Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: Knight Terrors



One of the more interesting aspects of gaming on the Switch is that with its portability it can be an appropriate platform for game I wouldn’t normally think of as a great fit for a home console, and yet for what they are they work. Knight Terrors is a game that falls pretty firmly into that slot, in some regards feeling a bit more like a mobile game with its “endless runner” style at a high level, but also in terms of its very budget-friendly price. So is it worth the price of admission? That’s mostly dependent on what you’re looking for and whether you can keep your expectations in check.


While there are a number of different unlockable modes that will give you variations on the overall theme make no mistake, this is a mix of an endless runner with some slashing and power-ups along the way, then throwing in a bit of Flappy Bird in places (or entire modes) for good measure. If that sounds like it could be fun for knocking out several minutes at a time while you’re on the go there’s plenty to chew on here as each round will let you get your legs under but then will quickly amp up the insanity to make you sweat. Get far enough or get a high enough score and you’ll unlock the next mode and new power-ups that will help you in future runs. Simple but effective.

Visually while there’s not that much going on overall what there has a consistent art style and the very large sprites of everything make it extremely well-suited to play in handheld mode. There aren’t very many animation frames but what there is makes it work all things considered. The control is very simple as well and this is probably the area where I think it best distinguishes itself from mobile offerings as the need for two buttons would have likely lead to pokey on-screen controls of some sort that make me miserable. Instead you’ll be able to use the shoulder buttons to either side to make your knight jump and slash and it feels accurate and responsive.


In terms of downsides it’s tricky and everything needs to be measured relative to the asking price. It isn’t incredibly deep and doesn’t change substantially as you get higher scores and unlock new mode and power-ups but relative to cost it all seems to be reasonable. In terms of targeted complaints I’d say that the load times can be surprisingly long for a game with so few overall assets and when you’re in the zone you really want a quicker turn-around to get right back into the action. In addition, there’s just something about either the hitbox or something with the purple bug-eyed monsters that felt weird and I’d keep just barely colliding with them every once in a while.

If something quick, challenging, and fun for a budget price is what you’re looking for Knight Terrors delivers a pretty solid value. It isn’t going to set the world on fire but that also isn’t its goal, it just wants to give people something good to play in bursts. While you can certainly play it in docked mode this game screams handheld mode and gaming on the go for a variety of reasons. If you enjoy endless runners and are looking for a small but solid challenge on the go Knight Terrors is a great match.


Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • A well-executed and fun endless runner
  • The unlockable power-ups appear randomly and make runs feel and play a bit differently
  • The price is easily in impulse-buy range


Cons:
  • Don’t expect the world, it is a slashing endless runner with some variants of play
  • It can feel a lot like a mobile game
  • Load times can feel long at times


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