Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts Review
Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts Review
I highly recommend Eselmir to adventurers who thrive on story-driven fantasy games and embrace reading as part of the experience. It is, in a word, magical.
Posted: 03/12/18 | Category: Review | Developer: Stelex Software | Publisher: Stelex Software | Platform: Windows, Mac

Genre: 2D Point-and-Click Fantasy Adventure
Release date: January 11, 2018
Platforms: Windows, Mac

The Adventure is in the Story  

Based in Switzerland, Stelex Software was founded in 2004 as a small indie development studio with a focus on storytelling. Since 2012, Stelex has been led by the husband and wife team of Stefano and Tania Maccarinelli. Their philosophy is best expressed by the phrase "by gamers, to gamers, with passion."

In 2013 Stelex Software began collaborating with the Swiss author and artist Sebastiano B. Brocchi on a video game based on his Pirin fantasy saga and artwork. I visited the author’s website and was met by Italian text with very limited Google translate functions. However, one does not have to read Italian to appreciate Mr. Brocchi’s talents.

Additionally, Stelex commissioned an original sound track for the game to be composed and performed by a group of musicians that includes Marco Santilli and Filippo Zanoli. The game showcases 31 original compositions (some with vocals) that can be sampled at Amazon.

In 2017, Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts was given the Greenlight on Steam and became available for general release in January of 2018.

I was immediately drawn to the game by the graphics. Although Mr. Brocchi’s style is uniquely his own, it reminded me of work by the German artist Sulamith Wülfing (1901-1989). As a child, I was enchanted by her illustrations of fairies and magical creatures, often with detailed Celtic and Norse patterns. When I first saw the screen shots from Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts, I knew that it was a game that I was not willing to miss.

In a Land Far Away  

Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts take place in a vast and detailed fantasy world called Gaimat. If one takes a minute to peruse the “Extras” option in the main menu, there is a wealth of information about this world. There are descriptions of the continent, civilizations, and characters. This same section tracks your achievements and how many cultural items and characters you’ve encountered on your journey.


Cloaked in white robes, Eselmir is a priest who belongs to the ancient Pirin race. This group is described as “demigod descendants of a fairy and a mortal who live on the highest mountains in the east.” He belongs to a sect that worships Monusadah, the Lord of Time. One night, Monusadah appears to him in female form and gives him a mission. He is to find the five lost gifts of King Theoson, a primary figure in the history of the Pirin. These objects have great significance but were buried with the King in a secret grave site. Eselmir’s mission (should he choose to accept it) is to locate the grave and retrieve the five magical gifts.

Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts is an epic saga of a heroic quest. When you play this game, you are likely to become completely immersed in the world of Pirin with all its history, magic, intrigue, and politics. There is A LOT of reading in this game for those who are inclined to take the extra time. If one slows to absorb all the narrative, you could easily spend 20+ hours traveling with Eselmir. The game begins with a traveler telling the story of Eselmir. The scenes with traveler are the only game segments with voiceovers. The rest of the game handles all conversations and narrative with on-screen text. Given the amount of story that is told, the absence of voiceovers is a good thing. It allows players to read at their own pace and determine what level of detail they are willing to absorb.

Initially, Eselmir prepares for his journey which involves solving puzzles, running errands, honing his fighting skills, and gathering supplies. His journey then takes him to a variety of locations, each with new characters to meet, sub-quests to complete, and challenges to overcome.  It is a long and arduous trek that left me wanting more each time I had to stop playing. 

Game Mechanics

Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts is a pure point-and-click adventure with a streamlined interface that makes it very easy to play. You left-click on a point in the scene to move Eselmir. For an object of interest, you right-click to cycle through available actions (examine, speak, interact). You access inventory and menu options by moving your cursor to the top of the screen.


You gather a surprising amount inventory along the way. I really like how inventory items are automatically used when appropriate. By eliminating “dragging and dropping,” Stelex has made it so the player never has to “try this and try that” to solve a puzzle. Stelex also eliminated unnecessary backtracking in search of missing objects. The game is fairly linear and prevents you from leaving an area until all local tasks have been accomplished. In a game world as big as Gaimat, this is a plus. Navigation between areas is accomplished by clicking on a map which eliminates travel time.

The game includes an explicit Save and Load feature, with six available slots. I would recommend saving often as there are multiple ways to die and, on rare occasion, the game shuts down unexpectedly. On a sidenote, there is a discussion with an evil wizard near the end that results in a critical error. If one clicks to ignore, the graphics go haywire for a bit and then eventually return to normal and you can continue playing. I, along with several other players, reported this “bug.” Selex responded that it is an intentional event designed to represent the power of the wizard to disrupt your game. Hmm…


Combat for Dummies  

By definition, a heroic quest requires good battling evil. Thus, combat in this game is inevitable. In a nice change from standard swordplay (which is the bane of many adventurers), Stelex implemented an interesting system for challenging an adversary. When facing off, a red and green target area appears as shown below. An icon is moving back and forth, across the red and green areas, at a healthy speed. Your goal is to click to fight when the icon is in the green band. Hit green and you win. Hit red and you lose. Sounds easy, right? Think again… It is tricky as the speed of the moving object increases. I was not very adept at this. But, do not despair. If you are at a point where hand eye coordination (or lack thereof) is going to make you give up on Eselmir, there is a spoiler posted on the Steam Discussion boards with instructions for slowing down the icon.


The Long Road Home 

I thoroughly enjoyed playing Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts and highly recommend it to adventurers who thrive on story-driven games and embrace reading as part of the experience. It is not a game to hurry through. Instead, it is a game to relax into and fully immerse yourself in the Pirin saga. I do not often choose to play games with this much narrative. However, I was drawn into Eselmir’s journey and the detailed backstory held my interest. Perhaps this is because it is written by an author with a gift for words and a wonderful sense of imagination. The scope of the story is reminiscent of what you would encounter in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is, in a word, magical.

Stelex Software is currently working on Feel Me, Hear Me...a psychological thriller that they describe as “their most ambitious project to date.” For more information on Stelex and the progress of their upcoming title, visit their website. (Note that this site is presented in Italian but I was able to read most of it using Google Translate.)

Classic point-and-click adventure with a heroic quest and a hero you can’t help but cheer for
+ Artwork, narrative, and music combine to present a first-class game experience
+ Complex and extended journey is a great return on your investment
Prepare to do A LOT of reading
This is not a game for players in a hurry 


System Requirements

MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows XP2+
Processor: 2.5 GHz (Single Core) or 2 GHz (Dual Core)

Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Non-Dedicated (shared) video card with at least 512MB Shared VRAM & openGL 2.0 support
Storage: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: open AL compatible sound card
Notes: Game resolution 1024x768
OS: Mac OS 10.7+ (Lion)
Processor: 2.5 GHz (Single Core) or 2 GHz (Dual Core)

Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Non-Dedicated (shared) video card with at least 512MB Shared VRAM & openGL 2.0 support
Storage: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: 16-bit
Additional Notes: Game resolution 1024x768
Specials from Digital Download
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