Swing goes the knight.
Knights of the Round Cable is a game that caught our attention back at E3 this year, and we finally got the chance to get our hands on the final version. The build we played at E3 was very near final, but we only had a few minutes to try it out before we had to move on to the millions of other games at the show. Now, I have had to chance the dig in and get a feel for what the knights and their crazy round cables are all about.
In Knights of the Round Cable, you play as, you guessed it, a knight. All your knight can do is hook on the pegs in the level and swing in a circle. Seems like a knight should be able to just walk around and kill stuff, but that would make the game much less awesome. As you swing around the pegs you collect gems, which build up your score. There are also princess trapped throughout the levels, and freeing them will give you a nice score boost.
Speaking of score, Game Center leader boards are implemented into the game allowing you to compete with your friends and other players from around the world. This helps keep you motivated to play through the game over and over.
You play through the same levels, or castles as they are called in this game, repeatedly. Progression happens by completing a set of three goals provided by the game. If there is a certain goal that does not tickle your fancy, you can spend in-game currency to skip it and have a new goal randomly generated for you. Of course, you are taking a risk if you do this; the new goal could prove more difficult than the previous one.
When you complete a set of goals and level up, you receive a good chunk of money to purchase upgrades and your score multiplier goes up. Obviously, if you are targeting the highest scores in the world, this multiplier is going to be critical.
The game controls quite simply. There are only 2 buttons on the screen, the one on the right causes your knight to hook onto the nearest peg. The one on the left causes him to change his direction of rotation. These simple controls make the game easy to pick up and get a feel for.
Changing your direction is an incredibly important mechanic because it is also how you build up speed if your knight slows down.
The controls feel very natural, and I never once had a problem with them. They were responsive when I needed them to be, and in a game that requires the utmost precision, that is important. Knights of the Round Cable proves that a game does not need a ton of buttons to have an effective control method.
Of course, there are plenty of enemies throughout the levels. As you get to the higher level castles, the number of enemies will increase greatly. This requires you to be alert at all times. Generally, you avoid enemies by releasing from a peg at the right time, or changing your rotation. Once you get to higher level castles, it becomes quite intense.
The difficulty curve is well done. The first couple of levels feel incredibly easy, and it ramps at a comfortable pace.
To help with the more difficult levels, there are plenty of items you can buy with in-game money. You can get new knights with extra skills, hearts, magnets to attract gems and plenty more. If you plan to make it to the higher level castles, many of these are crucial.
Overall, the gameplay mechanics in Knights of the Round Cable are quite good, but like any game of this type, if you don’t absolutely love it, you will probably get sick of playing through the same levels. They do a good job of adding progression, but since this feels geared at the casual market, some gamers might get sick of doing the same thing over and over.
Repetition aside, the game works as intended, and is genuinely fun to play. It’s perfect to pick up and play for short burst or go hard for high scores and spend a good amount of time with it.
Visually, Knights is well made and stylish. I wish there was a little more variety in the look of the different castles, as it can become pretty repetitive after a while. Still, the animations are smooth, and it’s a tight visual package.
Sadly, the soundtrack of the game becomes annoying rather quickly. My first impression was the music was cute, but after playing the game for a long time I had to shut the music off because it is so repetitive. A little more variety in the music would have been nice.
The sound effects in the game are good, but like the music, they become annoying after a while. I guess that’s the difficulty of a game based on going back and getting high scores in the same level. No matter how you make it, some elements are going to become stale after a while.
Overall, Knights of the Round Cable is a great game with some awesome mechanics. I found it incredibly addicting, and I had a blast with it. Some players might find that it gets a little repetitive, but people who enjoyed going for high scores in games like Tiny Wings and Temple Run will absolutely love this game.
Knights of the Round Cable is available for download July 12th.