One Epic Knight
We're weren't sure we were ready for yet another coin collecting, swiping, endless-runner in the form of Temple Run on our mobiles, but we've been pleasantly surprised by One Epic Knight. Sure it has those same tunnel mazes that you swipe left or right around, hoovering up coins as you go, and leaping over chasms or sliding under ledges, but there are a few new tricks thrown in too.
There are plenty of traps to keep things spicy, and so you'll need to dodge spikes that spring up from the floor, leap gracefully between swinging axes, and avoid the spiked logs which hang from the ceilings. You can also go toe-to-toe with the ghoulish denizens of the dungeons by picking up swords which slice through them neatly, or shields which help you clatter through obstacles. It's a refreshing and welcome addition to the genre, and one that we hope others will pay close attention to.
This being an endless runner you need some motivation to keep running, and so you can grab a variety of upgrades with the cash you collect: sharpen your sword to extend its killing capacity if you like, boost your multiplier with a meatier shield, or invest in some potions to improve your loot-hoovering skills.
While this is as competent a runner as any other you're likely to play, the game does suffer somewhat from the repetitive use of color: the color of a chasm drop is often barely distinguishable from the color of the floor itself, and some traps are so deeply obscured that it can be hard to avoid or traverse them with a sense of fairness. It's a not a game-breaker, but it does take the shine off an otherwise frantic, varied and very enjoyable experience.
All told, it's a game that leaves you with a lot of conflicting thoughts, and the severity of whatever shortcomings it may have will likely depend on your personal tastes. We loved the interesting mix of Orcs Must Die with Temple Run, but felt an unavoidable sense of deja vu in the gameplay. Being able to kill enemies and dodge devilish traps keeps things fun, but the color palette can lead to a sense of unfairness in death sometimes.
More divisive than anything else will be the dude-fueled chit-chat that accompanies each dungeon run. Dodging traps, grabbing swords and shields, and reaching a new running milestone, all trigger a snapshot of blithering commentary that will amuse at first, but quickly drive you up the wall.
Beyond the crisp and bright graphics and hit-and-miss humor, One Epic Knight may be just another endless-runner with an upgrade store bolted on, but if you have an endless appetite for the genre then the opportunity to smash up enemies and blast through scenery should be more than enough to motivate you into just one more run.
What's Hot: Lovely 3D artwork reminiscent of Orcs Must Die, and plenty of variety in the traps and monsters.
What's Not: Is it hot, or is it not? On final reflection, we found the voice-over distinctly not hot. While there are some new twists, this is just another endless-runner built upon very familiar upgrade foundations.