Developer: R2 Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 0.14.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Excalibur: Knights of the King is going to be a very familiar proposition to those who have played other iOS MMOs. That’s both a good and bad thing, depending on one’s perspective.

excalibur5Set in the age of King Arthur, but with some very loose connections to such a time and the tales themselves, players take the role of one of three types of fighter. There’s the choice of Knight, Assassin, or Wizard, with each carrying their own advantages and disadvantages. Once created, players are placed within a central hub area and left to complete various quests in order to level up, gain new equipment, and participate in PvP combat.

Combat itself is of the side-scrolling hack-n-slash variety beloved of so many arcade games gone by. It’s fairly simply done with a left thumbstick dictating movement while the right side of the screen affects what attacks can be performed. Typical of this fighting style, it’s possible to defeat enemies before they even appear on the screen by keeping to the edges. It’s quite fun though and boss battles are pretty satisfying and meaty.

The problem is that Excalibur: Knights of the King soon becomes quite repetitive. Progress is generally a matter of taking a quest from an NPC before moving to the combat area, defeating some enemies, and returning to hand the quest in. Instant gratification is there and it’s satisfying but it gets samey pretty fast.

excalibur1Excalibur: Knights of the King tries to mix things up by allowing players to join guilds and participate in PvP combat, which is all pretty fun but evolution still isn’t its strong point. On the plus side, despite being free paywalls aren’t really an issue here. One is restricted by an energy meter, but it’s quite generous so a fair amount can be accomplished during each session. There’s not much need to skip ahead elsewhere either, although VIP status can be bought and offers some convenient bonuses.

As a passing attraction, Excalibur: Knights of the King is fine and reasonably entertaining but it feels like a game that will be played avidly for a time then ultimately forgotten about. Still, as a palate cleanser, sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

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