There’s a popular saying that “there is nothing new under the sun”. The video game industry is a prime example of this, as most popular games these days can be broken down into a handful of categories, and it’s not uncommon to see the word “clone” in a review. Still, with all the games that are released on the App Store each week, there are a few that feel fresh due to atmosphere, mechanics or some other aspect of the game. Knights of the Round Cable happens to be one such game.
You start out as Sir Duncan, but as you climb up the ranks you’ll be able to recruit (in other words, buy) additional knights to use, each with some special ability. Your job is to visit as many castles as possible, raiding each of all the jewels you can grab before your time expires and you have to move on to the next locations. And, if you happen to rescue a princess or two in the process, I guess you’re a better player for it. As you do all the things you’re supposed to do you’ll earn coins, and these coins can be used to unlock new knights or unlock and upgrade power ups. Of course you can always expedite this process by buying coins via IAP, but what’s the fun in that?
Like any good siege, this one will be fraught with perils. These come mainly in the form of creatures flying back and forth between the castle’s towers, ready to take a bite out of your health. Occasionally one or more missiles will drop from the heavens as well. Each hit removes a heart, and when they are all gone the game is over. Sometimes a heart will show up on the field that you can collect to replenish a lost one. Other power ups include a magnet and a “last chance” bomb that you can activate as you’re losing your last heart to destroy everything on the screen and get a second chance.
So I suppose you want to hear about the special game play mechanic now. There are several pegs scattered throughout each castle, and every knight has a grappling hook he can use to twirl around the pegs. The game consists of two buttons: 1 to launch and release the hook, and the other to change the direction of rotation. It’s a simple yet ingenious scheme, though it can take some getting used to, especially when it comes to determining the right distance for your rope so that as you’re spinning around you can actually gather up gems. There are also things like speeding up and slowing down to take into consideration, and then you have some knights that handle things differently (for example, one knight’s ability is zero gravity). It certainly makes for quite an entertaining and diverse experience each time you play.
The graphics are cute and the characters certainly have some personality. The backgrounds are pretty detailed and there are nice little effects throughout like trails behind the knight as he flies around the screen. It’s also fun to watch the knight crash and burn after losing all his hearts or the jewel stealing birds explode at the end of each level. The sound effects are decent and do a good job of conveying the cartoonish feeling of the world. The music isn’t bad, but there appears to be only one theme. It would be nice if they could at least have a couple of tunes that rotate out each level.
Knights Of The Round Cable is a great game and as far as I’m concerned another triumph for the publishing gurus at Chillingo. There are times when it feels like the knight is not doing what I want, but that could be just as much me as the game itself. For the most part it’s an absolute joy flinging my valiant hero through castle after castle, hoping that one of these times I’ll actually do better than my current best. But, there’s always next time…
|Title:||Knights of the Round Cable||Developer:||Chillingo Ltd|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.1.3|