Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Amid a sea of games trying to mimic Zynga’s Castleville, Knightly Adventures tries to distinguish itself by fusing fantasy-themed simulation with an action role-playing game. At home, your character farms vegetables for cash and builds structures that produce materials to upgrade your weapons and armor. Once you’re geared up, you head out on combat missions with up to two computer-controlled companions, who are hired using in-game money.
The missions are short, which makes them good for a quick break. You’ll want to balance carefully between risk and reward when it comes to hiring allies, though the game always provides you with an abundance of potions. Each character feels distinct, and they gain strength at the same pace as you, so you don’t need to worry about letting one lag behind. Unlike so many social games, you don’t have to spend real money or spam your friends in order to progress—those extras just make the path easier.
The big problem is how similar the missions are to each other. Whether you’re supposed to be gathering wood for the winter or taking down rampaging monsters, you’ll wind up wandering the same terrain, fighting the same swarms of turtles, frogmen, and weird-looking dogs. Worse yet, you’ll need to take on individual missions multiple times, both to complete quests and to build your character to the point where you can take on harder missions. You can always take a break by returning to your farm to repeatedly click on crops. That does not help.