The 2nd game released to all Xbox Live Gold members through the Games with Gold promotion for November is Knight Squad.
Knight Squad could be described as a Bomberman-esque game, but with knights. That description was enough for me to try it, as I love Bomberman. I still have a SNES plugged in at all times and play Bomberman against friends frequently. Knight Squad is a similar game, but with a bit more skill required and it is a bit more punishing. There also are some really upgraded graphics and online play, as with any modern game.
In Knight Squad, you control a knight of your choosing in various mini-games or challenges. The left stick is the controls and aiming, and the “X” button is your attack. And that’s it really. The controls are really simple in this game. Your view of the game is top down.
During the course of games, power-ups appear on the map that you can walk over to gain additional abilities and upgrades. Some of these include speed boost, longer sword, bow and arrow, a laser gun, lightning, a boomerang, get a horse, one that turns you into a speeding bomb that explodes, one that lets you lay bombs, and one that summons a group of minions.
The various mini-games include:
- Capture the Grail (free for all)
- Capture the Flag (four vs. four)
- Soccer (four vs. four)
- Gladiator (free for all)
- Last Man Standing (free for all)
- Team Deathmatch (four vs. four)
- Juggernaut (free for all)
- Domination (four vs. four)
- Crystal Rush (four vs. four)
You can play those either solo, locally, or online. I tried them all, but found them to kind of blend together. Most require you to rush an area and fight for something, whether it be a mini-gun in Juggernaut, a crystal, the center, a domination point, a soccer ball, a flag, etc. It really isn’t a bad thing that they all play similar, as that made it easy for me to jump between them all and they were all fun. I mainly just tried to grab the achievements, which are stuff like getting multiple power-ups at once, killing 1,000 enemies, breaking 5,000 walls, and more.
There also is a challenge mode where you complete challenges and are rewarded with achievements. I made it to the 2nd to last challenge (Dragon Alert) and let me tell you, these things are challenging! The game doesn’t hold your hand at all, so it is up to you to figure out what to do in the challenges. Even once you figure that out, the mode seems to randomly change a bit so that you might end up dying anyways.
For instance, in the Dragon Alert challenge I’m working on, you can hide from dragon fire behind a barrier. However, every now and then the fire from the far dragon will reach you and kill you. This can be frustrating, but also is addicting.
The one big issue that I had with Knight Squad is the loading screen. For some reason, they elected to put this animation of a brick wall that closes together as the loading screen, and that displays constantly. The result is that for at least a few minutes for every hour of the game played, you end up staring at a brick wall. As you stare at this so much, it would have been nice if it was a better graphic, like a picture of all the knights. Or they could have done something like Call of Duty, where the loading screen has tips on it.
Despite my frustrations with the game, I would recommend giving Knight Squad a try. If nothing else, it is an easy 500+ gamerscore, but you might find you really like it. Be warned, this game can get addicting!
You can learn more about Knight Squad by watching the trailer for the game below: