Developed By: Minimol Games
Published By: Qubyte Interactive
Category: Board Games, Puzzle
Release Date: 02.11.21
For someone who loves strategy and puzzle games as much as I do, it’s always surprised me how little affection I have for chess. Certainly, part of it is that I prefer video to board games, but there are plenty of board games I’ve played and loved. Perhaps the strategic elements are too nuanced or rigid compared to turn-based strategy video games. But I’m always open to a new take on a classic game. Today’s game, Knight’s Retreat, integrates parts of the basic chess formula to build a unique, engaging, strategic puzzle game.
It’s Called Knight’s Retreat, But You’re Always Moving Forward
The objective of Knight’s Retreat is to move brightly-colored knight piece or pieces from their starting points to the goal square or squares, using traditional chess movement rules. Each level is arranged as a grid, but not every space on the grid has a landing spot for the pieces. There are grey generic bishop, knight, rook, and queen pieces littering the grid as well. Much of the game’s strategy is about moving these pieces around to create a path forward for their retreating knights.
There are other obstacles to overcome as well, however. In all levels, whenever one of the retreating knights leaves a square, it is destroyed and becomes unusable for all pieces. There are five worlds with different biomes to unlock, and each introduces a new type of obstacle. For instance the desert biome introduces switches that rearrange certain tiles when a piece occupies that tile. The summer forest biome introduces matched knights; when one moves, the other (or others) move in unison. However, they won’t move if there isn’t a valid square for them to occupy.
While pretty simple, the minimalist graphics in Knight’s Retreat are bright, sharp, and attractive. While the game’s assets may be lacking in minute detail, they make up for it with bright colors and an inviting atmosphere. That’s not to say there aren’t small visual touches that liven the game up; Knight’s Retreat makes the most of a slight rustling of trees or rippling waves in a pond to add some life to the proceedings. The soundtrack helps the game’s atmosphere out with its somber, thoughtful tenor.
Don’t Retreat From These Knights
While Knight’s Retreat may have its roots in chess, don’t come into it thinking it’s just a chess game. At its heart it’s a puzzle game, and a good one at that. The basic mechanics are easy to understand, but the puzzles are challenging and, more importantly, varied enough to resist becoming stale. As soon as one gimmick starts to feel played out, the game switches biomes and introduces some new mechanic to explore. It has 80 levels, which is kind of light compared to similar games – especially considering there is no replay value. Still, it’s better to get out a little early than way too late, so Knight’s Retreat ends up a solidly fun title overall.
Digital – $3.99
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The Switch Effect was graciously supplied a code for review purposes.