[PlayStation 4] Knights and Bikes Review
Knights and Bikes is an adventure game that takes place in the 1980s, from the team at Foam Sword that worked LittleBigPlanet. Learn more of the adventures of Nessa and Demelza in our Knights and Bikes review!
After a brief introduction where you meet the protagonists of the game, with Nessa arriving by boat on the island of Penfurzy, she quickly finds a caravan to hide from the rain but ends up falling asleep in it. It turns out that the vehicle was the car of Demelza’s dad, and she ends up being taken to their home while she’s asleep.
After waking up, Nessa panics a bit and tries to solve the current situation, and ends up being found by Demelza. She offers her a place to stay as long as Nessa becomes her friend, which she accepts. From there, they’ll start exploring the island for fun, and it will quickly evolve into a quest to find a legendary treasure that is rumored to be on the island, with the hopes of saving the mini-golf course of Demelza’s dad course which he’s about to lose unless he comes up with enough money.
The first thing to know about the game is that it can be played solo or in local or online co-op. Playing solo has you switching between both girls with the L1 and R1 buttons, which is a must since they each have different abilities that will be put to good use in specific situations. It’s also worth noting that when both girls are required to do something at the same time, the AI handles things pretty well to do what has to be done for the girl you’re not controlling.
Demelza has the ability to stomp on the floor, which is used to smash targets that are lying down or to step on water puddles and send the water flying all around, while Nessa quickly gains the ability to throw a flying disc that comes back just like a boomerang. They’ll both gain other abilities as you play and also the possibility to heal each other if you have the required items – press the Circle button to perform a high five, and you’re set!
Your quests will be visible in the menu under the “Important Stuff” section, and as you’re going around the map, some white dotted lines will indicate the places you can go through or the direction in which you have to go, making the overall progress curve very easy to follow.
Visually, the game is a blast to watch. It features some great, colorful hand-drawn characters and environments that breathe the 1980s just by looking at them. With the story quickly becoming a mix of reality and the girls’ imagination, you’ll see you’re in for a blast – it gives you golf balls transforming into monsters, giving a lighthearted feeling! – you’re certainly going to fall in love with this one.
Being someone that grew up in the 1980s, the setup of the game had everything to get me interested. Quickly after starting the game, seeing the whole idea of finding a legendary treasure to save the father’s mini-golf course and house, it just gave me a The Goonies vibe left and right, a movie that is still to this day one of the best movies of all time. The story is lighthearted with the whole treasure finding journey that both girls take on, but, at the same time, it found a way to tackle some sensitive subjects like the loss of Demelza’s mother and the difficulties she faced because of this.
As for the gameplay itself, it’s not a game that will provide a big challenge, as it’s more aimed at providing a casual gameplay session, which honestly fits perfectly with the setup of the game. Playing solo is not as much fun as playing in coop, as it adds more fun to fully impersonate one of the girls and her abilities instead of switching, knowing that the AI will handle the rest. Both girls’ abilities provide a fun way to tackle what comes at you during the game, always with a touch of humor.
There’s also the whole bike thing that adds to the fun of the game. At first, only Demelza has a bike, so only one of the girls will be able to use it. You’ll eventually get one for Nessa, but until then, especially if playing co-op, it can provide a lot of fun to try and steal the bike from the other player.
As for the trophies, it’s not a difficult list, but a few specific trophies might warrant some extra replay time to unlock. There are a few collectibles that you have to gather in the different zones of the game, which will have you either looking out for them as you play or replaying sections for some cleanup duty. If you’ve got the patience to get through those specific things, you’ll have no trouble and a lot of fun reaching that Platinum trophy! There are plenty of missables, but being able to replay previous days once your adventure is over is a great way of getting the trophies that you need to make the Platinum pop.
Knights and Bikes is a great first effort from developers Foam Sword. We can see the experience behind their work on LittleBigPlanet, yet it’s a totally different game and gameplay with some great visuals, an incredible retro vibe, and a funny and touching story.
This Wreckfest review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Double Fine.