Knight’s Rush, the highly-anticipated title borne out of a promotional game, is now available from the app store. Developed by MoreGames Entertainment and published by Chillingo, Knight’s Rush expands upon A Quest for Knight’s Onrush’s side-scroller meant to promote the castle defense title Knight’s Onrush (you following me, camera guy?) by incorporating a 40-level campaign and 2 endless survival modes to satisfy the itch previously left unscratched by Quest.
Knight’s Rush Pros:
- Same cartoonish style as original
- Epic soundtrack and plentiful sound effects
- Button-mashing at its best
- Lengthy campaign and multiple survival modes
- Crystal integration for leaderboards and achievements
- Lots of variety
Knight’s Rush Cons:
- Wonky upgrade system
- Confusing death animation
- No level indicators or progress bar
- Lateral gameplay can be difficult to get used to
The impressive Campaign mode contains 8 unique worlds comprised of 5 equally varied levels each. The Survival modes allow you to play endlessly in any level previously completed within Campaign mode. You’ll do battle against more than 50 different enemy types throughout the campaign, and face off against a big boss at the end of each world. Before embarking on your quest, you must choose to play as one of three available and unlocked warriors, each with a very distinct style and his own set of strengths, active skills, and passive perks. Destroyed enemies increase your experience points. Reaching you experience goal levels up your character, allowing you to upgrade both skills and perks from the lengthy lists. These enhanced attributes will help you when facing off against more difficult enemies and bosses. It should be noted that experience levels and attributes are reset at the conclusion of each world, requiring you to start each successive world from scratch. You can also use a handful of spells from time to time against your enemies, which is a nice addition to the button-mashing that dominates the game.
Graphically, Knight’s Rush utilizes the same appealing cartoonish style as its predecessors, packing a great deal of visually-stunning imagery in the iDevice’s limited space. Health and experience bars reside in the upper left corner, along with a picture of your character and his current level, which blinks if you have unused experience points to distribute. Tapping this indicator allows you to upgrade your skills and perks through a very clumsy and confusing system. The 2.5D nature of the game allows for both horizontal and lateral movements, giving the ability for multiple objects to occupy the lateral space that would be reserved for only a single object in a traditional side-scroller. This also creates a more chaotic environment with multiple enemies attacking from all sides at once. Despite all of the frenzied action on-screen, framerate was superb and smooth as can be. The lateral movements do rehash one of our gripes with Knight’s Onrush, in that is can be awkward trying to line up your character with the enemies for effective attacks, often leaving you swiping at air and vulnerable to health-diminishing counterattacks.
The soundtrack is broad and sweeping, bordering on epic with its grandiose overtures that seem equally suited for this title or a major motion picture. Metal-clanging sword fights, wooden-box-smashing tirades, various explosions, and countless other sound effects round out the action and immerse you in the battle. The controls are touch-based, using the standard joypad on the left for movement and a smattering of context-specific buttons on the right for all other actions. The jump and attack buttons are fixtures, with others appearing that allow you to cast a spell or perform a certain type of attack move when applicable. The hit areas are wide enough that we had no issues with unresponsiveness, though all of the frantic button-mashing does tend to cause our fingers to wander from time to time. Activating spells and special maneuvers is as easy as tapping the appropriate buttons.
As polished and fun as the game is, there were a handful of issues that irked us a bit. Some issues were minor, such as grammatical errors in the text or the lack of a progress bar to indicate how close you are to completing a level. (There is a pedometer to tell you how far you’ve walked, but no indication of how long each level actually is.) We couldn’t even find a level indicator that showed us which of the 5 levels we were playing in the current world. Another issue that we had was the difficulty in determining whether an attacked enemy in the prone position was actually dead or not. Often, we thought they were, only to see them pop up a few moments later. Similarly, we’d stand over some bodies waiting for them to pop up only to see them fade away seconds later. Increasing the fade rate could alleviate this issue. By far, our biggest issue was with the upgrade system, which would not let us upgrade more than one attribute without dumping us back into the game. There should be some way to allocate all earned points at the same time without having to select one, get dumped out, open the menu, select another, get dumped out, open the menu, etc. This is a major oversight and something that needs to be altered quickly.
Replay value is very good, as the lengthy campaign can be replayed with different characters, different difficulty levels (easy, normal, hard, insane), and different combinations of upgraded skills/perks. The endless survival modes offer quite a challenge that gives you all the more reason to keep playing to better your score, which can be compared to other players through the Crystal social gaming network. There are also achievements to earn as an added incentive. At $2.99, Knight’s Rush is certainly worth the price for this 4-Dimple slash-o-rama.
Knight's Rush Review,