Developer: Minimol Games, QUByte Interactive
Publisher: QUByte Interactive
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 3+
Release Date: 11/02/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Chess has long been a game played by millions across the world, dating back as far as the 1500’s; although the exact origins seem to be unknown. Knight’s Retreat is a puzzle game that brings together the elements of chess to create a unique experience on the Nintendo Switch.
Like all good puzzle games, they start small and progressively ramp up in difficulty. The idea is to get your knight (or knights) to the orange goal square using only a limited number of moves. The catch; you’ve got other chess pieces to direct and each one can only move the way they traditionally would in a standard chess game. You’re constantly having to think one or two steps ahead as whenever you choose to move your main knight the square in which they left will disappear, marking it unsafe to travel back to. If like me, you don’t have a strong interest in chess and limited experience with the game you may encounter your first problem. The rules.
One Knight At A Time
There isn’t any form of tutorial with Knight’s Retreat; you’re thrown into the first stage under the assumption you know how each chess piece moves. This does make the game feel inaccessible from the start, however a quick Google and all will become clear. It helps that you can’t move the pieces to a spot they wouldn’t be able to travel to as well. You can also argue the point of having purchased a chess based puzzle game, as it is clear from the trailer and screenshots, why would you do so without having some knowledge of chess itself?
There is a huge amount of gameplay included with over 80 levels that will really have you thinking all types of strategy. You’ll notice different themed areas as you progress; each area brings in a new mechanic such as switches your chess pieces can land on to change the layout of the board. This helps keep things fresh and new with all of the puzzles. I did find the difficulty is less of a curve and more of a steep hill very quickly. Each area eases you into a new puzzle mechanic but then swiftly increases in difficulty.
The music is incredibly relaxing and Knight’s Retreat works perfectly in handheld mode. You can use button controls or the touch screen. You can rotate the screen and zoom in to ensure you have the best view for yourself when trying to figure out each of the puzzles. I found the most comfortable way to play was in handheld mode with it being such an easy game to pick up and play throughout the day.
As you progress you’ll find there may be multiple knights to escort to their respective safe squares. That’s definitely where things start to change the way you tackle each stage; it keeps the puzzles fresh bringing in a new layer of strategy.
Whilst I enjoyed figuring out the various puzzles along the way, I did feel like this wasn’t particularly a game I’d pick up and play again. I found the puzzles’ increasing difficulty a little too steep for my tastes. However, I can appreciate it for what it is; a puzzle game centred around the rules of chess. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, so if you’re a chess player and enjoy a good puzzle game to while away some time this one’s for you!
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
You can purchase Knight’s Retreat from the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.