Nov 132014
 

Status: Tried every potion and unlocked about 50% of power progression

Most Intriguing Idea: Creating a balancing act between hitting things and dodging them.

Best Design Decision: A clear hierarchy of empowered states.

Worst Design Decision: Jumps can be needlessly twitchy.

Summary:

I’ve had Temple Run 2 on my phone for the longest time, but a recent update caused it to stop reading saved data entirely so I looked for a replacement. On Brad‘s advice, I picked up One Epic Knight, and I’m glad I did. Infinite runners in the TR vein have lots of action but few interesting decisions beyond how much risk the player is willing to incur in order to get a few more coins/gems/whatever. One Epic Knight improves on this by cleverly using a set of powerups and different kinds of obstacles. Picking up a weapon allows the player to destroy monsters (but doing so consumes the weapon), while a shield allows the player to kill enemies and break most of the game’s obstacles (including many walls), though this consumes the shield. Grabbing a turkey leg allows the player to destroy an unlimited number of obstacles and enemies but only for a short while. Collecting four mana crystals allows the player to auto-race through the dungeon, gathering money, shattering anything e encounters, and jumping across every gap with ease. I appreciated this last the most because some jumps require a bit more precision than seems fair.

These abilities don’t just count as a “get out of jail free” card for avoiding death. Because each obstacle broken or creature killed increases the player’s score multiplier, there’s an incentive to actually run into things. However, the player won’t encounter enough powerups to just smash into everything in sight. So the player has to balance the benefits of using up eir shield against the risk that e’ll need it soon. This doesn’t lead to a lot of deep strategy (basically you want to use powerups immediately early in a run and start to reserve some later) but it is more mentally engaging than TR ever was.

Verdict: Recommended

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