Rival knights is a brand new jousting game from the popular developer – Gameloft. The aim of the game is pretty simple – knock your opponent of their horse. Its pretty addictive too. What is interesting is that Gameloft are allowing you to download the app and play for free. Its true that the developer isn’t exactly known for offering free games however and you can rest assured that they will be making money from it (more on this later).
Gameplay is dead simple. As you charge down the jousting range you have to tap the touchscreen at the right time to increase your speed. You are then presented with a slow motion sequence where you have to aim your spear at the designated kill zone on your opponent. This can be anywhere from the chin to shoulder. If your lucky enough to get a perfect hit then you will be rewarded with more loot.
Skill is only part of the battle however. You can be the best jouster in the world but if you don’t have good enough stats then you will likely not succeed. Players can spend their hard earned loot on new equipment and this directly effects three skills areas: Speed, defence and strength. The better stats you have, the more likely you are to succeed against your opponent. The skill areas are effected by what equipment you spend your loot on.
In Rival knights you can improve your speed by buying new horses, your defence by buying new helms and armours, and your strength by buying new lances. All these items cost gold or gems to buy and you can upgrade your equipment if you like.You will get gold for completing battles and gems are rewarded for completing particular missions. Gems are quite hard to come by however so you will struggle to collect these through missions alone. Progressing through the game will allow you to unlock new equipment in the store.
Although the App is free to play there is the option for in game purchases. Basically you can purchase more gold and gems for real money. Obviously this means certain people will have an advantage in the game through purchasing better equipment. This doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the game for free however. You can still take part in all events and progress through the game, the only downside is that you will have to wait before you can play again. You need a seal (basically a token) to play every level and these only replenish over time, unless you buy more.
The single player mode is split into leagues. You start in league one and take part in different mission types on your way up. Some missions require you to merely beat the opponent but others will require you to perform to a certain level. For example you may need to perform a perfect start or a perfect hit to win. This adds a lot of variety to the action and the seal concept stops you from playing excessively and getting bored.
The campaign is only half the fun however with the multiplayer mode adding a lot of extra content. Here you can take part in different tournaments and ranking as high as possible will reap better rewards. If you don’t fancy talking part in full blown tournaments however you can merely challenge similarly ranked opponents. You will be able to have a look at their stats and see how you stack up. Completing online battles also rewards you with gold and gems. Within the online environment you will require online tokens to take part. These are exactly the same as seals and replenish over time (or for a fee).
The game looks great too. Gameloft are renowned for creating beautiful and engaging game environments and Rival Knights is no exception. The battle scenes are absolutely gorgeous to look at and beating your opponent will result in a lovely animation sequence. I have been reviewing this using the Samsung Galaxy S5 and on this device the game runs flawlessly with no lag whatsoever. I imagine older devices may find the graphics a little taxing however.
Overall Rival Knights is an absolute joy to play and is utterly engaging. Its strikes a good balance between real money purchases and skill level and without the correct technique you are nothing more than a shiny punchbag. This is one of those games you just cant put down and as such I’m giving it a top rating.