KNIGHTS Game Review

Endless complex puzzles on a miniature chessboard. KNIGHTS uses the L-shaped movement of the chess piece to pose arrangement puzzles to the player. Inaccessible squares and extra pieces can clutter the board leading to strategic planning to get all the player’s knights into formation.

Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 5 hours

Queen Pack, level B2, 3 blue knights, 3 red knights, 7 yellow knights, 4 inaccessible squares

Released May 30th, 2016 by Arzola’s

Quick Overview

Major Pros:

  • Good spread of difficulty
  • Endless puzzles
Major Cons:

  • Large difficulty spike in the middle
Minor Pros:

  • Clean minimalist graphics
  • Color-blind palette
Minor Cons:

  • No volume control
3 of 5 level packs revealed. Pack so far include pawn, rook, and bishop with 9, 12, and 16 levels respectively.

The next pack is unlocked when most of the prior levels are beaten

In-depth Review

KNIGHTS is a minimalist puzzle game where players use the unique movement of these chess pieces to arrange their knights in specified squares on the board. There are five level packs of increasing difficulty with an increasing number of puzzles per pack. After most of the basic puzzles are completed, players unlock daily puzzles. These daily puzzles are generated each day and allow for an endless stream of puzzles to be played and continued value for the player.

instructions saying The following levels are generated automatically everyday. These are the levels corresponding to June - 13 - 2020.

75 5-by-5 levels are generated each day

In general, I found the game to have a good spread of difficulties. Each of the basic packs increased in size at a predictable rate up to 5 by 5. However, in the fourth pack of the game, the queen pack, a new piece was introduced. These yellow knights have to be shuffled around the board and do not have designated resting spot on the board in order to win. Once these were introduced, I felt that the game became significantly more difficult and it took a lot more pre-planning before starting a puzzle to know which parts of it to solve first. But I did find that once I got used to that mechanic, the difficulty increase was good and a healthy continuation of the difficulty curve.

King Pack, Level A3, 3 blue knights, 3 red knights, 10 yellow knights, 4 inaccessible squares.

Yellow knights take up space and need to be shuffled around

I found the graphics of KNIGHTS to be a very clean a minimalist style. The key graphic indications are: textured squares cannot be used, outlined squares must be occupied by a piece of that color to win, and when clicking on a Knight, it will give faint outlines of places that it can jump to. Two knights cannot land on top of each other or otherwise occupied the same square, but knights of the same color are interchangeable for winning. There’s also no one-way movement though so players can always move pieces back. Plus there are undo or reset buttons.

Pawn Pack, level C1, 1 blue knight, 1 red knight, 3 inaccessible squares

Outline of moving a blue knight to beat a level

One small problem I had was there was no volume control in the game. Players either had to have sound or no sound at all. It would have been nice to be able to turn the music down from within the game. However, I did like that the settings included a color-blind friendly mode to increase accessibility and offer an alternative color scheme. The settings also offer stats as well.

Settings featuring colorblind color scheme setting, auto select last piece options, and stats menu.

Preview of the colorblind palette

Recommendation

Overall, I enjoy the increasing challenge of KNIGHTS along with the endless replayability. I foresee many users getting a lot of time out of the game with the plethora of new puzzles every day. I thought the graphics were clean and really appreciated the alternative colorblind-friendly palette. My only issues were around the sudden (but not insurmountable) difficulty spike with the introduction of the yellow knights and the lack of volume controls in-game. I recommend KNIGHTS to any players looking for big value out of an endless puzzle game, especially if they can appreciate the minimalist style.

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