Muffin Knight, a manic platformer from Angry Mob Games, is now available from the app store. Despite the hubbub regarding its similarities to Super Crate Box (due out shortly), when judged on its own merits, Muffin Knight is an enjoyable experience that holds its own.
Muffin Knight Pros:
- Cartoonish fairytale graphic look terrific
- Simple controls
- Fun and whimsical soundtrack
- Constant character transformations are exciting, XP earned for character leveling/environment unlocking
- Local multiplayer option is a fun challenge
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Muffin Knight Cons:
- Controls could be tighter
- Would love online multiplayer
When a young boy traipsing through the forest happens up a basket of muffins, he does what anyone would do. The moment he touches a muffin, the basket explodes, sending muffins raining down around the land. The keeper of the basket, an elderly fairy, curses the boy with knighthood and forces him to retrieve all of the muffins before she’ll restore him to his previous form. The magic muffins have transformational properties, turning the boy into a different randomly-selected creature each time he grabs one. There are 4 creatures unlocked from the start, with a dozen more unlockable over the course of the game. A slew of enemies also spawns and cascades down the platforms, seeking to prevent you from making a clean escape with the muffins. If the enemies are not dispatched before they reach the level bottom, they’ll fall into a hole and respawn at the screen top, faster and more aggressive than before. Each creature that the boy turns into has a unique weapon/ability to use against the enemies, from arrows to egg bombs to rainbow poop mines and more. Killing enemies and snagging muffins earns XP, which translates into level points to upgrade creatures or purchase perks, as well as unlock additional environments (a half dozen increasing-complex locations). New environments can also be accessed by snagging a specific number of muffins in one go.
Graphically, the colorful fairytale-style presentation has a polished feel, and the creatures and enemies all have a distinct look and feel. Levels go from calm to crazy in a short time, but the game mechanics ensure that gamers of all levels find success with little frustration. The audio is sufficiently cheery and carefree, enhancing the whimsical nature of the game. The fairy’s voice announces each character change, which is helpful on the smaller iDevice screens where the characters are a bit on the small side, though her thick English accent can get annoying after a while. The controls are simple enough to use, but they remain the biggest sticking point of the game. Left/right arrows on the lower left side control movement, while a jump and fire button on the right perform the expected actions. The positioning of the buttons is just a bit off, causing us to hit the wrong buttons (or worse, dead zones) more often than we’d like. We’ve had a great run or two ruined because of the controls. There is an option to customize and rearrange the button positioning, but they seem to lock into certain gridded positions which don’t exactly leave them in our desired locations. They are also a tad on the small side for our tastes. Hopefully, the devs will work more on this, as the game will become a force once the controls are ironed out.
Replay value is terrific, as the endless nature lends itself to high score chasing. An included local multiplayer mode also offers some fresh gameplay, as you and a buddy can square off in a best-of-5 matchup to see who can score the most muffins in a series of rounds. While we did experience a bit of lag, it wasn’t enough to discourage us. GameCenter integration offers a handful of global leaderboards and 4 dozen achievements, most of which are endurance-based and should take a good deal of time to complete. A universal app for $0.99, Muffin Knight is a 4.5-Dimple stud.
Muffin Knight Review,