Knightfall: Death and Taxes marries match-3 gaming with RPG elements beautifully, providing hours of fun.
It’s always so refreshing to find a unique match-3 puzzler that tries something a little different, and Knightfall: Death and Taxes definitely does this. Created by UK indie developer Megadev, Namco clearly saw the potential too, and snapped this great little game up.
Knightfall: Death and Taxes does a wonderful job of infusing match-3 gameplay with RPG elements. The action can become rather tricky at times, but overall this is a journey definitely worth taking.
Our hero the Knight is trapped in a grid of coloured boxes, and your job is to remove these boxes and allow him to work his way through the grid, grabs the keys and leave through the exit door. Boxes are removed by clicking on them, and adjacent boxes of the same colour will all be removed in one go.
You cannot simply remove as many boxes as you like, however. Every time you click a box, your Action Points decrease, and when those run out, you’ll start to lose health instead. There is a way to combat this – removing three or more of the same colour in a single click will only lose you one AP, whereas removing only one or two blocks will cost far more points. Hence, the idea is to plan ahead and make sure lots of the same colour blocks are connected.
Apart from the matching boxes challenge, there are also baddies scattered around the grid, ready to attack if you get too close. Allow the Knight to fall on an enemy’s head, and he’ll use his drill to make light work of them. Choose to play through the story mode with the Princess, and you’ll have to do things a little different – she kills baddies by allowing them to fall on her head, meaning you’ll have to completely change your game-plan.
It’s a really solid concept, and provides endless hours of puzzle gaming fun. There is never any rush to take your move, allowing you to plan ahead and navigate the board in any way you choose. Later levels can be pretty taxing as more powerful enemies are introduced, but fortunately once your character has killed a couple of enemies and powered up, there are a variety of special moves they can pull off that can really change the flow of battle in your favour.
The RPG elements add a lot of depth to proceedings, too. Experience points are awarded as levels are completed, and will increase your health and AP scores. Gold can be collected during levels, and used to buy special items for powering your hero up and keeping them alive. Everything is simple to use, yet there is so much hidden depth to it all, giving more hardcore players the chance to really work their magic.
Between the main puzzle levels, players can visit shops and partake in some short cutscenes and conversations. While these sections do a great job of separating the action, they can be a little pointless. Many areas see you simply talking to a villager or another adventurer, then getting on your way with no real purpose other than to open the next level.
Once you’ve polished off the lengthy story mode, there are plenty of extra challenges to keep you going. The various Endless modes see you taking on increasingly difficult puzzle levels, while Boss Rush brings all the boss encounters from the story together. Pet Protector is the most interesting, however, as your vulnerable doggy friend is introduced into the grid along with yourself, and you must simultaneously complete the level while making sure to keep your pet safe from harm.
Knightfall: Death and Taxes is one of the freshest match-3 puzzlers I’ve played in a while, and you’ll most likely find yourself hooked by its challenging gameplay and charming visuals. Play the demo online and see for yourself.