Available On: Android
Price: Free, in-App Purchases
Download: Google Play
There are side-scroller games that are awesome and there are some that are just outright garbage. I think that side-scrollers are really fun and awesome to play…sometimes. Developer Robot Invader, has create an awesome side-scroller for mobile devices. They call it, “Wind-up Knight”. The concept has some very comedic humor. In the beginning for the game you’ll experience this humor by reading letters that were almost fully created in text speech. If it hasn’t dawned on you what that is yet, I’m talking about this: “LOL U r gunna gt it!”
It does not say that exactly in the game, but just an example of what I meant. The game is actually quite small in size compared to others like Dead Trigger and Sentinel 3. It’s only around 44MB and with the amount of content and awesome visuals I was actually quite surprised. Unless Wind-up Knight downloaded something while I wasn’t looking or without my knowledge it’s only going to be a small download for you.
The best thing about this game, is there are no ads! The game is completely ad-free but also has some options to purchase their in-game currency along with some extra worlds to play through. I wish that more companies would go this way instead of plastering ads all over their product because frankly, the ads make me way to shy away from their product because of how annoying they tend to get. I can usually easily ignore one or two ads, but when they plaster them? Ugh!
I guess the game isn’t completely ad free, but in a way it also is. Often you’ll see buttons to Like their Facebook page, follow them on twitter and Google+, but the result of doing that will give you a few hundred “notes,” the in-game currency for free. I think this is a better way to do things as linking to their social networking sites is a whole lot better than a questionable website that could potentially just be a bunch of spam. The game is really high in quality too, so I really don’t mind joining their Social Networks. The plus is getting free notes (again, in-game currency)!
Wind-up Knight has some very short levels. You could imagine them to be “Mario” sized I guess. This will be an awesome part of the game for those who are willing to try and play during lunch break. Each level ranges from 3 – 5 minutes long, so you won’t have to worry about stopping in the middle of a level to get back to work. The Mario sized levels are very beautiful and for the amount of time it takes, I am actually surprised how much fun I had with them. Of course that means you’re probably going to beat the free levels faster before it asks you to purchase the rest of the worlds available. Robot Invader does warn that if you’re “awesome” enough you can get all the worlds in this game for free as purchases do not sync with all of your devices and if you device to wipe your device, it is very possible that the purchase was wiped with it and is non-refundable.
I have noticed that the game does take up quite a bit of battery, even at the loading screen. I tend to think that is because of the detailed animations on the loading screen, but then again it could be a bug in the game. The animation is pretty dang awesome, but if it takes as much of the battery that it’s taking, I wish there was a way to turn that off.
Aside from that, the High definition animations are very cool and everything is very detailed, I love how much work they put into this game. The animations aren’t clunky like you’d expect. They’re actually very well done and a lot of work was put into them. Animations should always be good in a Side Scroller (along with background art and etc) as that’s really a big part of what your focusing on because of how the camera is pointed in the game.
The environments are also very well detailed. You can tell this is true right away when you launch up the game. You’ll see your Wind-up Knight traveling across the world with extraordinary detail of the objects and terrain you pass through. I can’t believe how detailed they made the loading screen, honestly you’ll probably be on that screen for 4 seconds until you press the play button. This is just a glimpse into how detailed Robot Invader, the developer, has made the game along with how much work and time they’ve put into it. The result is a very high quality game with lots of content.
This game is loaded with features. You may have thought this game was just loaded with realistic and pretty visuals with some really well done animations, but it isn’t. One of the cool things that you’ll come across is in the loading screen where they have a “Pretty Princess Tip” or “Wind-up Handbook Tip.” The current tip I came across is from the Wind-up Handbook and says:
“Neither rocks, nor barrels, not jets of flame can stop you when rolling with Red Caterpillar Armor.”
Red Caterpillar Armor? This just goes to show the brilliance and humor in Wind-up Knight. Yes, the game has a store where you can purchase that armor with the in-game currency, we’ll get to that in a few moments.
The first thing you’ll be learning when you enter the game is how to use the controls. You’ll have four different options, one to jump, another to slash with your sword, one to roll and one to hold you shield up. Jumping is obvious, you’re going to need to be jumping over chasms and on top of platforms. Enemies will try and block your way, therefore you have a sword to slash them down. Next, there are places where you’re going to need to roll under buildings and under other random objects. Lastly, if there is fire in your way, you’ll be using your shield to block that fire. Of course, if you have Red Caterpillar Armor, there’s no need to worry about that!
The controls are very nicely placed and aren’t awkward at all. Each button is carefully placed and really provides a great console experience for your Android device. You won’t have issues getting the hang of the controls as they are placed in a way that you’ll almost press them remotely. Even if the idea of figuring it out is daunting, Robot Invader provides mini tutorials on how to use the controls.
“Always hold the door for women and children. Princesses never hold the door for men.” – Pretty Princess Primer Tip #4
The next feature you’ll come across is an awesome feature for this side-scroller. Robot Invader actually included an in-game store in Wind-up Knight where you’ll be able to purchase new armor and weapons. I didn’t see any way to purchase powerups, something that you would see naturally in a Mario game or any older side-scroller, but purchasing armor and weapons is an option. Keep in mind that this does not cost real money, it just uses the in-game currency. There is an option to buy in-game currency with real money if you so wish and/or get to that point of extreme frustration.
The first option in the store is helmets. There are all kinds of different helmets you can purchase with the in-game currency ranging from the Vanilla Helmet to the Yellowjacket Helm. The designs are unique and so are the names. I’m not sure if there is any set bonus if you buy everything in the Yellowjacket line up or any other line up. If there is, that’s pretty dang cool, but I don’t see how that would even serve much use in this type of game unless they somehow added a really difficult boss level.
Like I said, the designs are very unique. Whoever designed them did an awesome job. No helmet you purchase with the in-game currency will look the same as the last. As every listing describes, they all are centered around that theme and are not just a name. It’s like adding a theme to your Wind-up Knight, except these themes are really cool. They don’t add any health or stat bonuses, but they do offer features like keeping you safe from fire or taking falling damage.
“Keep a journal, but only write good things in it.” – Pretty Princess Primer Tip
The other categories are very similar to the helmet category but sometimes cost more money (of the in-game currency) than other items. Shields are the most expensive out of all the items but they do have more unique bonuses than what any other items would have. I’ve found that it’s pretty difficult to earn money in the game. You usually will only get about 200 notes per level from what I’ve found so far. So earning all these items might be a bit more difficult.
There are many collectibles in the game, I’m not sure if finding them actually does anything, or gives you a reward if you find them all as the game does not say. Finding these collectibles are very hard, so I wasn’t able to get them all in time for this review. The collectibles to pose a challenge so going back and trying to get them can be pretty fun but also frustrating. They definitely pose a challenge to retrieve them all.
Now…onto the final verdict of Robot Invader’s game, Wind-up Knight…
The graphics are amazing. The graphics are more flash based like you would see in a Facebook game or just a regular flash game on a different website. The only thing is, the graphics are a bit more refined than that making for smooth performance and stability. The realism that you see in the game is the result of some stinkin’ awesome creativity and talent. The amount of work that went into the graphics is pretty awesome. I’m not sure how big their development team is but they did an awesome job!
So far, my phone hasn’t overheated at all. The amount of video memory it takes is minimal. Therefore most phones shouldn’t have many issues with the game at all. The game is built to work on most phones and as of recent has been optimized to fix crashes on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Therefore the game is stable on most versions of Android. Also, if it isn’t, the developers usually get to fixing things like that very fast if reported.
Overall the graphics are great. Has its own uniqueness to it and I think it really, fits the style of the game as usually is the case.
The music in this game is stellar. It reminds me of a lot of the Mario, save the princess type soundtracks. They really did an awesome job with the audio. There are a lot of unique tracks that play in the list, they don’t all sound like a Mario game or a side-scroller in general. The music is perfection, in my opinion. It also fits the style of the game amazingly well. I found it to be very engaging as I went along in the many different levels the game offered.
As for the regular sounds that go along with the game such as sword slashes and coin collection noises, I didn’t find that it clashed with the music at all. In fact, it wasn’t always “loud” I guess. It’s not loud in the first place, but usually the sounds are pretty quiet so all you’re hearing is the engaging music. The sound quality is really good and overall they did an amazing job. There were some things that I felt could have been done better as the coin collection noises get annoying after a while. It’s not something to really be picky about though.
The gameplay is your standard side-scroller. Jumping across the platforms and fighting off the monsters with the very easy to use controls was very fun. I’m not a huge fan of side-scrollers, but there are a few that I’ve found to be fun and this is one of them. The fun factor of the game is making it past all of the platforms alive. What really adds to the fun of the game is when you’re able to get all of the different collectibles. The different armor bonuses also add something to the game, although not needed, but they helpful considering how challenging the game already is.
I think that Armory was a great addition to the side-scroller, it added some uniqueness to Wind-up Knight while providing graphical improvements for your character. Again, the bonuses are a nice addition to everything because of how challenging the game is, but they aren’t needed. I like how each piece of armor has its own bonuses and upon removing one gets rid of a certain bonus. The uniqueness in this game is seriously awesome. I’ve never seen such uniqueness in a sidescroller before (aside from Trine, a PC game).
The game is free-to-play with some options to purchase some items. That was also nice as they gave players a choice to get things fast by paying real money while giving other players the chance to get the same items with in-game money. Usually most developers limit some items to real money only, but Robot Invader, the developer, was kind enough to allow this ability to average players too.
I love the gameplay, I think it has its own uniqueness while still being a side-scroller at its heart. The levels are short and sweet, but super fun. The work that went into all of this was great and I still can’t believe an independent company was able to do all this.
There is a ton of replaybility to this game. Most games don’t have a ton of replayability as you’ve probably noticed if you have read my past reviews. Robot Invader, the developers, did a great job at adding replaybility to this side-scroller with the very difficult collectibles. There isn’t anything the collectibles offer you as far as rewards. At least, not that I know of. Again, they were difficult to find and I wasn’t able to get them all. So, there may be a reward and there might not be. Overall, it was a pretty awesome way to increase the replayability. I’ve never really ever wanted to go back and redo a level just for a collectible, so it was a pretty smart move, in my opinion.
Overall, the developers did an amazing job developing this game. It plays just like you’d play a game on a console except it was optimized for Android devices and was done very well. I hope they make a sequel to this game as it really needs one. It was a ton of fun and a lot of other players think it was a ton of fun, I mean, just look at the Google Play Reviews:
“Love the graphic, details, design of the game. Very entertaining and also easy to get the hang of it. With all the games that try to make users spend money in order to enjoy the game, I’m glad I found this game. Kudos to the developers!!!” – Yookyung Jane
“Wind up knight is one of the best games out there and its free! The graphics are really clear and colorful and show great on my tablet. The game play is straightforward but also very challenging. Wish there were more games like this on the market.” – Darin
“Considering I’m only half way through the first book, it probably rates as one of my favorite Android games so far. Challenging and fast paced, my only complaint so far would be that it is putting my Samsung Nexus S through its paces and lagging every so often. Other than that, good game developer. I appreciate the lack of ads and no constant requests to buy anything.” – Tristan
Overall, great game, kudos to the developers. We really need another one! Wind-up Knight is a great, great game.
FINAL SCORE: – 8/10