Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts is a point and click adventure based on Sebastiano Brocchi’s fantasy saga Pirin. It is an interesting game with a rich lore which catapults us into an extremely detailed world. Stelex Software‘s rather evident intent is that of introducing us to an alternative universe, with all of its creatures and legends.

As a huge fan of the fantasy genre, I couldn’t but give the game a chance. Lying on the couch with the The Lord of the Rings’ soundtrack in the ears, it’s time to draw my conclusions!

I Can’t Stop Singing!

The game offers two beautiful songs, written and interpreted by Swiss artists. I enjoyed both very much and – damn it! – can’t get them out of my head. The team’s willingness to give local artists exposition, with original and fresh content, also deserves a mention. In addition to The Way To Lothriel,  which is featured in the gameplay trailer, you can listen to Reydana’s Cuore di Loto here!

The Chance To Go Back In Time

The game’s resolution is deliberately low to reflect and pay homage in size and proportions to the era in which graphic adventures were popular, namely the 90s.

At a first look, such a sentence may seem misleading and the result of a lazy attitude. Luckily, that couldn’t be more wrong! Eselmir and The Five Magical Gifts is a game from other times. Everything, from the golden frames, to the not always perfect mechanics, to the style of the drawings brings me back.

Wrapped up in a warm blanket, I traveled to when I first started to like video games, fantasy, and books.This feeling of familiarity grew even stronger as I entered the narrative. I was getting in the subplots, struggling to solve puzzles and proceed with my journey.

eselmir and the five magical gifts screenshot

In Eselmir’s shoes, a member of Pirin race born from the union of man and fairy, I left for a mission at the edge of the kindgom. After meeting  over 140 characters and hearing their tales, it was impossible not to love this graphic adventure. The superb style with which the story and dialogues are written simply enthralled me. There’s no doubt that the devs focused on narrative, a field in which Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts  excels.

Additionally, the gameplay is long; very long. We’re looking at about 15 hours, to be taken in small doses. In fact, you might get stuck in some points and have to come back to them. This aspect, however, is not to be seen as a flaw. On the contrary, I feel it actually helped the game.

What’s this?

Although I am very satisfied with the experience and I love the small details of this game, there are some aspects of it that I would change.

First of all, the character’s animations for walking and running seem a bit strange. Who even holds their arms so high? Personally, I would have chosen to differentiate the two a bit more. I understand, however, that this is part of the much sought-after retro style and might have been done on purpose. In the end, it luckily only generates minimal discomfort.

Eselmir and the five magical gifts animations

The side-scrolling also appears unusual, and it’s probably the part of Eselmir and The Five Magical Gifts that bothered me the most. As an anxious player, I spend a good 99% of my time running here and there. The fact that the character is not centered and continuously hits the edges of the screen is quite annoying. Perhaps, adding a double scrolling speed could easily solve this issue.

So … Does Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts Deserve Your Attention?

Just in case you didn’t figure it out yet, yes it does! There are a lot of details that made me appreciate Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts; which made me love every part of the game. This title might not be suitable for everyone, though, as it looks like something some of us are no longer used to.

At a time when many PC games only last a couple of hours, dedicating  days to a narrative adventure might seem like madness. I guarantee you the effort is entirely worth it, even just to savor a fragment of the magical atmosphere this project has to offer.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to wait a bit longer to play this title yourself. Eselmir And The Five Magical Gifts won’t see the light of day before January 12th. For now, make sure you add the game to your wishlist.

Original Article by Elisa Napolitano; Translated by Alessandro Cossidente.