Developer Frozenbytes' next title is another co-op romp for up to four players, only Nine Parchments
returns players to the fantasy world colourful fantasy world more familiar to fans of their earlier Trine
titles. Players assume the roles of drop-out wizarding students who are searching for spell parchments that will grant them access to powerful spells, rather than finishing the nine years of training that it would take to become a wizard.
Players begin the game with just three spells in their arsenal, but as they find more parchments, they'll learn more tricks. You become most powerful when you finally add the ninth spell to your spellbook. Spells draw from six different element types — fire, ice, lightning, steam, life, and death — although there are some special spells that don't draw from elements at all. Combine channelled beams, throw burning fireballs or electrify your opponents with lightning — you'll need all the tricks in the book to create your own spell extravaganza.
Characters will also gain experience and skill points as they progress. Each character has their own unique three skill trees that correspond to their strengths. For instance, the mechanical owl prefers to use lightning in his spells, so one of his skill trees is focused solely on that element.
There is also plenty of loot and items to find in chests hidden throughout the world. You can get bonus experience, staves or a fancy hat to make yourself look good. The hats don't have any magical properties, but the staves do. Not only can they be used for melee attacks, they allow access to special areas and extra quests. They also have magical effects specific to the character who's wielding it. The Mechanical Owl's staff will create an area-of-effect lightning spell when combined with the blink ability, meaning that everybody, both friends and foes, are stunned.
The problem is that when you let an untrained wizard use a powerful spell, things aren't going to go smoothly. Friendly fire is on at all times and it's entirely possible to do more damage to your friends than to your foes if you're not careful. You'll need to survive 32 levels, eight of which have bosses to take down. For those who want to make things more difficult, the game's four difficulty levels include "an unforgivingly tough hardcore mode". Of course, the harder the difficulty, the better the loot you'll find.
Round up your friends and get ready to search for spells when Nine Parchments
is released early next month.