A Knight’s Quest, developed by Sky9 Games and published by Curved Digital, is a new look on the old, tried and true adventure genre. Blending crisp graphics with comedic dialogue, developed using the Unreal Engine, we have a game that is sure to be pure gold.
A Knight’s Quest is about Rusty, a not so great hero trying to become one. The player is immediately thrust into the adventure that acts as a short tutorial to learn Rusty’s basic moves, which is rewarded with a wooden sword and some more amazing humor that this game seems to be chock full of. On his latest adventure, Rusty may have done his most non-heroic deed yet by releasing a great evil onto the Kingdom of Regalia. Rusty and Valy, his guide, are tasked with locating the Legendary Spirit Knights to fix the problem, and so the real journey begins.
Traveling from one location to the next will often involve Temple Field, an eventful area with unique NPCs to meet, materials to collect, and creatures to battle, albeit void of any exciting music. There are sound effects used as queues for certain items, like the slymes that need collecting to increase Rusty’s inventory slots, which begins at only nine slots. This will quickly prove to be too little to carry bandages, potions, axes, and the health restoring food Rusty can harvest along the journey. Some items are simply gathered to be sold, but a merchant is not readily apparent. I found myself discarding items without making profit to make room for fruit and potions. In between the dangerous areas are towns that come with side quests, adding to the feel of the adventure genre. A little background music that quiets to make the sound effects more obvious would have added immersion.
The scenery of the open world is absolutely breathtaking. The luminous rays of the sun are beautifully designed, and the water looks as though you could reach through the screen and feel it flow around your hand. This is a dramatic contrast compared to the cartoon design of the characters. Their exaggerated expressions are comical, especially when paired with their equally funny dialogue, but the design and variety of the NPCs falls short. At first, much of the world is blocked off behind barriers with red ‘X’s, indicating the area might be under construction. When the need arises to travel that area, the barriers are gone. A Knight’s Quest begins linear with some exploration. Some minor graphics issues occur with the defeat of monsters that make the sound effect of their death but not the visual. Rusty will ragdoll for different reasons. This effect is natural to expect when taking a huge hit from an enemy, but not when attempting to climb up onto a ledge.
The menu offers no option to manually save, and auto-save points are few and far between, making the game merciless in having to go through a significant amount of time to return to the point where the player died. This time could be enough to make the player put the game down for a while and revisit later. I can certainly appreciate a game that wants to offer a challenge, but this can just be daunting. Equally as frustrating can be the battle system. Rusty will be able to switch between multiple weapons after the game progresses. Locking-on, which is also block, can sometimes be a hindrance instead of helpful. There were many enemies that were easier to defeat without the lock-on, but that sacrifices defense. Controls for the keyboard and mouse can be adjusted, but not for the gamepad which is designed for an XBox controller.
Rusty can make some incredible leaps between platforms, but A Knight’s Quest falls just a finger length short of grasping the edge to be a recommendable game. The story of a wannabe hero rising up to meet challenges is always a valiant one, but the gameplay could use some upgrades.