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App of the Week – Wind-up Knight

By Matthew McDonnell:

Wind-up Knight combines a tried and true action adventure premise with an exceptional user interface and awesome gameplay to deliver a highly addictive app.

You play the part of the hero, a diminutive wind-up knight on a quest to save the princess.  That’s about all there is to the plot, but its lack of depth is made up for in the epic adventure you are about to embark on.

The knight runs full steam ahead all the time.  That is, unless you fail to collect the wind-up keys that are spread throughout the levels. It might strike children as just an element of the game, but for those of us old enough to remember wind-up toys, it will resonate with a playful nostalgia.

Your job is to master a series of controls in order to help the knight fend off giant wharf rats, shield himself from falling barrels, and jump, tuck and/or roll in order to avoid elaborate spike traps and the ever-present threat of falling in the water.  As you might expect, it’s hard to float when wearing full armor!

As you progress through the increasingly challenging levels – 52 of them in all – you’ll learn some new moves, encounter new perils, and somehow remain wildly entertained.

Wind-up Knight has remarkably broad appeal, which is partially a result of the juxtaposition of a cutting-edge tablet game with a toy invented when springs counted as technology, but mostly, it’s because this simple game is just plain fun.  

The setting is a backdrop of wooden sailing vessels, multi-tiered castle walls and meandering piers that benefit from the apps mesmerizing 3-D graphics. This attention to detail continues as new levels load and you receive humorous tips from the “Pretty Princess Primer” and the “Wind-up Handbook.” Here, as in the rest of the game, the purely silly will delight children, while adults will recognize the deeper humor in comments like, “Always let men speak first – it makes them feel more important.”

There are a few game characteristics that leave a bit to be desired; most notably the in-app purchases of armor and other tools that help the knight navigate more difficult levels. Children may see these purchases as “necessary” given the rather slow accumulation of coins in the game itself.  Wind-up Knight also has the ability to be incredibly frustrating as you are forced to string together ever more elaborate maneuvers without the assistance of check points within the levels. This reviewer required many attempts at certain levels, but this does speak to the game’s richness of challenges.

Despite these very few shortcomings, this is one of the best tablet games around, with tons of content, great gameplay and a heavy dose of heart-quickening fun and adventure.

Wind-up Knight is recommended for Toddlers, Kids, Tweens, Teens and Parents (Players of All Ages) for ease of game play and universal themes. Find screenshots, reviews and family-friendly ratings for Wind-up Knight and more of the best Android apps at Famigo.com.

Developer: Robot Invader
Compatibility: iPhone, iTouch, and iPad (iOS 4.0 or later) and Android 2.2 and up
App Category: Arcade and Action

Price: Free

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