Ever since I was a child I have been a fan of the platformer genre. Growing up I was a fan of 2D platformers and when the genre switched to 3D I really enjoyed a lot of the franchises that were created in this era. While there are still platformers released every so often by AAA publishers, the genre has been mostly left to smaller publishers as the genre is not as popular as it once was. Platformers released by indie studios have in the past been kind of hit or miss. There have been a lot of great platformers (mostly 2D) but at the same time there have been quite a few mediocre to bad platformers that failed to do anything new. When I saw A Knight’s Quest I was excited to try it out but was a little cautious as I didn’t know which group of indie platformers that it would fall into. A Knight’s Quest may be a little easy and lack some of the polish of a game made by a larger studio, but it is a fun adventure that is reminiscent of a bygone era of platformers.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Sky 9 Games, d3t, and Curve Digital for the review copy of A Knight’s Quest used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
In A Knight’s Quest you play as Rusty. Rusty is a kind hearted but clumsy adventurer. On one of his adventures he stumbles upon a strange mystical force trapped in a crystal. Due to his clumsiness he allows the dangerous force to escape which threatens the entire kingdom. With the help of his friend Rusty must find the three legendary guardians and ask for their help in the fight to save the kingdom. On his journey to find the guardians Rusty must fight enemies and solve puzzles. Will Rusty find the Guardians in time to defeat the evil force before it destroys the kingdom?
If I were to classify A Knight’s Quest I would probably say that it is an action platformer. The platforming mechanics are pretty typical of what you would expect from a 3D “mascot” platformer from the 1990s and the 2000s. Basically you jump between platforms and over gaps. The game does add a couple additional features not found in older platformers. The platforming is a little more forgiving as Rusty will grab the ledges of platforms instead of just falling off any platform he doesn’t fully land on. Rusty also has an ability to run along select walls that he jumps at. The game also includes a rail riding mechanic which is similar to the same mechanic found in the Ratchet and Clank series.
Other than the platforming the other main mechanic in the game is the combat. The combat in A Knight’s Quest is pretty basic. The game features a lock on targeting system. As far as attacks there is a basic attack and a powered up attack which you can unleash if you hold down the attack button for a period of time. On the defensive side the game has a dodge and a counter button. If you can hit enemies a certain number of times in a row without getting hit by an enemy attack it will charge up your attack causing more damage. You begin the game with just a wood sword and shield but as you progress through the game you unlock more weapons and abilities. Each guardian gives you access to a different weapon which has its own play style. There is a sword and shield which is more balanced and allows you to block, gauntlets which utilize fast but weak attacks, and a hammer. With a press of a button you can switch between your different types of weapons. In addition to getting new weapons you will also receive a special ability related to each guardian you meet. These abilities can only be used periodically but they deal damage to enemies as well as destroy the barriers around some enemies.
Speaking of these special abilities, they come into play with regards to the puzzle solving elements of the game. While the puzzle solving doesn’t have as much of an impact on the game as either the platforming or combat, it does come into play from time to time. The puzzles in A Knight’s Quest are pretty basic for the most part. Most of the puzzles rely on you using the abilities you unlock to perform actions in a certain sequence. Otherwise the puzzles rely on pushing around blocks. In order to solve a lot of the puzzles you need to slide blocks to the correct areas as well as stack blocks correctly.
While I was playing A Knight’s Quest it felt really familiar. Being a fan of the old school “mascot” platformers from the 1990s and 2000s, playing A Knight’s Quest really reminded me of these type of games from the past. The game has added some more modern elements but it still remains very loyal to this era of platformers. From the gameplay to the plentiful number of collectibles to pick up along your journey, A King’s Quest would have fit in perfectly with mascot platformers from the 2000s. In addition to the platforming mechanics A Knight’s Quest’s combat feels like it was taken from an action adventure game like the Zelda series. A Knight’s Quest actually plays a lot like what you would expect if you combined a 3D platformer with a Zelda game.
Outside of doing a good job replicating older mascot platformers, A Knight’s Quest succeeds because it is just a fun game to play. The game is not perfect but it is hard not to have fun playing it. The gameplay is quite satisfying as the game does a good job finding the right mixture between the platforming, combat and puzzle elements where none of the mechanics become boring. A lot of the mechanics in A Knight’s Quest have been utilized in other games in the past but they still make for a fun game. A Knight’s Quest might not be highly original, but it does a really good job replicating what I enjoyed most about 2000s platformers. If you were a fan of this genre of games from back in the day, I think you should have quite a bit of fun with A Knight’s Quest.
On the story and atmosphere front A Knight’s Quest is not the most original. The framework of the story is pretty typical of the genre as an evil force is unleashed and the hero is forced to travel to different themed areas in order to gain enough power to face off against the threat. The story might be similar to quite a few other games but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. The story can be kind of cheesy at times but I had fun with it. The characters are interesting and unique and the world is something that you want to explore. The game’s graphics may not compare to a AAA game, but I thought it brought a lot of character to the game. The character and enemy designs are creative and the different locales you explore are varied and interesting. A Knight’s Quest might not be the most original game in this area, but I think the developers still deserve a lot of credit for creating a fun and interesting experience.
This will be seen as a positive for some and a negative for others, but I would say that A Knight’s Quest is on the easier side of the difficulty spectrum. The game is not so easy that it provides no challenge, but you don’t really have to worry too much about dying in the game. I attribute the easier difficulty to two things. First the puzzles and platforming are quite straightforward. The platforms are laid out in a way where you basically always know what you are supposed to do. With Rusty being able to grab ledges it also makes it easier to make it onto platforms. On the puzzle front it may be due to me playing a lot of puzzle games, but I didn’t really find any of the puzzles to be particularly challenging. Most of the puzzles are really straightforward as you just use your special abilities at the specified times or you can easily tell how you are supposed to slide the blocks.
The main reason for A Knight’s Quest easy difficulty though comes from how the game deals with damage. Basically the game utilizes a health bar. Throughout the game you can collect items that you can use to recover lost health. On the surface this is not a bad thing as it is better than your typical take x number of hits and you die system used in a lot of other similar games from the genre. The problem with the health bar is that it doesn’t really punish you all that much when you make a mistake. Getting hit by an enemy or missing a jump and plunging down a pit only takes off a sliver of your total health. You could get hit a lot in a fight and never really have to fear dying especially if you have access to healing items. The only time I have died so far in the game is after learning a new mechanic I was swarmed by enemies as I was getting used to the new mechanic. On the rare occasion that you do die you can actually be punished quite a bit depending on the last checkpoint you hit as there is no ability to save the game or your progress except for when you hit one of the checkpoints. Checkpoints usually only come into play when you reach a loading screen for a new area or after you reach a key moment in the current area. When you die you will lose all of your progress since the last checkpoint.
I don’t really see the easy difficulty as necessarily a positive or a negative as some people will see it both ways. On the negative side the game doesn’t provide you with a lot of challenge. Especially if you play a lot of games in this genre you probably will die at max a handful of times. If you were looking for a challenging game A Knight’s Quest is not going to be it. On the positive side though the easier difficulty makes the game accessible to a larger audience. In addition to adults who like this genre of games I see children getting quite a bit of enjoyment out of the game. The game does have a teen rating so I probably wouldn’t recommend it for young children, but I could see older children really enjoying the game. If you like to play games that aren’t so challenging that they become frustrating you should enjoy your time with A Knight’s Quest.
There are a lot of things that I liked about A Knight’s Quest. It is not a perfect game though. I think the biggest problem that I had with the game is that at times it lacks the polish of a AAA game. This is to be expected as a smaller studio can’t put as much polish into a game as a studio that is much larger. This lack of polish comes out in a couple ways. First the game has some occasional bugs. While playing the game I became trapped a couple times where I literally could not move. One of these times triggered the falling animation where I lost a small fraction of my health and my character was reset. The other time it lead to me having to quit back to the menu and start the game again. I also encountered an occasional bug where Rusty’s arms would get stuck to his side. This lead to some weird run animations and Rusty climbing a ladder with just his feet. This also sometimes prevented me from using my attacks for short periods of time.
Other than the occasional bugs the occasional lack of polish sometimes affects the overall gameplay experience. The combat is fun but feels a little imprecise and basic at times. Occasionally the jumping mechanics can feel a little imprecise which could lead to you missing a jump. Finally A Knight’s Quest features no voice acting which isn’t a big surprise as a lot of indie games don’t. The problem is that instead of voice acting the game just uses various grunts and other sound effects. The sound effects are not bad, but they can become a little annoying after a while especially the sound when a slime is nearby.
The final more minor issue that I had with A Knight’s Quest is that the game tends to rely on a little too much backtracking at times. The backtracking comes into play in a couple different ways. First you will definitely have to backtrack if you want to collect all of the collectibles as quite a few of them require you to use abilities that you acquire later in the game. This is not a big issue as these collectibles are optional. The game does seem to force players to revisit the same areas in the main story though. Several times in the game you will end up heading to one location just to be told that you need to head to another area without really doing anything at the location you just reached. This leads you to having to traverse the same areas a couple times just to follow the main plot. This wouldn’t be so bad except that there isn’t much of a fast travel mechanic so you will be spending a decent amount of time just running through an area that you have already explored just to get to another area. I don’t mind revisiting areas to utilize the new abilities that I have acquired, but I think the game should have come up with a better way so you didn’t have to waste so much time running through an area just to get to another area.
A lot of games rely on backtracking to pad the length of the game, but I don’t think that was really necessary in A Knight’s Quest as I was actually kind of surprised by the length of the game. At this point I haven’t completely finished the game, but I would say that I am through about two thirds of the game. The length of the game is going to depend on a couple factors mostly involving how good you are at these type of games and how thorough you are with collecting the collectibles. For example if you are good at these type of games and just do the bare minimum, you are obviously going to finish the game before someone who has some struggles or tries to collect everything in the game. This is just an estimate but I would think that you could get at least six to eight hours out of the game if you did just the bare minimum. If you want to get all of the collectibles though as well as spend some time exploring, I think you could get quite a few more hours out of the game. If you like this genre of games I think you will get your money’s worth out of A Knight’s Quest.
I was a little cautious heading into A Knight’s Quest as indie platformers can be a little hit or miss but I came away impressed by it. A Knight’s Quest doesn’t revolutionize the action platfomer genre, but it does a good job utilizing what works in the genre to make a really satisfying game. The platforming, combat, and puzzles remind me a lot of 3D platformers from the 2000s and it does a good job replicating that era of the genre. The platforming, combat, and puzzles may be on the easy side, but they are fun and create an adventure that you want to finish. Adults and older children should get a lot of enjoyment out of the game especially if they like the genre. A Knight’s Quest is also quite a bit longer than I expected especially if you want to find all of the collectibles/secrets. As it is an indie game though A Knight’s Quest is not as polished as a AAA game which leads to the occasional bug and a few mechanics could have used a little tweaking. The game also relies on a little too much backtracking in my opinion. Nonetheless I really enjoyed my time with A Knight’s Quest.
If you have never really cared for action platformers or would prefer a more challenging game, A Knight’s Quest may not be for you. If you like the genre though and would like a flashback to the 2000s era of 3D platformers I think you will really enjoy A Knight’s Quest. I enjoyed my time with the game and would recommend picking it up.