When I first saw Knights and Bikes I immediately fell in love and very nearly backed it on Kickstarter. I am not sure why I didn't back it in the end but I do regret it. The game is here now in its full glory and here are my thoughts on it. Get yourself strapped in for some child-like antics and some cute hijinks.
Knights and Bikes is a story of child-like wonder and takes me back to not having a care in the world, having a very overactive imagination and going on adventures as a young nipper. It tells the story of Nessa & Demelza, their blossoming friendship and the quest for lost treasure. They must save the family business, save their father from despair and if that is not enough, rid the island of a dreadful curse.
While the story involves serious themes of loss, tragedy and broken relationships, the story is told through the eyes of a child and is overlayed with wonder and joy. As the story unfolds magical beasts, knights and other fantastic items are drawn over the top of the real world. It's a magical thing that I never tired of and enjoyed a great deal. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was beautifully done.
Everything from the hand-drawn, painted and often crafted look of the graphics to the synthy 80's style soundtrack invokes memories of being a careless child. The opening scene of the game is fantastic, has a great piece of music and immediately drew me into this amazing world and its fantastic presentation. It's reminded me a bit of Goonies, a bit of Stranger Things and has a sprinkling of imaginative magic. It is truly a great adventure to experience.
Knights and Bikes' overall atmosphere really resonated with me, video games, comic books, going on adventures on bikes and great music all reminded me of my youth. The graphics really are great, everything from the environments, the characters, the enemies you fight are all designed impeccably. Even the quest notifications drop down from the top of the screen on old lined notepaper. It's all so beautiful and wholesome.
Gameplay-wise it is a very light RPG with slight puzzle elements and exploration. Your play-through will span six days, take you to new areas each day and the whole map is explorable most of the time. You have hidden areas to find and collectable to sniff out. You travel around on your bike and I really liked exploring this quaint and wonderful world.
As well as a few light puzzles you will also have to battle your way through various foes. The battle system is simple yet enjoyable due to the different weapons and utilities each character in your party gets access to. These utilities also help out with other elements such as switches, generators and other environmental items. They also help with some of the small puzzles you come across during your adventure.
At certain points in the story, you will go head to head against your friend in head to head battles, races and a several minigames. These sections are good in single-player but are a good laugh if you are playing one of Knights and Bikes multiplayer modes. Local and online modes are supported and it really amps up the fun and competitiveness in these small head to head battles peppering the main questline.
Apart from a few frame hiccups, which were very infrequent, I had zero issues playing the game. No crashes, bugs or any other issue whatsoever. Perhaps my only complaint is not being able to fully explore at all times. I would have liked a free roam mode after you have finished the campaign to collect collectables and mop up the remaining trophies. Other than that it was a fantastic experience all round.
- Beautiful art style
- Amazing presentation
- Story is told very well and lightheartedly, even with serious themes
- Gameplay is fun
- Never gets repetative or boring
- A few frame hiccups, very rare though
- No free roam after completion for mopping up collectables and trophies