Wind-Up Knight 2 (Wii U)

KNIGHT_BOXIn this downloadable Wii U game you control a knight with a wind-up key on his back. He can’t stop running, so you must help him avoid obstacles and enemies in this 2-D platforming action game. I never played the first one, nor even heard of it, so I don’t know what’s new or improved in the sequel.

In each stage, you will need to jump over pits and spikes, swing your sword at enemies, hold up on the d-pad to raise your shield to protect yourself from falling objects, and hold down to roll under low underpasses. You can’t stop, and the only way to turn around is to hit a wall. You can wall jump, though. If you get hit by anything dangerous, you’ll have to start over at the last checkpoint. Collect wind-up keys to keep going and not run out of energy. When you pass the level, you’ll earn a crest. You’ll need to collect a bunch of crests to bypass a gate at the end of a group of levels, but you won’t have enough just by completing all the previous levels. That’s where sidequests come in.

After you beat a level, three sidequests open up. In these quests, you replay the same level over with added challenges. Sometimes you must collect hidden diamonds, roll into bowling pins, go through the level without hitting enemies or collecting purple ‘death coins’ and more. Complete these challenges to earn more crests. Levels also have coins you can collect. Spend these coins to buy new armor and swords. Some of these items are purely cosmetic, but some help you collect coins or protect you from obstacles. Only problem is that most of the items are REALLY expensive and you’ll have to play for a long time to buy many of them.

Aside from the main quest, you can try tournament mode which lets you play a level from the main game. But you must collect diamonds found in bags that you must release by hitting them with your sword. If you collect enough and finish the level, you’ll earn a piece of armor as a reward, and you can post your high score to a leaderboard. You can also play tournament mode with up to four players to see who can get the highest score, but it’s just alternating single player and you can only use the Wii U gamepad and pass it around.

The game has some fun cartoony graphics and a bit of sense of humor in the form of tweets and office memos from other medieval characters like a king, princess, etc. But the game gets pretty tough very quickly and there are much better runners out there, like Bit.Trip Runner 2. However, if you enjoy challenging platformers, you still may want to check it out anyway.


Kid Factor:

Wind-Up Knight 2 is rated E for Everyone, and I’m surprised it didn’t get any descriptors because it does have mild violence and some crude humor. You can swing your sword at griffins and other monsters, but they just disappear when defeated. If you get hit, you just get knocked back. There is also a bit of crude humor as one of the enemies you avoid are farting cows. Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger players may get frustrated at the difficulty.

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