One of the nicer surprises from the holiday release frenzy late last year was Robot Invader's Wind-Up Knight [Free], a game we gave 5 stars in our review. Wind-Up Knight is an auto-running puzzle platformer which has you playing as a tiny knight who is mindlessly charging through each fiendishly-designed level on his own, with the task of avoiding hazards in order to survive to the end of a level left up to you. You do this by jumping, rolling, shielding, and attacking anything that gets in your way.

Wind-Up Knight requires impeccable precision and loads of patience, as to fully maximize the rewards in each and every level it will take countless deaths and retries. It's that good kind of difficulty though, the kind that makes you want to keep coming back until you get that perfect run.

So yeah, Wind-Up Knight is pretty darn good. Another thing that's pretty darn good is that you can now get the game for free on the App Store. If you feel guilty getting such a quality title for free, then there's always some in-app purchase items you could splurge on to ease your conscience a bit. Although, with this latest update the items in the game's Armory are now discounted, which means any in-game currency you get through IAP will stretch even further. I guess you're stuck feeling at least a little bit guilty, then. Sorry.

Wind-Up Knight's levels are split into 4 books, the first being included for free. You can unlock additional books by using the in-game currency, which can be bought in various IAP packs or earned through play, or you can just pay a flat $1.99 to unlock each book. If you owned the original paid version of the game, then all books should be automatically unlocked, provided you have previously played through at least 1 level before updating.

The update also includes some minor tweaks such as social network integration, screen rotation support, and improved interface and gameplay flow. There's definitely no reason not to check out Wind-Up Knight now that it's free, so what are you waiting for?

  • 全讯网|0oaqha

    博主博客的文章确实很精彩啊,留个脚印下来慢慢阅读,....壬辰年(龙)二月初二 2012-2-23

  • Crunchewy

    The game makes it sound like the additional books aren't free at all. Are we sure you can unlock them by just playing?

    • chrispruett

      Yep!  Jared's article is 100% correct, and this is also noted in the application description.  Books of levels start out locked but you can unlock them using Notes that you accumulate by playing well.  If you don't have super ninja skills you can also unlock books for cash.  But yes, you can play the entire game through, from beginning to end, without paying a cent.  You just have to be very good.

  • araczynski

    i think the last update made this a demo, with the rest of the 'levels' an IAP, except for those who already bought it i mean.   unless the others can be unlocked somehow through gameplay?

    • chrispruett

      Books can indeed be unlocked "somehow through gameplay."  Please read the article.

  • Collin Burton

    The one problem I see with this: I bought the game when it wasn't free, I've played through levels and after updating they will be unlocked. All good so far. Now, if I delete the app, or have to reinstall for any reason (new iPad, new phone, etc.) I will have no choice but to run into the paywall.

    I HATE it when devs change their business model on an app that I've already paid for. If you really see a need for a different business model, how hard is it to make a different version of the app, have it follow the new pricing structure, and then continue to support the people who supported you by buying your app?

    • chrispruett

      Use iCloud!  If you turn iCloud support on in the game (it's the little cloud icon at the top-right of the main menu) your progress will be saved and available even if you uninstall, get a new device, want to play on some other device, etc.  

      We actually talked to Apple about this at some length, and there's not much else we can do to ensure paid users always get the content that they have paid for.  Our goal, of course, is to make sure that nobody gets screwed--that's why we were careful to put the note about completing level 1 in the app description.  

      The best option here is to use iCloud.  Then you can blow your whole phone up and still not lose your data.

  • TooMassive

    I hate it when devs do this. If I bought this game and didn't complete one level before updating, then I'm screwed. (Who here reads the app description before updating each one of their games? How many of us have a huge games backlog that you've bought but never played, raise your hand?) If I delete it and reinstall it, then I'm screwed. If I lose/break my device and replace it (or buy a new one), then I'm screwed. 

    This is all referring to customers that bought it BEFORE this new IAP change of course. New customers in theory won't be screwed since they can presumably reinstall the IAP on any device they own. But if this dev's behavior is any guide, I wouldn't feel all that confident something else won't will break down the road.Bottom line: If somebody pays for an app, then leave it alone. Sell a new app with your new monetizing scheme. Any time devs retroactively remove functionality, some customer is going to get screwed, and that's just wrong.
    This very same scenario happened to me when Astro Ranch pulled the same stunt. It took a long time to get that sorted out, and to the Astro Ranch's developers' credit, they made it work when I provided my device's ID. But that still means that no other other devices of mine can play that game.As a dev, I would never subject a paying customer of mine to this stupidity. It's not customer friendly.

    • chrispruett

      I appreciate the concern, and I actually wish we could do more to ensure people wouldn't be screwed.  On Android, for example, we have the ability to make our own promo codes and refund specific users on a case-by-case basis.  We can't do that on iOS, so instead we've taken as many steps as we possibly can (iCloud support, grandfathering in users, notes in the app description, etc) to make sure nobody gets screwed.

      So far, we have had zero complaints from users.  And in the last day and a half we have been played by a user base that is 100 times larger than the users we were able to address as a free app.

    • Nate

      I'm a little bit fuzzy on what exactly you're getting "screwed" out of?  Is this a purely hypothetical complaint, or do you actually own this game?  If the original 99 cent version still required you to unlock levels and books one at a time, then owners aren't actually *losing* functionality with this new version, they're just getting increased access for significantly less than the IAP price *if* they've played the game even once.  If you haven't even played once, what have you actually "lost" by having your original version of the game overwritten with this new one?  I get that there totally could be something ... I just don't see what it is in this case.

  • rekzkarz

    I tried it.  Very pretty game, but it was making me nauseous so I deleted.  Kind of like a '3D runner game' but I couldn't change camera angles & it was giving me some kind of ...?  Motion sickness or something...?

  • Nate

    This is an extremely high quality game in appearance and design, and it's amazing that they're offering it for free, but HOLY COW is it unforgiving and precise.  The first trainer level is a cakewalk, but it ramps up *fast* from there.  Looking forward to putting in the time to get through all the books eventually . . . hopefully without spending a cent.

  • Roland Garza

    too bad there is no ending. i got S's on all books, 1 - 4 and nightmares no ending. wheres the princess???? I paid for a game without and ending plus they emailed me saying there are no plans to finish it. crazy suck