Knight Moves could have been a much better game if designer Alexey Pajitnov (of Tetris fame) had just made the knight stay still. It's too hard to figure out where to move next without the knight jumping every place you set your mouse.
The graphics are well-done, as is the sound. The idea is nice too: take the knight from chess, put him on boards of various sizes, and allow him to only move the way he does in a chess game (two spaces up and one over). Oh, and throw in coins he has to pick up, squares which turn to lava and kill him if he touches them too many times in a row, swords which must be collected in order, and nasties to avoid.
The fun of Tetris was that it is simple in play and design. It's easy to grasp and, once you get the hang of the gameplay, you can have some success before it starts getting really tough. This game is tough from thevery first level, even though all you need to do is collect some coins and move on. Having the knight stop after each move would have at least given the player the chance to study the board and decide what to do next. How can you think two or three moves ahead when the knight's jumping around by himself and you're about to lose him to a square which just turned to lava?
The monsters, though, aren't a bad idea, and the swords make the game very challenging, although all those additions make the game more complicated than it should really be. They take it away from a strategy game and more into the realm of an arcade game. Yes, Tetris straddled that line very well, but at least that game gave you a couple seconds to make up your mind before you moved a piece into place. Get distracted in Knight Moves and it's all over.
Which is a shame, because this could have been a classic if just for that one design flaw.
Graphics: Very well done. They serve their purpose.
Sound: Standard fare.
Enjoyment: So hard that it's not much fun. The first few levels should be easier.
Replay Value: If you're willing to try and overcome the large learning curve, you might want to come back to this one.
The company's blurb is right this time: "Knight Moves successfully combines stunning computer-generated characters with mind-boggling, addictive gameplay. The playing piece is a noble knight with its signature one-over-two-up "L" move. The object of the game is to maneuver the knight from one part of the board to another, capturing swords, avoiding the monster opponents, and advancing to the next level." In the best Pajitnov tradition, it's not as easy as it seems, although it is easier than his other creations in a sense that there is no time limit, unlike Tetris. Overall, this is a fun puzzle game despite reflex-oriented gameplay and repetitive levels.
People who downloaded Knight Moves have also downloaded:
Pac-Man: Adventures in Time, Icebreaker, Kumoon, Pandora's Box, Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, Madagascar, Labyrinth of Crete, Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
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