Wind-up Knight from Robot Invader is a great new hybrid between an endless runner and a skill based platformer. It was originally released on the Android a couple months back, and while they’re the same game utilizing the same charming aesthetics and original music, the pricing model of the android version definitely knocked it down a peg in my book. Luckily, that’s absent here.
You play as an adorable little clockwork knight who can’t ever stop running. He’ll just keep going and going until he dies; turning around every time he hits a wall. If he ever stops collecting coins and winding keys or performing certain feats like slaying enemies and blocking falling debris, he will eventually wind down, which also means death. Each level acts as a unique obstacle course. The use of varied environments and music set very different tones, keeping the game feeling fresh.
The game starts you out with a simple jump function, but as you play, more and more abilities will be unlocked. Soon you’ll be rolling under hazards, attacking enemies, shielding yourself from falling dangers, double jumping, wall jumping, etc. The controls are spaced out nicely, and you’ll almost never hit the wrong button. As you complete levels, you’ll gather up large sums of notes, the games currency, which can be spent on different equipment to give you an even better chance at success. You can also purchase notes in-app if you want a little boost. Some items can only be unlocked by completing levels, collecting all the coins, or finding every level’s special hidden card. If you maintain high rankings for each book of levels, you’ll unlock the uber difficult “Knightmare” level.
The games simple 3D art looks fantastic, and the excellent music sets a nice tone for the game. My only real complaint is against the unforgiving nature of the game. There are no checkpoints in any levels, and you’re forced to restart at the beginning for each death. This isn’t usually so bad, but some levels are marathons of torment, and will frustrate the heck out of you. The whole game can be rather frustrating in general, but it’s still brilliantly made, and everyone should just man up and play it anyway. This iOS universal game can be yours for just two dollars, and it’s definitely worth checking out.