Review: Ardentryst

There aren't many Python games that achieve the production values present in Ardentryst by Jordan Trudgett and friends. The game is visually and acoustically lush.

Ardentryst is a platformer/RPG set in a magical fantasy world. Each level is a platform game where players fight monsters with weapons or spells. There is also a world map that lets you select levels, and shops where you can sell the loot you've collected and buy better stuff.

The gameplay, combat and the chests and loot you are rewarded with are pitched perfectly, but what makes the game so impressive is the volume of content. As well as fully animated characters and beautiful backgrounds and art, the game is accompanied throughout by enchanting music.

The technical effects are also impressive. I counted up to 4 layers of parallax backgrounds and foregrounds in some places. There are some accomplished particle effects including fireballs with a heat-haze and Nyx's icy breath and the flurries of snow in the screenshot below.

It's possible to upload your character scores and levels to the global high-score table. Astonishingly there are only 174 scores on the table at the time of writing. If you do play, be sure to upload a score!

The game is fully featured but sadly rather short. The last release was in July 2009; Jordan has since abandoned it to work on a completely new version. Ardentryst is 100% Python and Pygame and licensed under the GPL, so more content could be created if anyone was interest in doing so.


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