Sawbuck Gamer

Knightmare Tower

Welcome To His Knightmare

Knightmare Tower turns a launch-and-upgrade routine into a dungeon-and-dragons scenario.

By Tasha Robinson • September 18, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

“Dear Knight, Please save my 10 daughters! The evil guy took them to his tower. Kill him. —The King.” That hastily scrawled call to arms isn’t exactly The Hobbit’s, “Do you not wish to share in a grand adventure?”, but it’ll suffice to get your barely equipped, scruffy knight off his pot-metal-armored ass and onto a makeshift rocket in Juicy Beast’s Knightmare Tower.

The game is a typical launch-and-upgrade routine, in the spirit of Hedgehog Launch or Burrito Bison Revenge, a previous, similarly bright-and-cartoony Juicy Beast game. Here, progress is strictly vertical. You launch straight up, then try to avoid falling back down the tower and into a lava pit. Progress is made by hacking away at monsters around you, collecting upward momentum with every successful slice. (The physics don’t make sense, but question why killing monsters briefly reverses gravity, and soon you’ll be wondering why cute, scowling blobs carry baggies of gold inside flying soap bubbles—and that way lies madness.)

Knightmare Tower is mechanically simple, but requires a deft hand as the monsters get tougher and more numerous, mounting their own varied and timed attacks. Like Burrito Bison, the game spices up the action with a load of “quest” goals, which keeps the gameplay from feeling too grind-y as you earn cash and upgrade your armory and accessories. A tough boss and a survival mode maintains the game’s freshness. In spite of the name, this isn’t really a nightmare—it’s an absorbing idyll to pick up the rhythm of the knight.

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94 Responses to “Welcome To His Knightmare”

  1. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    I’m fascinated by those launch-and-upgrade games, and Burrito Bison 2 was one of the best so far, so I’ll be sure to give this one a shot.

    • Jason Reich says:

      Oh, man, I love a launch game. This is a good one, too – recommended. A launch game will eat up my entire afternoon more than any other type of browser/casual game.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         Yeah Burrito Bison and its sequel was pretty good about giving you upgrades at just the right rate so it always felt like you were making progress.  I’m going to have to give this one a try.

      • WorldCivilizations says:

        Just beat it. Thanks for wasting half my day GS. But yeah, this and burrito bison are clearly the cream of the launch game crop, which is good because these launch games are so compulsively addicting that it’s easy to get sucked into even a bad one. The final boss here was awesome – the incorporation of bullet hell elements made it a very thrilling conclusion.

  2. Ghostfucker says:

    Yo! FTL is $8.99 on Steam right now! It’s the best game ever made! someone should do a Sawbuck Gamer on that one!

  3. Merve says:

    This is way more fun than it has any business being. It reminds me a lot of I Am Flying To The Moon.

  4. feisto says:

    One of my favorite parts of the game is realizing, after your tenth rescue, that this king is one indiscriminate Lothario.

  5. caspiancomic says:

    I think this might be the most fun I’ve ever had with a Sawbuck game. I just played it for the better part of the day, beating all the challenges, defeating the absurdly protracted final boss battle, and even indulging in a bit of endgame survival mode shenanigans. Round of applesauce for Juicy Beast, I say.