Rival Knights Review
I've been discovering some real gems while diving more into mobile gaming. One such game is Gameloft's Rival Knights!
The game's core is centers around jousting (which I've only seen once in person and convinced is completely dangerous). Can't say I went looking for Rival Knights, but soon found appreciation for its delivery of gameplay. Accomplishing victory consists of a player's knight having the better two out of three stats—defense, speed and power alongside precision aiming to strike a blow to the opponent. All of this information is on-screen, comprehensible and promotes a high level of constant involvement.
What makes Rival Knights a success
I have to use the word again, but I really appreciate that all of the data players need to make helpful decisions is displayed minimally and doesn't take away from the on-screen action.
The game's presentation of horsepower is very satisfying. Every time players perfectly increase the speed at which to engage battle, the motion blur increases, building up to that unavoidable make-or-break moment for the jousters. And yes, I so enjoy that rag doll effect of whichever rider is released from their steed (no frustration in my losses).
Rival Knights contains a level-up system for the three attributes of the game's knights, in the form of equipment upgrades and find it's pairing system straightforward in practice. But for all of that, I enjoy how it comes down to aiming. A knight can have the upper hand, but as soon as the lance misses the target, your knight is airborne in hilarious fashion!
The game also boasts a campaign mode that guides the player through a series of leagues on the way to being the best. It provides alternate paths, a colorful cast of characters and sadly a missed opportunity with training stages. From what I've experienced, the training stages seem like opportunities to gain coins (for upgrades) but removes one of six opportunities to play in a row (the game's control system causes you to wait to refill after a certain amount of time or pay to continue). In this way, training becomes a punishment to the player and I found myself avoiding it since it provides no real incentive.
Rival Knights combines the elements of its system in a way that produces a satisfying experience that you'll actually want to get others in on. Because of its controlled-timing, if you never pay into the game, you'll be investing in the game over time—which truthfully isn't terrible, since the game doesn't punish you for leaving and entering the action. A nice change would be if successfully completing training stages, players would be rewarded with a boost of some sort for the next campaign/multiplayer match.