Game: Puddle Knights
Genre: Puzzle | Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developers | Publishers: Lockpickle
Age Rating: EU 3+ | USA E
Price: EU €8,19 | US $9.99 |UK £7.19
Release Date: October 8th, 2020
Review code used, with many thanks to Lockpickle
Originally released on Steam in March this year: Puddle Knights is a mud-based puzzle game where you arrange snake-like capes of chivalrous knights to cover puddles and other hazards. And help the noble folk and bishops to reach their goal in this lighthearted medieval mud puzzler.
Knights and Nobles
In Puddle Knights, you play as a troop of knights. I’ve played with knights in games before, mostly they are tasked with keeping their subjects safe from dangerous threats. But the threat in Puddle knights is the most serious enemy of all, mud!! Brown gloopy mud!!
It turns out that the kingdom is dealing with a minor mud problem and that won’t do for the high and mighty nobles and bishops of your kingdom. They have a very important Bi-Annual Hygiene Conference to attend and it wouldn’t do to turn up at it with mud and dirt on their clothes.
They won’t step in or move around the mud to get their destination, the glowing spot at the end of the level. Who can blame them when they would mess up their clothes and shoes! So your group of knights are tasked with using the long capes on their backs to make a path through the mud so the nobles and bishops can get to their destination in pristine shape.
Mind the Mud
Each level will involve you moving between your knights and the noble or bishop, as you shuffle them around increasingly more complex levels. And to switch between the knights and the noble person its a simple case of pressing the L and R shoulder buttons.
The challenge of each puzzle is figuring out the correct route for each knight and their charges to take, and the strategy of which specific order to move them in. They can’t turn around in narrow passages and can become trapped by fences and bushes. Nor can the knights move if a noble or another knight is standing on their cape. Lots of head-scratching will happen as you try to figure out the solution to the puzzles.
Progressing further in Puddle knights will unlock drawbridges and sections where nobles will be required to stand on the head of your knights to cross raised paths. Stand on heads….oh the pain!
You’ll have to tear up capes, to cover a plot of mud and hold down drawbridges and perform other inventive moves. It really is an entertaining game to play, challenging but fun. While it can be a head-scratcher I would say that Puddle Knights feels pretty fair most of the time. Most of the levels feel challenging, but not so challenging that they become frustrating.
Quick Undo or Reset
However, if you do make a mistake you can undo moves one at a time, or just completely reset the puzzle. Being able to move back a few paces is a very nice option to have as some times that’s all it takes to get back on the right track to proceed.
The overall mechanics in Puddle Knights is straightforward, although nearly every new world introduces something new to slightly spice up the formula and keep the game fresh and interesting for the player. But overall the game mechanics and the goal always remain the same: to get the noble or bishop to the exit with clean clothes and shoes.
Other than the clever and challenging levels I really liked Puddle Knights’ overall atmosphere. While Puddle Knights doesn’t have much of a storyline, I don’t think the storyline is missed too much as the puzzles more than make up for the lack of it.
There are different environments that the knights have to work through, such as fire and snow adding variety to the puzzle environment.
Puddle Knights is a game that could be enjoyable for the whole family, obviously not younger children but older children and their parents could have a lot of entertainment out of the game.
They are over 100 plus levels of increasing difficulty and the harder levels can be very tricky and require lots of planning and strategy on your part. So there is plenty of knightly puzzling fun to keep you occupied for hours upon hours.
One of the great things about Puddle Knights is that there aren’t any time limits, no clock in the corner counting down the time. Which gives you all the time in the world to think, analyze and strategically think out your next move without any pressure.
Visuals and Controls
As for the visuals in Puddle Knights, the actual stages are looking great, and not overly packed with objects that it makes the puzzle hard to see. The animations for the knights, bishops and nobles are brilliant in the way they move. Or even when they are unable to move and you try to move them they do a little animated shuffle and shake their heads No. It is a lovely added touch by developers Lockpickle and brought a smile to my face every time I saw it.
The soundtrack and sound effects are all fine. With appropriate grunts, and mm-hmm’s, and ‘nope’s from the nobles and knights, when they move or when you try to move them and they can’t. Backed up with some soft, very chill-jazz styled music in the background and each track is made for the theme of the world it’s set in. The puzzles are well laid out and clear to see for the player, you can swivel the camera around the puzzles too.
Controlling Puddle Knights can be done with either the joy-cons or by touchscreen. I tried out both and personally I preferred using the joy-cons and they work extremely well for controlling the movement of the knights and such. The touchscreen controls do work, it just didn’t feel as intuitive to me as the joy-con controls.
Puddle Knights runs very well on the Nintendo Switch, no slowdown, or frame rate issues occurred and there are no glitches.
Puddle Knights is one of those puzzle games that you can breeze through the first few stages of easily enough. Then you arrive at the more challenging puzzles, any one of those you can stare at a for twenty minutes without progress. Until that light bulb in your brain goes ping and inspiration strikes and you can solve it.
Puddle Knights has all the right components that make it a brilliant, head-scratching, brain-melting, entertaining puzzle game. One I can recommend to gamers who enjoy this style of puzzle games as much as I do.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up