bit and reload right where you left off. While these things don’t make the gameplay any easier, they do make it a much less frustrating game.

While there are a variety of different enemies you’ll come across during the game’s 12 hours or so story, they do get boring and repetitive rather quickly. Each level typically has 3 different types of enemies you’ll come across before finally meeting the boss. Enemies range from small fairy-like creatures to large bears but make no mistake, even the small ones can be a challenge at first, particularly the flying ones. Some are easy to kill using Melee attacks, while others will go down easier with a taste of fire. If you abuse an enemy using your melee attack, they will sometimes turn blue and during this period they are untouchable as they are performing their special attack.

A freshly defeated Bear.

Boss fights are much better, in that each one requires some thinking and if you’re like me, you’ll probably die a few times before you finally realize just what you need to do to avoid an attack and hurt the boss.

The Forbidden Arts Review
One of the boss fights you’ll encounter.

As well as enemies and traps, each level features collectible gold chunks, which you’ll often find by taking different paths that lead nowhere but to a bit of gold. Collecting these gold chunks allows you to rebuild ruins scattered in the hub worlds. Once rebuilt these ruins open up bonus levels where you can try your skills against a clock.

Throughout the game, Pheonix will learn new powers after defeating bosses. These powers center around his pyromancy and include things from a basic fire shot to using fire to jump up really high ledges. Each of these moves will use up your fire energy, but replenishing it is really easy as there are plenty of flame sources dotted around each level.

The Forbidden Arts Review
Pheonix replenishing his fire power using a campfire.

The graphics are bit blocky and rough around the edges in the 3D sections, but the 2D sections look amazing and are full of so much detail that it makes you forget about the 3D part of the game altogether.

In conclusion, The Forbidden Arts is a pretty good side-scrolling adventure game that features challenging levels and boss fights. While normal fights tend to be a bit boring and repetitive, the overall game is a lot of fun and the story is pretty strong for what it is.

That concludes our The Forbidden Arts review. To purchase the game on Nintendo Switch, visit the eStore.

I am a reviewer based in the North of England, I have been writing reviews since 2015. I have recently written reviews on another site that I had co-founded. I started Northern Reviewer as a solo experience based on my previous website experience, which was literally none other than writing reviews and doing a few changes here and there behind the scenes. In May 2019, I co-founded the sister site to Northern Reviewer, Northern Gamer, along with Chris Bracewell.

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