Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
One Epic Knight is a new 3D endless runner from Tiny Heroes creator Simutronics, which includes David Whatley of geoDefense fame. This is actually something of a spin-off of Tiny Heroes, as characters from that game appear here. Players control a googly-eyed Epic Knight who’s running through the winding corridors of a dungeon, collecting treasure and slaying orcs and slime while avoiding hazards or otherwise smashing through them.
See, what One Epic Knight does differently is to mix in some combat with the endless runner formula. Players can pick up swords and shields; swords will kill enemies and raise the player’s multiplier, and the shield will burst through obstacles and also take out enemies, though with a lower multiplier increase than using a weapon or hitting an obstacle will. So, there’s a balance between trying to stock up on items in case of later danger, and using them to increase the score multiplier. It also slowly decreases over time, so the player should have a vested interest in keeping it on an upward trend.
The combat mechanics and scoring system are what make this game stand out among the other 3D endless runners trying to grab a slice of the Temple Run pie. There’s new decisions to be made, new strategies while running to consider, and it feels like there is actual iteration on the 3D endless runner concept going on here. Also, the graphic style is a fine blend of new 3D graphics, while using the familiar comedic style of Tiny Heroes. The one-liners from the epic knight are corny, but hearing him call the mimic chest a liar doesn’t get old. The game is free to play, and gems are collected often enough to where consumable items can be regularly used by free players.
A trend that’s appearing in games like One Epic Knight is to eschew Temple Run’s tilting to change lanes in favor of just swiping between three different lanes to run in. There’s a fundamental problem with this: it becomes difficult to go from one side to the other in a speedy fashion. That’s what the tilting in Temple Run did so well, was to enable quick movement. I get why the swiping is becoming so popular, as it makes sense on paper to make this simple gesture more prominent than just turning. But by making it more important to the gameplay, I think it’s a net negative effect.
So, while I think the control mechanic is a step back, Temple Run fans who are clamoring for new iterations on the genre to play should have a good time with One Epic Knight and what it brings to the table.