Review: Muffin Knight
Some knights save the girl. Others save entire kingdoms. In Angry Mob Games' latest title you are none of these. All you are compelled to do is capture muffins. A lot of muffins. Can you manage that, rescue your one true love, and level up to be a better hero? You can in Muffin Knight.
Version Reviewed: 184.108.40.206
Billed as a platform game, Muffin Knight is closer in spirit to the arcade action game Joust. You have a a small area to move around in (maybe a screen or two in width or height), and half the battle is simply moving around without dying - either through falling into pits of fire, or touching the enemy. The other half of the battle is, well, the battle, and getting into a safe-ish position so you can attack the enemy.
Because of the small levels, the small screens, and the fast gameplay, Muffin Knight is a brilliant piece of pick up and play gaming. It does not take long to die in a level, but you do feel that even lasting 45 seconds is a worthy achievement. It's also very quick to start a new game.
Controls are on-screen virtual buttons, with left and right 'hotspot' buttons under your left thumb and the jump/fire combination under your right thumb. It's not as awkward as it sounds, although with no tactile feedback my first few games saw a lot of jumping and firing at completely the wrong time.
The aim of the game is to collect muffins that drop into each level. However many you can collect represents the score for that game, but the real beauty in Muffin Knight is in the levelling up and experience that you gain to improve your merry band of heroes. When you gather enough muffins, you'll unlock new characters to play.
These characters all have a different comical look, and have different attacks. Some are close range weapons, some are long range direct fire weapons, while others are bomb layers. You'll soon come to know your favourites, and the ones you hate.
The characters also cycle around through the game. Once you pick up a muffin you'll be advanced to the next character that you have unlocked., There'll be no favouring the 'mage' character over the Unicorn if you'd rather have direct fire weapons as opposed to a bomber style flow of Unicorn waste.
I found myself racing to the muffins when I had an awkward character that doesn't fit my playing style, but also sticking with an archer when I wanted to clear a level of the creatures that are dropping from the sky to try and kill you. That balance between collection and carnage makes for a good game, as the small choices you make in the game become magnified into an overall strategy.
You also have to build up the levels of experience you have, by scoring experience points for muffins and creatures captured or destroyed respectively. Build up enough experience points and you will open up new levels in the game when you reach certain levels. Levelling up also gives you 'points' to spend on your characters to increase a number of their weapons - for example the rainbow coloured droppings of the Unicorn might explode over a larger area, or the pumpkin head might have a longer range.
I'm glad to see that developers Angry Mob Games have resisted the urge to make this a freemium game (i.e. you can't buy experience and muffins). If you want to build up in Muffin Knight, you are going to have to grind.
Muffin Knight knows exactly what it is - a fast moving arcade game that will burn up five to ten minutes at a time. But it has also managed to add in enough long term goals and unlockable content to keep the title interesting long after it has any right to be. The colours and graphics are cheerful and fast moving, the sounds are crisp and let you know what is happening (I especially like the matriarchal voice letting you know which character you are playing now).
It's definitely one to recommend, and I wonder just how many Windows Phone gamers are going to love this little puzzling enigma of a game.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at