It's hard to describe what "Black Knight Sword" really is.
To say it's a side-scrolling action game would do injustice to its diabolically creative, offbeat design, but to call it anything outside of that would be a false description. Perhaps the best way to put it is, "If the designers of 'Castlevania' were ever on a sugar rush through Starbucks holiday drinks, they'd come up with something like 'Black Knight Sword.'"
The game is the latest from Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture, the teams behind the successful shooter "Sine Mora." It puts you in the shoes of a knight as he works his way through a puppeteer-driven world as you try to defeat an evil princess.
"Black Knight Sword" has some inventive visual stylings behind it, whether it's the fact you're boosting in the air using springs attached to red horse heads, or battling walking heads that look like they just came out of a Terry Gilliam animation piece.
But like most dedicated side-scrollers back in the day, "Black Knight Sword" has a devious side to it, and you'll have to really step up your gaming skills to meet the challenge. Even the "easy" setting will eat you alive if you're not careful, and only a dedicated few will dare to try the unlockable arcade setting, which gives you limited lives and time to beat the game.
While most of the gameplay is fun, it's also rather basic. You slash enemies and flip switches and, well, that's really about it. Some bosses do take some getting used to with their timing, but outside of that, your character never really evolves or gains any spectacular abilities.
The visuals, as I've said, are weird yet sweet in their own way, as the entire game looks like a production number on a stage, yet still delivers some flair here and there.
At the same time, though the game packs a tremendous challenge in each difficulty setting, it's easily done once you get through the five stages offered.
If you're a fan of Grasshopper's previous works or can't get enough side scrolling, this "Sword" might be worth picking up.