SlingKnight – Android
Release Date: January 19, 2015
Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Not too long ago on Nerd Bacon, I wrote up a review for an Android RPG called MinuteQuest which I thought was just wonderful. Today I’m going to be talking about another of developer moitititi’s games that I recently tried on the appstore, SlingKnight. Not an RPG like MinuteQuest, SlingKnight is an action game that utilizes the touch screen to input directions and combo attacks, which I think it pretty cool. In SlingKnight you start with two characters; the Knight and Wizard, to fight against waves of enemies that will spawn at various points on the screen. In order to attack or even move, you have to sling the character by quickly sliding your finger from one side of the character to the other in the direction you want to go in. It’s a lot easier to show how to do it than to tell, but once you’ve played a match you’ll get a general idea of how to handle it.
Anyway, the game offers three different unlockable stages and a regular arcade-like mode that you can play. By reaching certain kill records in the arcade mode, you can unlock the three stages on easy mode as well as an endless mode. And as you rank up kills across your playthroughs, you’ll begin to unlock more and stronger characters than the starting two. Those who’ve played MinuteQuest will find the unlockable characters and enemies familiar from that game, with the characters in SlingKnight being the armors from MinuteQuest. The characters aren’t just different in looks however, characters will also have different hitpoints and different abilities. The unlockable character Dragoon for instance, can glide around the screen with ease, something the Knight can’t. And the Wizard can shoot projectile attacks depending upon the direction slung in, but she only has two hitpoints instead of the average three. These different playable characters, like many fighting and action games like Mortal Kombat, provide players with different playing styles to try and the ability to formulate strategies based on the character’s strengths.
The stages that the player can play through, from one to three, come in three modes each; easy, normal, and hard. Each mode has an unlockable character attached to it (which can also be unlocked by a high kill count). Unlike the general acrade-like mode that you use to unlock the stages, the three stages contain several waves of enemies followed by a boss at the very end. The enemies per stage are also themed to the boss and progressively harder, like the monster enemies in the second stage with the boss as a mad doctor. I noticed too that because of this, specific characters seem to work best on specific stages. For example, the first stage is best completed with the unlockable Samarui because he’s faster than most enemies in that stage and can usually jump up high enough to kill any flying ones. For the second stage, Dragoon seems to be the best character because he can glide around and most of the enemies in that stage fly. It also makes it easier to dodge the mad doctor’s starting drill attack by remaining airbourne. That’s just what I’ve observed so far, but I also achieved my highest kill chain with the Wizard, so this is just theory.
As you get better at the game, you’ll start to realize that there are actually combo-like moves that can be pulled off by quickly slinging the character at least twice in succession. These are extremely helpful to use when dodging enemies that require two hits to kill and airbourne attacks. Because there aren’t any onscreen controls to use to move around the area, you’ll probably end up finding these combo-like moves trying to do so. Not that it’s a bad thing not to have on-screen controls, it would defeat the purpose of slinging your character around the screen, but racking up high kill counts is pretty challenging, The game also doesn’t give you anything to refill your hearts with during the rounds, so it’s pretty easy to die in the game. You can sometimes get the option to add a heart after dying for a single round in exchange for viewing a full-screen ad. The whole dying-easy thing also helps replayability, because it challenges you to better yourself for the next fight.
SlingKnight, in general is a pretty awesome action title for the Android. I’ve seen my fair share of mobile action games, but none of which have been this fun and yet simple. Clearly the developer has found a formula for delivering retro-style games with simple objectives that are addicting and also challeneging. Perhaps it’s the two-dimensional characters and creative monsters that appear in the game, I’m not even completely sure myself. I just know I’m probably going to be playing SlingKnight until I’ve unlocked every character.
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