Knighty Knight poses the question: what if Chess as a puzzle adventure game?
Developer: Gosiha Pte
Platform: iPhone / iPad
The “new spin on a classic game” approach is well-trodden amongst the world’s app stores by now, which is why we’re surprised to still see titles like Knighty Knight arise on iOS devices. People just keep on finding new spins on things, though!
Because Knighty Knight – which is a new spin on Chess for mobile – doesn’t take just take things back to basics, it pretty much strips away everything but the knight. He doesn’t even have a horse to ride on. What he can do is, you guessed it, move in an L shape.
Just like Chess, you can control a knight that can move in an L shape – two steps one way, and one step at a right angle. But with the absence of other pieces, your goal is not to checkmate the king but to find the stairs to the next level.
From there, you continue through ever more complex chapters as obstacles get thrown in your way: locks, rocks, and two smoking barrels. (Actually, just regular barrels.)
And when we say there are no other pieces, that’s not strictly true. As you progress beyond the second chapter, some old favorites may appear. Such as the bishop that captured us any time we’d fall into his diagonal path.
Getting caught, running out of steps, or simply not knowing how you’re supposed to find your way to the stairs are all reasons for failure here. Navigating wayward boulders while only moving along your L-shaped paths can get tough fast.
And we’re not sure if this is our own density or that Knighty Knight is, from the off, a really challenging game. Despite its surface simplicity, from the second stage onwards we really struggled – to the point that often, it wasn’t that much fun. Chess buffs and puzzle-loving logicians may have more luck.
Design-wise, Knighty Knight is pretty straightforward. The cutesy Paper Mario-esque graphics are nothing to write home about. Gameplay-wise, it gradually introduces mechanics in a measured way – though with only the one movement type available, the game’s USP tires quickly and things can get a little tedious.
There are also bonus quests that allow you to collect gems to help you undo your turn in the main levels, of which there are thirty.
But it’s a free game, and half-decent freebies with no ads are quite rare these days. Here, you get 7 lives to start and once you’ve used them up, you’ll have to wait 1o minutes to gain another. Basically, you have to go away for an hour or so before you can have another full go. Unless you pay for the pro version… oh, wait a second. There is no pro version. So what’s the point of all those wait timers?