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Cloud Knights

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Knight schooled

Product: Cloud Knights | Developer: Astrosnout | Format: iPad | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Cloud Knights iPad, thumbnail 1
In a post-iPhone 6 world, where developers are racing each other to achieve fabled 'console-quality' graphics and gameplay experiences, Cloud Knights is a charming, goofy, and downright playable throwback to a simpler time.

Taking place in a cartoony 2D universe where apparently everyone is one-armed, Cloud Knights sees you take on the role of a bearded defender of a mountainous region practically dripping in danger.

At an altitude so high that it's up among the clouds, the kingdom's floating grassy platforms are constantly besieged by undead warriors - you'd think the aim of the game would be to relocate somewhere a bit nicer.

Instead, your task is to fend off the skeletal baddies, protect your buddies, and defeat the undead champions blocking your way to the next set of stages. All using a pretty unique approach to sword-based combat.

King of the (sword) swingers

You control Cloud Knights with two on-screen buttons, used to swing your sword clockwise or anti-clockwise. Movement is achieved by swinging your blade overhead, striking the ground, and using your weapon a bit like an adventurous pole vaulter might, springing off in your desired direction.

As you'd imagine, fighting your undead foes is achieved in much the same way, with the speed of your sword's swing seemingly corresponding to the amount of damage it inflicts.

Gather enough momentum, or vault off an enemy, and you'll find yourself in mid-air, your sword spinning around you, eagerly seeking its next skull to crack.

It's a winningly simple formula that allows for effective tactics to quickly develop. Time your swing well, for instance, and not only can you briefly pin down an opponent's blade, but add injury to insult by vaulting off their weapon and getting in some tasty headshots - which you can share with friends thanks to a neat video replay feature.

Swings and roundabouts

A second player can join you in one-on-one scraps or help you to complete the campaign, so long as you don't mind playing shoulder-to-shoulder with your real-life comrade, since you'll be playing on the same device.

Ultimately, Cloud Knights is a modest game, with a simple mechanic that's explored well. It isn't free of flaws, of course. Less patient players will detest how easy it is to fall off many of the stages, and its audio design is perfunctory at best.

Cloud Knights isn't bursting with content either, its 60-level campaign is unlikely to keep eager players busy for too long, and its simplicity is probably too basic for gamers demanding cutting-edge experiences (sword pun slightly intended).

Swing both ways

But, importantly, the game is enjoyable and, once you get the hang of its curious control scheme, quite hard to put down.

Its balance of managing your position and momentum, whilst re-killing your reanimated foes, offering a compelling, if limited mix.
Cloud Knights
Reviewer photo
Giles Armstrong | 9 October 2014
Short-lived, but offering solid swordplay in bite-sized chunks, Cloud Knights is a bit like a tap-dancing koala. It's goofy, charming, and unlikely, but instantly appealing, and great fun while it lasts
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