I knew when I read the description of Knights and Bikes on the Nintendo eShop page, and the bounty of awards adorning it, that this was probably going to be pretty cool. It explores some great themes like imagination, curiosity, and adventure. Also, it’s about finding those adventures in a place you don’t need to journey far to find.
I’ll be exploring some of these topics in my experience with Knights and Bikes, and tell you a little bit about the highlights of the game’s progression. If you’re new this blog, this is what I do in all my reviews. There’s always something fruitful to discuss when I can find a game like this that gives me plenty to talk about. I hope you enjoy this review.
Slip on Your Wellies to Play Knights and Bikes
If I have to explain the topic of this game, it’s about two adventurous spirits going on a frisbee throwing, rainboot stomping, mythical imagination quest. What it’s really about though is a world conforming to the imagination rather than the other way around, something that makes it a unique world to experience. Often, as I think about this game, I think of stories like Peter Pan and Neverland or Alice in Wonderland. It is those types of stories, but different.
Knights and Bikes starts off as a compelling Anglo island story with your standard wispy, jumper, puddle weather and a bunch of legends and mysteries. I played all the way through the first hour and about 2/3 or the mini golf course in the story. Luckily I can confirm there are bikes, despite my early doubts. They’re not really a major aspect of the gameplay though, which doesn’t disappoint me, but the title was one of the main things that drew me in.
The further time goes on, it’s kind of like a treasure concealing obstacle course from something like The Goonies. I’m going to throw Sandlot in there too, which actually makes perfect sense because Demelza, one of the characters, says something about “the year 2000, a long time from now.” I’m still learning to think of the 90s as “nostalgia.” It’s processing though.
In the game, a level of magical interaction is present to add an even bigger theme. It is not magic like spell books and apparitions, it is more like a wound up kid’s detective theme park. The game is so rich with high detail character and location art, and the elements of farfetchedness from magical themes are pretty darn fun in this adventure!
If you’ve ever watched a program or read a book about a British fishing village, myth and legend are always not too far away in these places. So I think it is culturally accurate for this type of game to take place there.
Knights and Bikes Teamwork
After the introduction, you can play as either character, Demelza or Nessa. I played Nessa almost exclusively. There are occasionally times when you need to switch, like when you feed the geese. Nessa seems the most reasonable but Demelza is ambitious and maybe kind of genius. Whichever character you play, it’s not terribly impeding to the gameplay, and their dialogue is very fun and clever. This is a smart game.
So there’s a major thing you’ll realize when you get this game. I played this on Switch, but it might be a factor in PC versions. This game is setup to be accommodating to a multiplayer audience. You can play it however you like, but it will most likely be local co-op or solo. You will be able to control both main characters though by switching with your controls if you choose solo.
Action Packed Mini-Golf
As you may see when you start this game, it’s mostly about collecting stuff, solving puzzles, and feeding geese. There is plenty of action too–really unique, fun, action. I loved the golf course. Filled with animatronic characters, you complete all 18 holes by using your special abilities. Prepare for frisbee throwing and stomping and some clever obstacles. The main thing you’ll probably notice though is it has little to do with any golf!
If you want to, I guess you could call the game “funny” but it’s not really that at all. It’s about imagination and the wonderful way it transforms the world and stories. I really liked it.
One last thing, there is an epic story twist later in the story that I read about when I wrote this recommendation. Avoid spoilers before you play if you can, but if you hate surprises it won’t be hard to seek them out. It’s nothing too surprising, but there’s more to this game than meets the eye. I wasn’t discombobulated by it, it’s just there.
Knights and Bikes is a game that makes games art. It is a self-contained masterpiece. Check it out!