Postknight

postknight

Designed with a casual audience in mind, Postknight is the latest title to come from Kurechii, (the studio behind Tiny Guardians) and manages to cater to RPG enthusiasts as well as those looking for a lighter bite of game action.

There are a ton of features layered over an extremely simple concept in Postknight, that concept being ‘walk from a to b without dying’. It’s a game style designed perfectly for short, sharp sessions that can be enjoyed casually between frantic moments doing something else. It’s worth mentioning however that it’s also a game that requires your attention, and those expecting a passive or turn-based experience that will politely wait for them to act at their leisure will be in for a surprise.

Graphically, Postknight is an extremely polished title that uses animated cartoon-style characters and high quality parallax backgrounds in place of traditional sprite-based art. This helps to add a massive amount of character to the environments (especially when in motion, as a large part of the game features auto-scrolling) and gives characters a likable appearance to non-retro gamers. There’s great attention to detail between the different locations, lending them the impression of being fleshed out locations instead of simple menu reskins. The whole game has a very similar feel to the ‘Wonder Boy’ series and certainly shows off some great design work throughout.

Audio sees a relaxed tone presented overall, with a series of frenetic sound effect overlaid in travel periods that create a busier environment. Musically the game uses some lovely, looping tracks that settle nicely into the background and encourage you to play with the volume on. SFX can come across quite cartoon-like in execution, but couple greatly with visuals. It’s a well-toned audio production overall.

In terms of narrative, you play as a self-named character who is a novice Postknight. Tasked with delivering mail to a local village called Pompon, you quickly discover that bandits have beset the area and that the townsfolk are scattered through the local woodland. Questing to reunite them and take out the bandit chief is your first real challenge, but one that earns you full knight status and sends you off to new locations. Smaller quests and dialogues with characters build up a sense of world whilst dialogue is well handled whilst maintaining a light tone. There’s no epic quest to save the world laid down here, it’s simply one man (you play as male and have multiple romance options) and his personal mission to deliver his sack of letters.

postknight-4

Towns have wildly different feels.

Gameplay sees you using towns as menus to access item levelling (from the local blacksmith), potion levelling (from the local witch) and other useful options that can beef up your character on top of the usual grinding for gold and levels, which allow you to allocate points into four basic traits for customisation in your build. You’ll retrieve items in-game for these crafting challenges as well as the usual points and upon clearing a route for the first time will also be given some of the games internal premium currency. Whilst the game is effectively Freemium, there appears to be a well maintained balance between free gems and grinding that allows players the chance to outplay the game rather than pay past a wall, which is appreciated. Various sets of weapons and armour can be purchased that provide bonuses and fully levelling them will unlock hidden passive skills that greatly increase your abilities. Skills are unlocked as you level, with healing related directly to the status of your potion at any given time. Relationships can be built with women in each town through a gifting system that yields further rewards and daily mini-quests are also available. The bulk of the game however comes in the form of the journeys you take along routes. These see your avatar auto-scroll and encounter enemies which he collides with for mutual damage, getting to the end of one being the aim. On these missions icons for a special attack, defence and potion will appear along the bottom of the screen and each runs on a cool-down, making their timing based on the situation on-screen vital. A ranged attacker is no problem for a character with their shield up, but can keep your knight at bay and cause considerable damage if not paying attention. Some areas have special boss encounters, with an early one being a chase against a bandit chief, that invite you to rethink what you think you know about the system and think up new tactics. While offline the game will gather money and experience as a reward for when you log back in.

postknight-6

Gameplay is simple but a great deal of fun.

Overall, this is a well produced and imaginative title that will appeal to everyone with its high production values and approachable nature, but may not hold the attention of a hardened RPG fan. We’d advise you to download and try it for yourself, as it’s an experience we recommend everyone try. Fingers crossed that we see more RPG content out of the development studio in the future, as they obviously have a knack for imaginative design.

Score 4

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