The Forbidden Arts is a side-scrolling 2.5D action adventure platformer from developer Slingbot Games. You play as the action hero Phoenix who seeks the counsel of a druid to interpret his visions which include various themes and forbidden arts. As the game begins the druid awakens the first of the 7 arts, the pyromancy skill which enables him to shoot fireballs and draw power from fire. From this moment onward after tackling a rather imposing griffin an epic journey to save the world of Chora from the blight of an evil necromancer begins.
On paper at least The Forbidden Arts looks pretty good with bright and colourful visuals which shine in 4K on PC. However, in its early access state there are some things which need to be addressed. Slingbot has already added some improvement prior to yesterday’s release but there are still the odd niggles here and there. After sinking some time into each version the improvements have made sense but there is still a ways to go if the game is to be fully playable. Aside from getting stuck due to poor wall-jumping, some obscure navigation and an intro sequence that is a little too unforgiving for new players there is promise here. Once the wall-jumping is tightened especially then this will make travelling a lot easier. Another niggle which stood out was the hit detection and animations. Fighting a bear seems to have no hit impact animation which makes the combat rather dull in this instance. However, performing one hit sneak attacks on various enemies further into the game is quite satisfying.
As it stands, with some patience you will find a decent adventure game here which completes what it sets out to do. With a little more polish which is to be expected from an Early Access title then there is hope the game can spread its wings and become a solid investment for those who like classic exploration and combat themes. Take a look at the video which shows off the opening 15 minutes to get a feel of what to expect.