One of my fondest childhood movies is The Goonies. Watching kids my age go on an adventure to find pirate treasure was amazing! Knights and Bikes takes a lot of cues from that now classic film as well as adventure games like Collection of Mana. The kids in this game are going on an adventure to find treasure to save their homes. The only problem is the curse on the island, which will be tricky to lift.
At the beginning of the game we are introduced to Demelza and her father on the island of Penfurzy welcoming a ferry hauling supplies for the winter. The island is a summer vacation spot so when winter comes they close down. When the ferry docks, we find that there is a stowaway named Nessa. Upon arrival she gets off the boat and accidentally makes her way to Demelza’s camper, where the two become fast friends. On their first adventure they visit the mini golf course and discover that the bank is foreclosing on their land. The good news is that there is a treasure hidden someone where on the island. The bad news is, it’s cursed. Armed with a Frisbee and boots of water kicking, the two set out to find the treasure.
Knights and Bikes is at it heart an adventure RPG. The two girls can be controlled by two different players in co-op mode. Or one person can control both and switch back and forth between the two characters. In single player mode, the AI for the second girl is actually pretty smart. For puzzles that require both of them, the second girl will automatically get setup to do her portion of the puzzle once the first girl solves the beginning portion. While some games have difficulty managing multiple characters, this one does it with ease. The controls are pretty good, but the biggest issue during my playthrough was Nessa’s first weapon, which was kind of a pain to aim. Aside from that it was smooth sailing.
The art in the game is great with a hand drawn style with both the characters and the environments. The expressions on the girls’ faces really do remind you of little kids with distinct personalities; Demelza the boisterous redhead and Nessa the calm, cool and collected one.
The sound effects department really shines in this game. When the girls run, they make up their own sound effects. For example, one spreads her arms as she runs pretending to fly like a jet and the other makes a futuristic Jetson’s flying car noise as she buzzes about the area. These small touches remind us what it was like to be a kid with a big imagination.
To further the immersion with the kids, when the girls come across the foreclosure signs posted around the island for the first time they get annoyed as though the signs are ruining their adventure and not letting them tell their tale. Other little touches like holding down a button for a high five and being healed with a Band-Aid is perfect for this type of game.
Knights and Bikes is a fun, cute romp around a British island in the 1980s. It should take you about eight hours to complete. The game is rather charming and the story is simple yet fun enough to keep you entertained throughout. Players of all ages should find something to like here.
Knights and Bikes Review
- Graphics - 9/109/10
- Sound - 9/109/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Lasting Appeal - 7/107/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Foam Sword came up with a wonderful little game in Knights and Bikes. Playing the game really makes you feel like you are exploring the island through the eyes of the kids. Anyone who enjoyed The Goonies as well as adventure RPGs should not pass this one up.