Don’t you hate it when you’re sent out to save your world from ruin, only to be betrayed by the very world you’re trying to save? Doesn’t it somehow seem okay, though, when you meet two pretty women who want to help you out and who are also totally into you? And isn’t always even better when you get to fight a whole lot of monsters in turn-based combat? Hello, Machine Knight!
What is it?
Machine Knight is a top-down RPG that looks and plays like most other Kemco titles, meaning it looks and plays like the old-school RPGs of yesteryear.
You play Frain, the young fellow sent beyond the “gate” to save his kingdom, only to be betrayed and left there. But that’s what opens your adventure, and you’re quickly joined by Bell and Aulin, who assist you as you try to find out what happened and return to the world from which you were cast out while dealing with those who blame you for what happened in theirs.
How does it work?
Town, dungeon and overworld movement is handled by touching the area to which you want to go, or tapping the person with whom you want to interact. Battles are turn based, so you’re able to select the action you want to perform and then tap on the person or creature to attack, heal, etc.
As you’d expect, missions are mostly handed out in various villages scattered throughout the kingdom, be they story-based or side-quests that help you level up (and add to the fun). Throughout your travels, you’ll find numerous materials you can take to the blacksmiths to craft new items. This is a fun and very useful feature, but I sometimes let myself get bogged down in weapon crafting, losing sight of the main adventure.
There’s also a job class system that determines how you level up throughout the game. Spending your acquired SP gives you access to more skills within your job class. Level up enough and you can switch job classes, giving you access to a whole new set of skills. Balancing these out between your party will help keep the battles under control, and allow you a customize the characters to play the game your way. In-app purchases are available if you feel you’re not leveling up quickly enough, but I never needed them. Good thing, too, considering the $7.00 initial price point.
Is it contagious?
Machine Knight is contagious if you’re willing to let it be. Fans of RPGs will either greatly enjoy the familiar gameplay or find its lack of innovation very boring. The story is typical, but engaging, and I like that the developers decided to keep the adventuring party small; you get Frain, Bell and Aulin early on (all of whom are quite likable, I should point out), and you’re with them throughout Machine Knight’s roughly 30 hours of gameplay.
KeMco has been doing this long enough for them to know what works and doesn’t work. I would like to see them get a bit more daring with the RPG standards and make some truly innovative design decisions (I’d like to see full iPad support, too). They didn’t do that with Machine Knight, but they still gave us a good story and solid combat set within a world in which it’ll be fun to lose yourself for a while.