Monday Night Noob #2: Spiral Knights

Monday Night Noob is an ongoing series where I try a game I’ve never played before every Monday evening and write up my impressions on Tuesday.

Spiral Knights has been popping up on my radar on and off for the past month or so, although I didn’t really understand what the game was.  So for my second MNN, I cleared up a few hours and decided to investigate properly.

Spiral Knights is a colorful sci-fi/fantasy dungeon crawler where you are but one of a number of crash-landed techno-knights (cutsie as you are) who have no choice but to investigate this planet and the mysterious clockwork levels below.

I was hoping for more RPG elements and depth, but really Spiral Knights is kind of a cross-breed between the LEGO action games and, well, Zelda.  I mean, hey, I’ve got a guy with a sword hacking at bushes hoping that hearts and money drops, what else am I supposed to be thinking about?  The Zelda vibe gets even stronger when you’re looking for keys, hidden switches, and tossing around pots in an attempt to progress.

One of the neat elements is that while Spiral Knights isn’t a true MMO, it does have lobbies that allow you to form up parties of four players and head into dungeons together.  So if you’re looking for a simple hack-n-slasher to do with friends, I can imagine worse.

The game also utilizes an interesting business model.  Every day you get 100 “energy” to spend, which is usually depleted when you select a dungeon to run.  Bottom out of energy and you either have to wait until tomorrow or pony up real cash to keep on going.  I like this setup, because it makes the free game feel full-featured while giving the devs incentive to make it so addictive and fun that I’d want to play more that day even though it’d cost me.

Ultimately, I wasn’t really that hooked.  The visuals are attractive, especially for a browser-based client, and the music is so well-done that I’d love to have it on a CD, but the gameplay just felt dull and too simplistic to keep my interest for long.

One thought on “Monday Night Noob #2: Spiral Knights

  1. Spiral Knights sounds interesting, glad to hear your thoughts.

    I wonder if they’re handicapping themselves with the play model. Sometimes games are boring for an hour or three before they really grab me. I’m “into” Torchlight right now because last week I chugged through the boring parts in one sitting. If I had to come back to SK on three different days before it grabbed me it would just never get that chance.

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