The famous phrase ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ comes to mind during the first hour of time spent with A Knight’s Quest. Prior to the game’s release, it was touted as providing a nostalgia trip for those wanting a ’90s Legend of Zelda experience, except the execution only achieves this on a very basic level.
Akin to the Zelda games of the ’90s, it is your job to save the world from a mysterious evil, with the help of the somewhat annoying main protagonist, Rusty. Unlike your time with Link, however, you must now endure the annoying quips that Rusty brings to the scene, being made worse by the equally inane comments of everyone else in the world. But endure through this we must, as Rusty gradually receives new spirit powers that change the way he can fight and enable him to interact with different environments.
The aforementioned spirit powers act as the main thing that helps to distinguish A Knight’s Quest from its Zelda influences as they do result in slightly different play styles and enable the occasional interesting challenge, with quick switching between powers on the fly. Ultimately, these powers are a clever way of contextualising different weapons and abilities into more manageable categories. Such as the fire spirit power acting as both knuckle dusters and the ability to cast fire, whereas the first power you receive – wind – gives Rusty a rather familiar sword and shield (with the sword in his left hand – again, much like Link) that, for some reason, also provides him with the ability to shoot wind from his arm.
These powers often – but not always – become available when Rusty arrives at a new proving ground and conveniently informs some of the intellectual challenge available in these excuses for dungeons, often being reached after frustratingly long fetch quests that feel like padding for the sake of it. These areas are unique from each other, which manages to prevent this particular aspect of the game from feeling repetitive. Unfortunately, it doesn’t save each area from feeling monotonous. This will be for different reasons, be it a disappointingly linear area or frustrating chains of combat stages. The boss fights at the end of these areas do make use of the elemental aspects of the spirit powers but, surprisingly, don’t put up as much of a challenge as what preceded them, as when enemies gang up on you, they pose a formidable threat.
The previously mentioned similarities with Zelda also extend to the visuals. That’s not to say that it is a direct copy; however, as the game does have its own style, but has done so by merging the look of Ocarina of Time with The Wind Waker. The result does allow for each area to look distinct, but there isn’t anything particularly memorable about each area. The case is the same with both the music and sound. Missing are the catchy background scores, and some of the sounds try too hard to imitate Zelda’s “Get Item” tune (accompanied by a far too familiar animation).
A Knight’s Quest is a perfectly OK game. For the most part, it runs fine (aside from two instances of hard freezes) and there is enough gameplay on offer to entertain players who are willing to put up with its shortcomings. There is a void in the Switch’s library for a competent 3D adventure akin to the older Zelda games but, despite its best intentions, A Knight’s Quest is not it.
A Knight's Quest £19.99
A Knight’s Quest seeks to give players access to the serene joy of a 90s action-adventure game. Unfortunately, the result is an unremarkable attempt to go beyond imitation without anything interesting enough to prop it up.