We’ve been lucky enough over the past week or two to get in game and down and dirty with Portal Knights, courtesy of 505 Games and Keen Games.
To get it over with from the outset yes, Portal Knights does have a fair amount in common with PB (and gaming world) favourite Minecraft,. However it’s important to note that while the blocky landscape is very reminiscent of the Mojang hit there’s enough here to definitely stand this portal switching craft-em-up out in its own right.
Fans of crafting titles such as this will be familiar with the basics of the game. Hit trees and stone to built tools, create houses, castles, and villages (on a small scale) and generally wage a path of destruction and creation within the landscape. Portal knights differs immediately when you load in however, as in order to play you’ll first need to create a character, and there are a few different options allowing you to cutsomize your way around the place
Once you have your Ranger, Mage, or Warrior, you’re ready to go and you’ll land in a biome not to dissimilar to sunny Squire’s Knoll, where you can see we’ve built up a lovely little farmhouse complete with woodshed and smithy, in the video above. You’ll need to defeat enemies and form portal cubes in order to enable the portals you’ll find along your way, and you’ll use these to travel further and further from your point of origin [very Stargate – Ed] and find new enemies, materials and events as you go.
With enemies getting harder and harder as you move further away from your first world you’ll find it’s a good idea to get some leveling up done, and as well as being able to add points so strength, dexterity, agility and the usual RP buffs, you’ll also get specific abilities you can select as you work your way up the levels. The leveling is a really nice touch and does help to set it apart from other titles, simply as it gives some progression and a reason to go out and kick the bricks out of the enemies in your area.
As well as different biomes and enemies as you travel, you’ll also come upon regular events which can give anything from XP, to gold, as well as special ingredients and trophies. Getting together with your friends to take on these challenges is a must, and you’ll find that of course team work makes the dream work. Both at home and on your adventures, it’s great having a few friends over to help you do anything from creating your own little slice of heaven, to heading out to take on enemies, and move further away from your starting blocks. We’ve VERY happy to see splitscreen multiplayer is included as well, allowing families to hop in with each other in great drop in, drop out gameplay.
Graphics: 9/10: The visuals in Portal Knights keep that simplicity which you expect form games such as this, but with well textured worlds and beautiful lighting effects it’s a great looking game
Story: 4/10: With the leveling options we’d have liked to have seen a little more story, but other than a little exposition at the start you’ll not find much here
Sound: 8/10: A good soundtrack overall with nice music and decent in game effects. It blends into the background well, though each biome has it’s own familiar notes which is a nice touch.
Replayability: 8/10: You’ll have to replay levels simply to progress in the game here. The online and splitscreen multiplayer makes that fun to do though, and creating your own worlds gives good reason to hop back in any time
Satisfaction: 9/10: We’ve really enjoyed our time with Portal Knights and for us it’s walking a fine line between just behind, or beating Minecraft,
depending on who in the office you speak to. It’s certainly a winner and a well deserving family hero and at a very low price point, we’d advise you check it out as soon as you can