One Epic Knight is a new free to play iOS game from Simutronics Corp. The game is a spinoff of the company’s Tiny Heroes title based around the particularly dangerous “Epic Knight” character who tended to cause havoc with players’ defenses. Now, players get to control the knight as he is in the process of causing said havoc.
At its core, One Epic Knight is an “endless running” game of the Temple Run ilk. Its presentation and controls are very similar — the game is presented from a third-person perspective floating behind the knight, and players attempt to keep him safe for as long as possible using a variety of swipe gestures — left and right to change “lanes” or go around corners, up to jump, down to slide under low obstacles.
As players proceed through the dungeon’s various environments, they collect coins, which may be used to purchase upgrades between runs. Also scattered around are weapons and shields, the former of which may be used to defeat various enemy characters and the latter of which may be used to smash obstacles. Doing either of these things increases the player’s score multiplier, meaning that being somewhat aggressive is essential to attain high scores. There is an element of risk and reward, however — the weapon and shield items are often located in inconvenient, dangerous places, and the trails of coins often lead directly into the path of obstacles.
While One Epic Knight is essentially a Temple Run clone, what sets it apart from Imangi’s title is the sense of humor on display throughout. The titular knight regularly makes bizarre, sarcastic or just plain silly comments during play and, while sometimes repetitive, these outbursts will likely raise a smile among all but the most jaded of players. The humor is very self-aware throughout and regularly acknowledges the fact that “endless running” games as a concept don’t tend to make a lot of sense if you think about them too hard. “Another day, another dungeon, except it’s night and it’s the same dungeon” is a particular favorite, as is the pained cry of “ooh, my pancreas!” upon a run that ended prematurely by charging straight into a wall.
One Epic Knight also strikes a good balance between being friendly to non-paying, casual players and nudging the most dedicated in the direction of its monetization options. Weapon and shield upgrades are generally purchasable using coins picked up through play, but additional costumes for the knight would take a long time to acquire without making an in-app purchase. Alongside this, a variety of consumable items are also available to tempt players into spending their hard-earned (or bought) coins for the promise of temporary benefit. At no point does the game feel like it is exploiting free players, though those who do decide to pay up for coins will undoubtedly make faster progress and be able to attain higher scores with much less in the way of “grinding.”
In short, One Epic Knight is an excellent mobile game. While it is fundamentally very similar to Temple Run at its core, the addition of the wry sense of humor throughout makes it highly entertaining and likely to enjoy a place on many players’ iOS devices for months to come.
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