Rival Knights Review

Rival Knights Review

Jun 19, 2014

Rival Knights is a truly unique idea for a game. Jousting is a fantastic idea for a mobile game and is untapped. But does it hit the mark?

Rival Knights casts the player as a low ranking knight with leather armor and a drive to work their way up the ranks to defeat a nasty local lord who’s acting like a jerk.

Screenshot_2014-06-07-20-21-16What this boils down to of course is unhorsing a bunch of knights with a lance. The game uses a basic, but very fun timing based system for jousting. At the start of their charge a well-timed tap gives the player a boost off the line. While charging towards the opponent a timing gauge appears and perfect taps boost the player’s charge speed and thus their impact.

Just before contact with the opponent the game slows down in a bullet time style moment and the player must move their crosshairs over a target cursor that appear on the knight. The closer and longer the player manages to hold their cursor over the moving spot, the more accurate and powerful their hit is. If the player does well enough they win! This is a simple, but very exciting system and is a lot of fun to play.

Screenshot_2014-06-07-18-38-43Rival Knights is very focused on gaining better equipment and thankfully for a free game this is actually fun rather than painful. New armor, weapons and horses can be purchased with in-game cash and unlike most games of this type they are easily affordable. Gold is handed out in goodly amounts for both working through the single player campaign and playing multiplayer and there is never any endless boring grinding to be done. This is a breath of fresh air for jaded mobile gamers.

The single player portion of Rival knights is based around winning a series of jousts against various opponents, often with some kind of stipulation, like getting a perfect start or reaching a certain speed on the horse. Sometimes permanent powerups that boost the player’s abilities with armor or weapons are up for grabs and there is always plenty of in game currency handed out.

On the multiplayer side of things Rival Knights is just as fun. There are tourneys every day where high end gear and lots of cash can be won and there are no shortage of other players to joust. Players are not jousted directly, rather MP is played much like single player, but with the other player’s equipment and stats.

Rival Knights looks fantastic. Its graphics are a treat to see and every piece of armor and horse looks very different and is well detailed. Animations for jousting are also very well done, in particular the vast number of ways opponents can be knocked off their horse is very satisfying The sound is also very high quality.

Rival Knights is great fun and a very original game to be sure. At a price of zero dollars it should be an instant download for just about everyone.


Battleheart Review

Battleheart Review

Jun 3, 2011

Paring down a game so that it works on a touch screen phone is a difficult job. Essentially, you have to utilise the space you have on screen as a control system as well as a display. In other words, whatever a player’s fingers are doing, it can’t get in the way of the action that’s happening in-game. One way to counter this is to make a player’s finger taps and slides an integral part of the gameplay itself.

Such is the path of Battleheart, a new RTS/RPG hybrid from Mika Mobile. Eschewing story for a charming art style and simple character progression, Battleheart lets you control epic fantasy battles with a few swipes and taps on the characters involved. It’s not quite an intuitive system, but it does work very well. Most of the time.

Battleheart is a lovely game to look at, full of quirky, cartoony detail and charm. It wears its fantasy cloak with a wry grin and a cheeky wink and never takes itself too seriously, which is good for a game that deals with wizards, rogues and barbarians. The game itself is pretty simple – you hire mercenaries, wipe out any resistance in a level, rinse and repeat. Of course, there’s more to it than that, with levelling up, team balancing, roles, gear and skills all to be taken into consideration as well. Micromanagement of funds, characters and equipment is the key to victory, as well as some nimble fingers and a keen eye.

The game doesn’t quite get its control system right, unfortunately. There are times, especially when the screen is full of enemies, when getting the right person to do the right thing becomes too much of a chore. That’s a far from ideal situation for an RTS to find itself in, but it’s a minor price to pay for what is a lovely game.

Battleheart is a perfectly bite-sized mobile game that’s deep enough to get lost in if you want, but has enough pick-up-and-playability to appeal to the less tactically minded as well. Add to that a great art style, a wicked sense of humour and a smooth UI and it becomes a no-brainer. You should play this game.

Note: The Android Market version of the game doesn’t work on some devices, such as Galaxy S phones, because of download cache issues. However, the Amazon Appstore version should work for those devices affected.