Apple Knight | Review | Nintendo Switch

Trailer

Video Review

Introducing: Apple Knight Review

In an unnamed Kingdom, an Evil Wizard who disposes of warriors who dare attempt to cross him, another in that long line of soon-to-be-dead warriors has a dream…a dream of facing the Evil Wizard…and winning!  Take up your sword, learn your single sword swipe move, and power through dozens of levels full of danger, platforming perils, and more!  Can you really defeat the Wizard King and release your unnamed Kingdom from his grasp?  Let’s find out!

A Dream…Or A Premonition…?

I want to befriend the Dragon.

Apple Knight’s story begins with a dream.  A dream of our main character standing tall, locked in a fierce battle with the powerful Evil Wizard.  An unwanted inhabitant of this unnamed Kingdom we call home.  The Wizard King, who also is unnamed, floats nearby with it’s loyal pet: a dragon!  However, our hero is not alone, helping them fight the Wizard king is the Friendly Wizard Garraldin, who has disobeyed the Wizard King, but faced no repercussions, somehow.

The dream fades and our main character, be it the male version, Agastia, or the female version, Amaya, awakes in a field already clad in their armor and equipped with their trusty sword!  Garraldin is also there to inform you that he sensed Agastia/Amaya’s want to fight the Wizard King and has placed helpful messages in the area to teach them how to use their abilities and fight things!  A quick tutorial level later, and you’re ready to take Amaya or Agastia on this epic quest to defeat the evil Wizard King!

Hack ‘n’ Slash ‘n’ Jump ‘n’ Dash

Kill in the name of TREASURE!

The Controls in Apple Knight are surprisingly tight and well-tested.  With your wall climbing and double jump abilities, there are areas you can easily turn into precision platforming sections and in some cases that’s how you reach some of the secret areas.  With the immediate addition of a double jump, a dash, AND a wall jump, you already have every tool you need to navigate the game, find all the chests, and dodge boss attacks.  This reviewer was actually thoroughly impressed with the amount of control options available from even before the first real level started.

Each Level has a set of chests to find, a set of apples you can collect, and 2 secret areas which contain secret chests.  You’ll have a clear marker of how many of each of these you’ve collected and found in the top left of the screen.  Also, here you can keep track of the amount of lives you have, your HP, and how much money you’ve collected.  Sometimes Garraldin will show up in the level and ask you to find a thing and bring it back to him.  If you truly don’t want to, and want to be a little petty about it, you can attack him until his life bar empties.  He’ll disappear, but you’ll miss out on the rewards for helping him, and he won’t offer his services during boss battles either.  He’s actually quite the helpful character.

Levels are 7-10 minute romps through fairly well detailed environments with platforming puzzles, switches to press and flip, and enemies to fight.  While some of these enemies can and will sneak in a cheap shot when their projectile flies in from half the map away, levels were actually fun to traverse.  While not standout examples of level design, they never felt too boring or too underdressed for the adventure you are on.  Each one provides a pretty solid challenge and source of wealth for the several powerups to your sword, your armor, and your projectile you can buy.

Importance of Difficulty Modes

Play your way.

One of the strongest points Apple Knight brings to the table is selectable difficulty modes.  While this may seem like a small addition that every game should include at this point, these expand the audience Apple Knight appeals to and can be enjoyed by.  If you’re looking for an easy-going romp that will let you focus on the gameplay elements and you don’t have a strong interest in challenging yourself, you can pick the Story difficulty.  Infinite lives, 2 check points per level, and bosses have been weakened!  If you’re looking for a challenge akin to precision platformers, then pick Ultra Hard!  No check points and only one heart!  This mode is so hard, even the game says ‘not recommended’ which this reviewer imagines will only entice people to try it even more.

This means you can enjoy this game several times at several different paces!  Play Ultra Hard mode until you come to a level you dislike, then switch it to Casual Mode.  When you finish that level you dislike, switch it back to Ultra Hard and move on.  With the versatility and the choice to pick different difficulty modes at any point during play, it makes Apple Knight an easy one to recommend to all audiences looking for an adventure game with platforming elements that will entertain you until the next big release comes out.

Final Thoughts

Platforming Perils

The strong set of controls and well-tested movement options combined with fairly good combat mechanics, and currency that can only make you stronger as you buy upgrades AND the selectable difficulty modes, add up to an actual good game.  This may not win any game of the year awards, but it is an 8 American dollar, 40 level, 4 boss adventure with a clear beginning, a clear end, and some fun platforming between. 

Also, to answer the question on everyone’s mind: The reason you are the Apple Knight is because you throw apples and are a knight.

Pros:

  • Double Jump right off the bat
  • Wall climbing right off the bat
  • Sword can destroy projectiles
  • Easy to play
  • Short
  • Sidequests yield noticeable results
  • Levels are actually fun to traverse
  • Platforming is both challenging and entertaining
  • Adjustable difficulty modes

Cons:

  • Somewhat repetitive
  • Some enemies’ projectiles can travel through walls/across the map
  • Character animation is rather stiff
  • Story elements are unclear

Verdict

Apple Knight was a surprisingly solid adventure that gives several strong reasons to replay it.

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