Knight Squad is a top down arena battle game. It takes inspiration from games like the original Gauntlet™ and Bomber Man™ games. In the game you take control of one of the various knights and run around the arena trying to complete a goal like holding onto a grail, killing the other knights, and even pushing a ball into a soccer net. The game is focused on multi-player battles of up to 8 players. There is no story and the single player challenges are weak so if you plan to get this game, make sure that you have some friends to play with.
The game runs very smoothly. The entire game takes place in a single screen map arena where you and the 7 other players (or bots) will compete for the current objective. You each start at flag matching your knights color which will be your spawn point. As soon as the game starts chaos ensues. Everyone is running and killing each other while trying to pick up weapons and items to help destroy your competitors. All while trying to protect the Grail or capture the flag. Depending on the map there may also be traps waiting for you to accidentally run into. This all leads into some great multi-player fun. The controls are incredibly simple while also being incredibly responsive. You use the directionals (on gamepad) or arrow keys (Keyboard) to move around. The only button is the A button or space bar which is your attack button. Depending on the current weapon you’re holding it may slash, throw, or shoot at the other players. You can drill through walls with the drill, run faster with the boots, or even annihilate the other players with the laser.
There are a lot of game modes which will keep the game fresh. Capture the flag, soccer, last man standing, and team death match are just a few of the game modes. You will play in either 4 vs 4 teams or as a free for all. It would have been interesting if there were some other modes that changed the dynamics like a tag game where one of the knights is “it”, but the variety here is enough to satisfy.
The single player challenge missions are nothing to write home about. There are 6 missions that go from easy to frustrating very quickly. Good luck with Worm Hunt. There is little reward for playing them other than the feeling of accomplishment and being listed on the leaderboards.You can play the game locally with up to 7 bots which have AI from very easy where they are so bad they even get stuck in corners to very difficult bots that have obviously been playing this game longer than I have. It’s fun but not nearly as much fun as actually playing with real people. On PC right now the online lobby is completely empty. I waited around for over an hour without anyone trying to join my game and there were no other games listed so I can only assume the majority of people playing this are on Xbox One. I wonder if it would be possible to have cross platform multi-player. It would definitely make the PC version of the game a little better.
One thing I didn’t like is that, while playing using a Dual Shock 4 controller to play (the game recommends using a controller, and for good reason), I couldn’t stop the game until the round ended. Using the controller completely disables the keyboard which is a little annoying because the only buttons on the controller that work are the left analog stick and the X (A) button. The directional pad and other buttons did nothing.
My overall assessment of the game is that it’s a nice indie game that is fun with friends but isn’t going to be the next smash hit or even gain a cult following. It will give you some great entertainment and opportunity for trash talking your friends on a Saturday night however. It’s free to download on Xbox live until Dec 15th 2015, so if you have an Xbox I recommend checking it out. If you plan to play it on PC though, make sure you have some friends who want to play because right now there is no one in the online lobby and there is not enough content for it to be worth purchasing for a single player.
Without a better single player experience I can't give the game more than an average score. The gameplay is a lot of fun though and I recommend it if you are going to get it on the Xbox where there are more people playing online or if you have a group of friends you plan to play it with. However I can't recommend it to you if you want it for the single player experience or if you plan to get it on PC and expect there to be other players in an online lobby (at least right now. Hopefully there will be more players once the game catches on.)