Well, hello there, my fellow chess and puzzle fanatics! Who is ready for a game that shocked me how much it can make me think, but in a fantastic setting? Well, that’s what we will go over today in my Knight’s Retreat Xbox Review! It’s a beautiful game made by the people over at Minimol Games, and it sure does deserve some attention, but let’s go over why that’s the case, shall we?
We played Knight’s Retreat for 5 hours on Xbox Series X.
What we liked!
- Chess: We must admit that the game is well-timed. Chess has been trending recently on live streaming platforms. Making a puzzle game that centers around chess makes quite a few people happy. That being said, I grew up playing chess, and I could sometimes feel myself being at a slight advantage when it came to the chess part. It is not entirely required that you know chess if you want to play the game. Still, suppose you have played chess before. In that case, you will agree that it comes with a certain mindset of planning ahead, which will significantly benefit you while you are puzzling your way to the exit.
- Learning curve: When I was first hopping in the game, I couldn’t help but feel, “oh, this is easy.” But damn, was I wrong. The game gets harder for every few levels, and you need to think ahead if you want to make it. It surprised me in a positive way how complex yet obvious some levels are. You need to think about your moves since all the colored pieces will destroy the block they stand on if they leave, but you can’t just go for it. So thinking ahead is a must here.
- Variation: When I reached the end of the first group of levels, I thought I had seen it all, and it would just get more complicated in the same way. After all, it’s just chess, right? But again, I was wrong here as well. You will find yourself moving platforms with pressure plates and even moving multiple Knights at the same time. It’s a great concept, and it made me appreciate the thought that was put in development.
- Music: If you check up on the store page, you will find the following line: “Originally composed music to help you focus and relax while solving the puzzles.” And it truly felt just like that. The music was great, not repetitive, and most of all, relaxing—great addition to your puzzle time.
- Art style: The style of art is actually unique by itself for the price you pay. It’s excellent and enjoyable to watch. But there is a significant flaw in it. Sometimes I couldn’t help but feel that it was hard at first glance to distinguish a queen from a bishop. They look insanely similar.
What we disliked
- Controls explained: When it comes to moving the chess pieces, it’s quite apparent what you have to do, yet it took me a while to figure that out. Furthermore, when I pressed Y, I noticed it would reset my whole board. Found that out when I messed up a puzzle and had to mash all keys to check how to reset. Going back to the main menu is also not explained. It might be evident for most gamers to use the button in the middle, but it kinda wasn’t. Oh, and the game has this great mechanic where you can undo one single move, yet it isn’t explained in a tutorial that the button for this is X.
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