Really short review this time: A Knight Never Yields is… well I can’t really call it an infinite runner, so I suppose a finite runner? It’s level driven and not randomized either… But that’s also because each running section is coded with a musical phrase that you have to memorize so you can replay levels BLIND while still avoiding the obstacles in the level. So OK, just to be clear, you play each level twice: one to learn the layout with sight and you have your classic jump, crouch, block, slash, all that fun stuff. And the second run, you have to repeat your actions “Simon Says”-wise without looking at the layout. Levels are all pretty bite-sized, so it never harshly tests your short term memory capabilities, as I feared it might do. But after they introduced the mechanics, the game felt like it was already over. The replay value is next to non-existent, and while the concept is cute and novel, I just don’t think that what’s offered, in this version of the game, feels like a complete package. It feels more like a game jam submission released straight to the Steam store page, OK maybe it’s one layer fleshed above that, but still. I felt so empty, wanting more, after my experience. It’s hard to evaluate this one BECAUSE the concept itself seems pretty unique, but the design space feels like it barely scratched the surface.
A Knight Never Yields has a story about a young knight chasing a prophecy foretold by this disembodied voice that guides you throughout your time in the campaign mode. The writing is cute and inoffensive, but felt kinda tacked on overall. I think it can be really effective for younger audiences potentially, and the gameplay seems to match. Each level gives you musical cues/crescendos to time your actions, but I often found the timing to be ever so slightly off, so I found myself relying more on just memorizing the timing when I saw and regurgitating. The rhythm element was admittedly charming and a high point for me, but the “music” is barely even a full song, and to reiterate, is not fully realized in my eyes. I just don’t think there’s enough content for you to latch onto past a single afternoon. I wish there was more to it, but besides pushing for perfect runs, which is pretty trivial after some trial and error, I really don’t see any reason to touch this game after an initial playthrough.
A Knight Never Yields is a game with a great aesthetic and overall concept, yet utterly under-cooked. I actually think it could perform very well on mobile, but I just don’t know who this game is made for. Rhythm gamers tend to desire enough rigor, great music, and ways to master the game in a satisfying manner. As a “2D Platformer” you are completely on-rails, and as a runner, you’re much better off playing BitTrip Runner in my books. The gimmick of the blind knight is intriguing, but I think an update would be required to push this game over the proverbial hump.
A review copy provided via Dev.
Hellfirebam has begrudgingly not awarded A Knight Never Yields