Knightmare Tower, a vertical jumper of sorts from Juicy Beast Studio, is now available from the app store. A port of the popular Flash game, Knightmare Tower mixes twitch gameplay with light RPG elements and an engaging art style to create on-the-go fun.
Knightmare Tower Pros:
- Fun cartoony art style with smooth animations and a good sense of speed
- Soundtrack is upbeat and whimsical
- Tilt controls work surprisingly well for moving knight character around
- Coins earned at a fast clip, allowing you to upgrade character aspects frequently
- Survival mode unlocked after completing main game mode
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn
Knightmare Tower Cons:
- Audio stuttering on loading menu
- Controls do take a little getting used to at first
As a young knight, your passion is rescuing damsels-in-distress. Fortunately, a nearby tower contains nearly a dozen such young ladies who require your services. Strapping a rocket between your legs, you blast into the air with your trusty sword and winged footwear, defying gravity while fighting off enemies bent on keeping you from the task at hand. You maintain your upward momentum by performing downward dash attacks on baddies lingering beneath your boots, using them as makeshift platforms while slicing them in two. Early foes are fairly harmless, though as you progress you’ll encounter enemies with the ability to create spiky skin capable of damaging you, spit fireballs, blast lasers, and more in an effort to steal your hearts away. Lose all hearts and you perish. Miss an enemy on your downward dash and you will blast back into the gaming area on another rocket, albeit at a slower ascent than before. This wouldn’t be a major issue, except that a pool of lava continually threatens to rise up and overtake you at some point along your journey.
Each time you slice and dice a monster, you earn coins which can be used to purchase armory gear (stronger sword, better boots, etc.), helpful accessories (increased luck in finding loot, greater extraction power, faster speed boosts, etc.), and stronger potions (each new level adds greater abilities). Each shop item has a half-dozen levels to upgrade, requiring greater and greater amounts of money for each new item level. Fortunately, money is earned at a quick clip, so you are rarely in a position where you cannot afford a new purchase for too long. This mechanic also makes it quite difficult to put the game down, as your next attempt could net you enough loot to unlock another item level and make you a slightly more formidable foe to the creatures who wish you harm. As you reach each new area to free a princess, you are rewarded with access to a new item (bombs, hearts, horns, etc.) that occasionally appears in the gaming area to be collected and used against the baddies. A persistent 3-mission structure also rewards you with money as you complete the dozens of side tasks that pop up. The game moves swiftly and the action is intense and fun. There is plenty to keep you engaged for a good while.
Graphically, Knightmare Tower employs a vibrant cartoon aesthetic with animations that create a cool sense of speed, a variety of easily distinguished enemy types that must be dealt with in different ways, and smooth animations. The soundtrack and sound effects are silly and fun, though we did experience some audio stuttering on the loading screen that got quite annoying. The controls are a mix of tilt and touch, as you utilize the accelerometer to position the knight above enemies and tap the screen to perform the dash/attack maneuver. The tilt controls took a bit to get used to, but once we got comfortable with them, we found them favorable to the mouse pointer in the PC version. Each successful bounce increases your upward velocity, offering a brief amount of time where he appears to hover rather than drop immediately back down so that you have a bit of time to avoid fireballs and other projectiles that may have been introduced into the space. Improvements to your gear will cause health bars on the more difficult enemies to disappear, as you’ll only need a single dash to vanquish them rather than multiple stabs.
Replay value is fantastic, as you are constantly reaching greater heights, earning more money, upgrading more items, rescuing more princesses, and completing more missions as you play. There is even a Survival mode that is unlocked once you’ve completed a run through the normal game mode. GameCenter integration provides a couple of leaderboards and a half-dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for $2.99, Knightmare Tower is a solid 4.5-Dimple app.
Knightmare Tower Review,