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Wind-up Knight Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on December 28, 2011


Wind-up Knight
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Compelling, fast-paced platforming; kept in check via 'wind down' system.
  • Complex and varied level designs and environments.
  • Unlockable items add to the experience.

CONS

  • 'Wind down' indicator indefinite; no way to predict time left with certainty.
  • Longer stages could use a checkpoint system to alleviate frustration.

VERDICT

While Android gamers have already had their fun with Wind-up Knight, iOS gamers finally get their chance to play around with the clockwork protagonist while proving their skill at overcoming numerous platforming hazards one-after-the-other.


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Sometimes a developer can get so caught up in an idea that they'll let slide something as fundamental as ensuring the gameplay remains engaging just to keep a concept on board. Wind-up Knight by Robot Invader could very well have slipped in to this trap thanks to its clockwork protagonist, but not only does the idea make for a charming theme, it also makes for a compelling platformer.

Born from the same school of thought that spawned titles like BIT.TRIP RUNNER, the clockwork knight you control cannot be stopped and it's up to you to jump, attack, roll or shield him as required to survive the many pitfalls in his way. It's a relatively simple idea, but players aren't able to exploit the knight's abilities at whim - eventually he will 'wind down' unless special tokens are collected or certain stunts (such as blocking falling debris or killing enemies) are performed.

In this way the game keep the momentum fast and players set on track as they attempt to collect coins to raise their final score or better still, find hidden 'cards' to unlock special items. Other items can be purchased as well, with most providing special bonuses such as ignoring a hit from debris or allowing players to roll through obstacles. These in turn make it easier to ace earlier levels in order to unlock the bonus nightmare stages. As expected these levels mix up the challenge, defying conventions while introducing new tricks and traps to keep you on your toes.

However, just because the game sports stunningly charming aesthetics; a huge variety of level environments; and unique music for each, doesn't mean it isn't without flaws. Notably, stages force players to restart no matter where they've died as there are no checkpoints. Thankfully restarting is quick and painless, and more often than not the tight and simple controls mean it's often the players fault for such mistakes, making it easier to swallow such a penalty (though the occasional lengthy level can result in inventing all-new curse words).

If there's any real disappointment to be had from Wind-up Knight it's that the experience seems to be over all too soon - despite packing in 52 levels, hidden collectables and unlockable items, the game only takes a few hours to complete. That said, such a complaint is rendered almost moot by the fun all of that time represents, making Wind-up Knight a great pickup for fans of skill-based platformers or endless runners.

Screenshots

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Comments

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andrew 2 years, 3 months ago

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