From Nicalis (the studio behind some of the already classic Nintendo Switch titles like Cave Story+, Tiny Barbarian DX, and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+) and Freakzone Games comes Knight Terrors, the intense endless runner that combines retro style graphics with procedurally generated levels and an incredibly heavy soundtrack to create a gameplay experience that is surprisingly addictive but always full of surprises.
Playing as a mysterious suit of armor known only as “The Knight,” you must desperately race through the countryside equipped with only a sword and blood-red wings. You must face and vanquish a never-ending barrage of flaming skulls, aliens, zombies, and even more enemies and unspeakable horrors while avoiding pits of spikes and maneuvering through small gaps in order to wrack up as high of a score as possible.
Nicalis has already produced some great titles for the Nintendo Switch and Knight Terrors is no exception to this line of success. The simple premise of the unending runner was made popular with games like Flappy Bird and even Temple Run, but the stripped down mechanics and endless variation of levels offered in Knight Terrors has lead to quite a charming and addictive gameplay experience that sets itself apart from the classic titles from this genre.
The tone is set immediately upon booting up the game. It’s meant to be a dark thrill ride the entire time that you play and everything the game does helps to breed this atmosphere that fits in so perfectly with this Halloween season. The frantically intense soundtrack is paired so well with crisp sprite graphics and a unique visual ability of ‘shaking’ the screen as you advance through the levels that you never feel grounded during the game. Add in all of the individual behaviors of the enemies and you’re left frantically trying to mow them all down so as to ensure that not a single one gets by you in your quest to carry on.
The controls are completely stripped down and this particular setup uses only two buttons from the entire Switch control scheme. One of these buttons controls your jumping and flying abilities while the other button is used for swinging your sword and using the various power ups and abilities you can unlock throughout the game. This simple two-button control scheme can be any combination of the triggers or the buttons, but there are only two outcomes for any button input. This creates a gameplay experience that allows players of all ability levels the opportunity to experience Knight Terrors with relative ease, and keeps them from having controls get in the way.
For being an inexpensive title, Knight Terrors offers a surprisingly large amount of content to be unlocked throughout your playthrough. Other than ‘Normal Mode’ there are four additional modes to unlock. Each of these different modes can be unlocked by either scoring high enough or progressing to a certain level in a previous mode. In addition, these different modes offers specific leaderboards for each one that allow you to track your progress as you play, and racking up these high scores will eventually unlock different power-ups that are generated in game in a way that is as random as the levels themselves. Each of these power-ups offers a clever take on a traditional weapon (at least in its namesake) and the best part about these is that the different abilities stack up, leading to more and more chaos as power ups are collected in any given mode. During one of my runs I had collected a few additional hearts to increase my maximum health and had nearly every additional weapon you could obtain to become my own one-man army! Unfortunately for me I let the pits full of spikes get the best of me and wasn’t even able to utilize these power-ups to full effect!
Knight Terrors is a welcome addition to any Nintendo Switch owner’s library and is yet another strong showing from Nicalis. Combining the addictive gameplay of an endless runner with a strong soundtrack, accessible controls, and polished sprite visuals, they’ve created a game that is incredibly fun to play and always keeps you on your toes. For the $3 price, which is what most people pay for mobile games that aren’t nearly as high in quality, this game is an absolute NintenDeal.
A native of Minnesota, Brandon has been an avid Nintendo fan for as long as he can remember and enjoys being able to escape into the vast worlds offered in their games. Some of his favorite games include: Pokemon Blue & Silver, Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Risk of Rain 2, and of course LoZ: Breath of the Wild.
Outside of gaming Brandon enjoys riding motorcycle, listening to music or podcasts, cooking, watching movies, and is a big sports fan. He is always carrying his Switch with him wherever he goes, so feel free to add him if you’d like to lose at MK8D.