Earlier this morning, Eli and I sat down with One Epic Knight [Free]. It's a behind-the-back endless runner that features a chatty protagonist and a fantasy setting the knowingly nods at video game fantasy conventions. Mechanically, Epic Knight does a couple of hip things that differentiate from its source material. Most notably, it has lanes: as you run, you'll swipe between three different layers of level in order to avoid obstacles and collect loot. There's also a neat offensive-slash-defensive mechanic, which has you picking up swords and shields to protect yourself from stationary obstacles and roaming monsters.

We're a little on the fence about this one. Epic Knight does some cool stuff, but it also feels kinda floaty and a lot of its obstacles are poorly telegraphed. Give this a look before you jump in or start spending dough on its IAP:

  • http://twitter.com/artfoundry David Markowitz

    The lanes are not different - Agent Dash and Subway Surfer both have lanes as well.  That aside, I agree about not getting enough warning about the obstacles - particularly the caverns you have to jump over or dodge.  Also, you can't switch lanes while jumping - that's something you really need to have, and both of the other games have it.  And then there's the awful voice for the character - good grief, it sounds like one of the devs tried his hand at it, using what he thought was a "fun" voice, in order to add to the lighthearted feel of the game.  Unfortunately it instead comes across sounding stupid and annoying. :p  Finally, there are the coins - they look like just a texture placed on the ground, and the sound of picking them up is just as insignificant.  The game really has a lot of promise, but it needs some polish.

  • Briker Ed

    Tried it, hated how weird the controls felt, but I hated low visibility of just about everything even more >_< hard to see coins, obstacles, holes. . . . 

  • Tatiana

    The guy talking makes me laugh actually. It's my favorite thing about the game, but you're right. It's not inspired at all. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4YD3BC2NSED77ASDXXIJBG6MRA AV CLUB

    Whatever happened to Tiny Heroes, did they stop updating it? 

    • Kim Dubuisson

      I hope not! My son and I love TINY HEROES.

      We need an iPad version!

  • CyborgOne

    I heartily DISagree with the many of the concerns indicated above.  One Epic Knight is easily *the* best endless runner which I've played, and has a wonderful balance of difficulty and "just one more try" compelling gameplay.
    To touch on the specific points raised:
     - As you play more, you get to recognize each type of obstacle coming up, and can certainly prep to avoid it.  That's the whole point of the difficulty ramping of this game - it doesn't just get _faster_ (causing issues unless you suddenly develop superhuman reflexes), it actually makes you *think* about how to avoid the obstacles/critters, as they come up.
     - Most blockers have MULTIPLE methods of making it through them.  For example: You can jump over the critter, or kill it with a sword, or bash through it with a shield.  This makes it much less frustrating than those other "one mistake and you're dead" games.
     - The voice is great, IMHO - just the right mix of belligerence and cluelessness to get the point across (e.g. "Shut UP, crickets!!!")
     - Controls have been spot on for me - no "floaty-ness" at all; maybe a specific class of device is causing the concern?
     - While you can't move side-to-side while in the middle of a jump (um, logically, how COULD you?), you certainly swipe while in the air, and it will queue that move and perform it as soon as you land. This makes more sense, and provides for a bit more strategy.  Of course, you still DO have the ability to go side-to-side while sliding along the ground, so you don't miss any loot.
     - It's certainly easy to see the coins & other loot on the ground, not to mention the shield & sword, as well as other power-ups/trophies. Not sure how anyone can say differently.

    Seriously: Evaluate this game on its own merits, and give it a shot.  I'm always finding something new to explore (the "Feats" = Achievements are great; happy to have finally made the "Wallhacker" achievement - let's hear it for the Dragon's den!), and just generally enjoying this game. "Epic" is the best description of this perfectly-mastered game.

    • http://www.handsometrustworthy.com/ Armaan Khan

      I like it a lot too. It's the first endless runner I've played that I actually have fun with. The guy doesn't really speed up over time (at least, he doesn't seem to), so avoiding obstacles is more a matter of knowing what to do than having fast reflexes. It actually feels like getting better is a result of gaining skill rather than being quick enough to react to stuff. I also like how there's lots of hidden routes available if you know where to look.

  • Benjamin Rodriguez

    come on, it's epic knight. With his badass eyes. Even though he wasn't my favorite Epic,  He still had those eyes