There are some games so small and simplistic that it becomes hard to review them in any form of depth. While most games could be boiled down simply as ‘hero walks forward and stabs stuff’ few games ever make that explicit, choosing instead to hide what is essentially a homicidal rampage behind the mask a ‘noble’ quest. Buff Knight Advanced throws such trappings as a story, depth and fun out the window, leaving you only to walk forward and stab stuff in the pursuit of more things to puncture.

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Put simply, Buff Knight Advanced is part of what I’m sure has already been dubbed the ‘runner’ genre. Games in this genre include Race the Sun, Temple Run and Canabalt. Where Buff Knight is different is it’s focus on light RPG mechanics that reward the player with an almost constant stream of upgrades to acquire to over come the next challenge. I’ve never cared much for this genre and had hoped that Buff Knight would convince me otherwise, alas no.

The game plays from a side scrolling perspective, with the camera following an unanimated sprite as they bounce through a perfectly flat level. Once in awhile you’ll meet a foe and the game’s combat begins. Fighting consists entirely of rubbing up against the foe, and hammering the attack button until one of you dies. Strategies you can employ range from holding down the attack button to charge up a special move that tends to kill most things in one shot or pressing another button for a magic attack that does next to nothing thanks to how little damage it deals. There is no depth or nuance to your abilities, the most you can tailor the way you play is by just constantly holding the attack button between encounters to keep the special move charged at the ready.

There is no depth or nuance to your abilities

As each level progresses you’ll encounter harder and harder enemies, but none of these aggressors do anything other than hit you when you get too close and since you’re constantly moving you’ll always get too close. Fights become clusterfucks as you grind your face against those of the monsters’ hoping they’ll die first. Of course sometimes you will lose and have to start the entire level again, though it does allow you to shop using all the money you found to upgrade your gear.

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Buff Knight’s upgrade system is light to say the best, you can upgrade everything from your sword, shield and armour — but are only given one option in how you do so. Each new purchase is a flat upgrade so you won’t have to worry about losing out on valuable other stats or item effects. By collecting in-game gems you can give items special abilities, but these are lost whenever you upgrade the armour piece and these gems are far better spent on character stats such as more health.
Buff Knight Advanced does what so many other games do these days by putting you on a constant improvement treadmill for better equipment but lacks any real hook to engage my interest in the treadmill itself. With no story or innovative gameplay to keep me playing, Buff Knight Advanced fails to hold my attention any longer than it needed to.

About The Author

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All round song and dance man. Best known for his use of expletives, casual quoting of Jeeves & Wooster and his love for all things Timesplitters. Host of the Played Out Podcast and proud victim of five different gypsy curses

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