The Forbidden Arts


The evil Necromancer Voltaire, master of black magic, has poured a spell on the leaders of The Council of Magic. These same six leaders who combined their forces of magic to drive Voltaire far away from the land of the Forbidden Arts are now under his control. A young boy, named Phoenix, with fire magic running through his blood, is about to embark on an adventure to free each of the council leaders from the black magic spell and drive Voltaire out of the land once and for all!

The Forbidden Arts is a colourful platformer game developed and self-published by Stingbot Games and was fully released on Steam on the 7th of August 2019. The game is also available on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The PS4 version is due in the fourth quarter of 2019.

There are two aspects in this game: the 2D platformer level and the 3D overworld exploration between each of the levels. As you start the game, you’ll be asked to meet the old Druid, Elia. Then you’ll have your first introduction to the 3D world map. In each of these maps, you’ll see your character in the third person view, but you can also move the camera freely. Your next task will be highlighted by a white light beam somewhere within the map. You’ll have one or two towers in ruins as well as one or two characters to talk to (this will depend on where you’re at within the game). One thing for sure is that here are 4 ingots of gold hidden somewhere within each of these maps. You’ll need these ingots to repair each tower, with a minimum of 10 ingots for the first tower, and it will increase by an additional 10 ingots for the next one and so on and so forth. It will be hard to repair the first tower straight away as you will be short 6 ingots. But don’t worry, each of the platformer levels will have 10 ingots of gold to retrieve and when you beat that level and retrieve some or all ingots, you can go back and repair these towers. When you have done so, you’ll be given a challenge to complete, and as soon as you have done that, either Phoenix Health or Magic bars will increase by 25% (which is always good news).

The world map has five different locations and within each of these locations are one or two side scrolling levels (platformer). As I am writing this review, I am currently towards the end of the fourth location and have the shield, super jump, fireball and vision skills. By the way, you’ll earn the fireball skill early on and without too much trouble, but the other skills will be a reward when you beat or free each of the leaders from Voltaire’s Black magic spell.

I must say that I found the first level to be very well done, but slightly too easy to complete.  Interestingly, the next level was at least twice as difficult as the first one, which was very welcome. Now that I am nearly at the end of the fourth level, I can tell you that the levels are progressively harder as you have to swap between skills within each stage, and also when you fight one of the bosses.  The first boss took me a few goes to beat.

I really like the colourful graphics, and the soundtrack is ok and suits the game very well. The music is repetitive but can be disabled in the audio option. The game can be played with your keyboard (rebind keys if you want), or you can play with your gamepad, which in my view is the best option. As this game is fairly challenging, it will save automatically either when you discover an ingot or pass a major point.  I must say that the melee fighting is a bit odd to get used to at first. I still think they can improve it - it’s not quite right but it is ok (just being picky here!).  


+ Nice colourful graphics
+ Well-designed and challenging levels
+ Fun Story
+ Automatic saves
+ Achievements


- No trading cards as yet

Review Summary

Free the Leaders of the Council of Magic, and acquire their unique magic to defeat the Evil Necromancer Voltaire in this challenging Platformer game!

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10