Soul Knight is a procedurally generated action shooter developed by ChillyRoom. In Soul Knight, you traverse randomly generated dungeons, collecting guns and unlocking weapons. Drawing inspiration from games like Enter the Gungeon and The Binding of Isaac, Soul Knight is a game about quick movement and constant action. With a variety of weapons, power ups, and ever random stages, Soul Knight offers an expansive experience to keep your trigger finger itching. Does it satisfy and stay entertaining, or fall prey to repetition?
Right from the get-go, a lot of parallels can be drawn between Soul Knight and Enter the Gungeon. In both, you select a character type, enter a randomly generated dungeon, and fight hordes of enemies. Enter the Gungeon has a certain gun fetish to it, whereas Soul Knight dabbles in magic and more as well. When starting, you'll only be able to choose one class (unless you spend money on unlocking classes). Soul Knight is a very straight forward game; you explore the dungeon laid out in a grid, looking for a portal to the next floor. When you enter a new room, you're usually greeted by a collection of enemies who must be defeated before proceeding. Occasionally, you'll run into a merchant who sells new weapons for coins earned from chests and defeated enemies.
Soul Knight is also a sort of cycle, where dying does not always mean completely starting over from scratch. After you finally perish, you will earn gems based upon performance. These gems can be used to unlock new classes, or upgrade previous ones. Upgrading classes gives them more hit points, ensuring longer survival in the dungeon. In this way, each failed attempt will get you closer to becoming an all powerful warrior. Unfortunately, there is a “pay to win” aspect here, where you can spend real money to unlock extra gems. Since Soul Knight isn't a multiplayer game, I have no issue with that. In general, micro transactions don't interfere with gameplay at all; they're simply there if you wish to partake.
There was a lot of places where Soul Knight could've gone wrong. Fortunately, smart controls, a good variety, and fun art design keeps things constantly interesting. Every two floors you complete gives you a new power up, which will shake things up as you continue. These power ups can give you extra bullet spread, reduced damage taken, and much more. You'll need to powered up for Soul Knights's boss fights, too, which are interesting and enjoyable. The boss fights are where the real reflex-intensive gameplay shows. Whether you're fighting a giant plant or a hulking knight, you can bet the screen will be full of bullets. Soul Knight is often just as much about dodging as it is about executing. Finishing off bosses and gaining access to a new dungeon feels immensely satisfying, time and time again.
I've played plenty of games like Soul Knight, and I didn't have high expectations going in. However, it was able to charm me with tight controls and explosive gameplay. Thanks to a constant system of reward and variety, I was always seeing new enemies and having a great time killing them. Since Soul Knight is mobile, I often found myself playing it for a few moments throughout my day. Most of the popular titles in the genre are on console or PC, so being able to run and gun on the go makes for a great time. If you're a fan of games like The Binding of Isaac and crave a fresh mobile experience, do yourself a favor and check out Soul Knight.
Reviewed by Matt.
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