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Review – Knightfall: Death and Taxes | Level Up News

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Review – Knightfall: Death and Taxes

 

Publisher: Namco Networks
Developer: Megadev
Platform(s): PC
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB Content Descriptors: None

The Scoop: Megadev’s top notch flash based puzzle game gets a full-fledged PC follow-up, with a ton of new levels and a new playable character.

The Setup: The Knight hasn’t been having the best of luck since his last adventure. One night while he is sleeping a thief sneaks into his yard and steals his poorly guarded pile of money. Unfortunately the Taxman comes knocking the next morning and now the Knight must embark on another grand adventure. This time he is accompanied by Princess who is also seeking fortune after seemingly being cut off from her father. They talk in picture so this is largely up to interpretation.

Gameplay is largely unchanged from the original, the knight is placed in a grid of colored blocks, monsters, a door and items, which you can rotate around him and clock on the blocks to break them in groups in order to drop him or other objects down. You have action points and the cost of breaking the blocks is dependent on the number, with one block costing 5 to break, 2 costing 3, and going down to 1 AP to break a bunch of blocks (in the first game you needed to break groups of 3 or more, drastically increasing the challenge). The Knight also has HP which is decreased when you run out of AP or land in a monsters attack zone. To kills the enemies you need to drop Knight on their heads. To clear a stage you need to collect all the keys on the board and enter the door. It sounds confusing but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of. New to the sequel you also have a set of spells that build up during play, they can be unleashed for a series of desired effects, mostly killing monsters though. Also new to the sequel is the ability to play as Princess, who has the same goal, but monsters need to drop onto her to take damage.

What’s Hot: Just like the original game this game is very addictive and fun, and unlike the first you don’t find yourself getting frustrated with only having one block to click that you can’t. You break it and pay the penalty in AP or HP.

The game is fairly long, especially with the low price point of only 8 dollars. There are over 100 stages you can play through, which will add up to quite a few hours. They also get pretty challenging, fortunately if you die from a minor screw-up you can restart the stage with a new layout.

Playing as Princess may not seem like it would be that much different, but with having to defeat monsters in a different way it adds a whole new level of tactic, especially since she still falls downward like Knight does.

There are a few other interesting games modes, including Endless 2 Player, in which you have both Knight and Princess on the board and you need to get both of them into the doorway after killing all the enemies. Even harder is the Pet Protector mode, which has you playing as Knight and escorting his defenseless puppy through 50 monster filled levels; the puppy can only take 3 hits and he must enter the door before Knight does, it’s pretty challenging. There is also a boss rush mode, it’s a pretty basic fare; you kill the bosses in order, and you can’t use your character from the story mode, but you still level up so it’s kind of a tradeoff even though the bosses will be a little harder since you can’t take as many hits.

The story is charming and very funny, it’s like a deranged children’s book at times, though some of the little segments seem completely pointless.

What’s Not: This is mostly nitpicking but the fact that you can’t move more than one location at a time on the board is annoying. If I need to hit up a store I should only have to click once for the store, not gallop slowly across the whole map one tile at a time. It doesn’t actually do anything in the game, no random encounters or anything.

Not on Steam, at least at the time I checked, that would be a huge plus if I had Steam support (My entire PC gaming goes through Steam).

It also feels a little dated, sort of from around the Playstation One or maybe Dreamcast era, but that isn’t totally a bad thing as that was one of the more golden eras of video gaming. That may turn some people off though.

Final Verdict: Knightfall: Death and Taxes is a fun, addictive and inexpensive treat; great for the value but I can’t imagine paying more than the $7 for PC. Megadev needs to do the smart thing and bring this baby to Xbox Live Arcade and I would gladly drop 800 points for another round. In the meantime though I guess I will have to jump in and buy the iPhone version. (I totally wish I had an iPad)

Review - Knightfall: Death and Taxes, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
 

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