Some games garner attention via taking one game type and mixing it with something you wouldn’t expect, leading to crazy combinations. Fight Knight does the same, albeit with an even wilder mix than most others. To put it simply, the game is basically what you’d get if you took a grid-based dungeon crawler, removed the turn-based battles and RPG mechanics, and replaced them with Punch Out. The result is a highly unique, extremely interesting game. It launched yesterday on Steam and retails for just $20 USD, but the question stands: Is Fight Knight worth it?
Fight Knight puts you in the greaves of the titular character. You’re cursed and can’t hold a sword. Attempting to do so sees it fall apart in your hands. But there’s a tower of baddies nearby that needs climbing, so you head on in and give it a go. Because you can’t hold any weapons, that naturally means that you’ll be going against foes with your armored fists. The game’s presentation is wholly built out of pixels into a 2.5D world. The graphics are charming and each group of enemies you come across has a punny name. For instance, you’ll run into a group of skeletons called Notorious R.I.B.
Getting around isn’t quite what I expected based on the screenshots I’ve been looking at for the last couple of years that I’ve been following Fight Knight‘s development. When I say the game is like a grid-based dungeon-crawler, I literally mean that. Movement is quite literally entirely grid-based. If you need a specific game for me to compare it to, it reminds me a lot of the Etrian Odyssey series. The areas are puzzle dungeons, down to switches you need to find and traps. You’ll also find side quests with characters that will pop up later. The first section has a knight you can free from a cage and you’ll run into him later.
Punch, punch, it’s all in the punch
As Fight Knight is a grid-based dungeon-crawler, all the battles are random, which I also wasn’t expecting. As you explore, a versus screen showing you what you’re up against pops up. At first, you’ll just fight one enemy at a time, but that number quickly increases. Before leaving the first section, you’ll go up against half a dozen or so foes at once. The mechanics aren’t insanely complicated, but this is a highly responsive action game despite how it looks.
You can throw regular punches, charged punches, plus punches that change based on how you move immediately before throwing them. Moving backward and then punching unleashes an uppercut. Enemies attack in two lanes, so you’ll need to keep careful watch. Thankfully, you can both block and parry enemy strikes, which leaves them open for a few moments. There are even projectile-based enemies that stay behind the melee attackers and pelt you while you fight for your life. You can knock their projectiles back at them with a parry, though, which works out nicely. I find the gameplay to be very compelling, although random battles do annoy me quite a bit.
Speaking of annoying, if you die, you go back to your last save. This means that you’ll often have to stop what you’re doing and stomp back to your bed to rest and save before battling tougher foes. Healing also isn’t the easiest thing in the world, so you can die to random encounters as well. I really don’t like having to go back and save all the time, but losing half an hour of progress certainly talked me into it. I personally think Fight Knight is very worth it. It’s a highly unique, fun, and interesting game with a lot to offer for a fair price, so I recommend it to anyone that’s intrigued by its premise. Just don’t be too surprised if you start grinding your teeth when the random battles and need to save keep getting in the way of your adventure.
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