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Knitted Deer Review

By , on March 8, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 9 months ago


Knitted Deer
Download on the AppStore
2 out of 5

PROS

  • Lots of detail has gone in to the lo-fi presentation; disturbing death sequences and surprisingly easy to read obstacles/enemies.

CONS

  • No real effort has been made to work with the player in acheiving any of the goals in the game; coins are handed out sparingly; shop costs are high; 'Heaven' is effectively impossible to reach.
  • Interface doesn't provide timers for or the ability to manually activate power-ups; often renders a pick-up entirely useless.

VERDICT

We could knit-pick Knitted Deer all day long, but while it may look like a groovy retro title, it feels like it should have spent a bit more time on the drawing board.


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Knitted Deer was the mini-review for the Friday News Wrap-Up for March 8th, 2013.

Being visually distinct is not the same as having a good game idea - while you may stand out from the crowd in a literal sense, without the gameplay to back it up you're just a pretty, but shallow time waster. Knitted Deer by Mandragora fits in to this category, and though its ideas are sound, in execution the player is left feeling frustrated time and time again.

Ostensibly the game emulates the earliest of consoles, replacing pixels with stitches to animate its auto-runner gameplay. Jump and shoot - these are the controls on offer, but both never really feel satisfying. The latter is hard to predict at times as you're never 100% sure if you've landed on a surface before jumping again, potentially burning a double jump instead; and the former is never really used for anything other than spamming bullets to kill the plethora of enemies that casually wander on to the screen.

Knitted Deer's hook comes in its Heaven, Hell and Earth levels - the player starts on Earth, avoiding fairly typical hazards, but should they collect all the letters to spell 'HEAVEN' they'll be transported to a land filled with coins; should they die, they'll go to hell and need to avoid even deadlier traps and enemies in an attempt to boost their high-score ever so slightly. Unfortunately none of it snaps together - hell feels like it has frame-rate problems, making a hard stage even harder; getting to Heaven is as much a matter of luck than anything else as the letters appear without rhyme or reason; and power-ups have no time-gauge so you could potentially face-plant or shred your deer as he becomes corporeal in the middle of a pillar he can't jump on/over.

Beautiful as it is, Knitted Deer is exactly the same as a handmade knitted sweater made by someone who doesn't even know you - it may be a nice idea, but it just doesn't feel right.

Additional notes: It should be pointed out that the run demonstrated in the mini-review lasted long enough to loop the background song (approx. 3m 40s - 4307 units in game) - I was awarded with 581 coins for the effort and only had the letters H and E appear. As a point of reference the second 'upgrade' for the Bombs costs 5000 coins; the second for Triple is 3000 coins; and the first upgrade for the Shield and Invisibility is 3500 and 5000 respectively. For a game you've already paid for, it seems awfully hesitant to give players access to the content it has on offer.

Screenshots

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