Creating something unique is becoming a more and more difficult task in the world of smartphone gaming. There are so many games out there, and so many other people making new ones, that your brilliant idea has probably already been built and released.
Equally, the huge swathe of clones and copycats that bloat the App Store make it even more refreshing when something does come along that's that little bit different. Muffin Knight, from Angry Mob Games, is one such breath of fresh air.
As original as it is in the context of the App Store, however, it's important to note that Muffin Knight borrows heavily from Vlambeer's excellent Super Crate Box, which is also coming to iOS this month.Knights currant
You play a young boy who accidentally scatters a basket of magic muffins to the four corners of a cartoon-style fairytale world. Incensed by your actions, the fairy whose muffins they were turns you into a knight and sends you off on a quest to retrieve the arcane cakes.
This takes the form of jumping around enclosed levels, killing scuttling pigs and other beasts and grabbing the deliciously enhanced buns. The twist is that every time you pick up a muffin you change class. You'll start as the eponymous Knight, but for the first few play throughs you'll swap between a mage, an archer, and a goblin as well.
The characters all have different strengths and weaknesses, and as you play through the game you'll unlock new classes as well.
While the original four are all quite similar ranged fighters, later in the game you'll have rainbow mine-pooping unicorns, fire-breathing dragons, and claw swiping bears at your disposal too.Confectionery crisis
You unlock new classes when you've picked up enough muffins, but you also gain XP for slaying enemies and gathering the small cakes. You can spend this XP on levelling up your characters, making them quicker and their attacks more potent.
Of course, you're never sure which characters you're going to be in the game, so it's entirely possible to swap straight from a super-powered Knight to a one-starred kitten ninja in one muffin-fuelled swoop.
All in all there are six levels to play through, all of which can be attacked multiple times, and 15 characters to unlock and upgrade. There's a multiplayer mode as well, which lets you connect with other iPhones over a local wi-fi network, to duke it out over who's the muffin-collecting monarch.
Buns of zeal
Muffin Knight looks good, sounds good, and has a great, original idea at its core, but it's not all sweetness and light. The control system isn't perfect, with taps of the on-screen buttons sometimes not registering.
It's pretty difficult as well, though even failure is rewarded with XP, meaning you'll be stronger the next time around. The lack of levels might put some off, but every play through is going to be different because your character changes are allocated entirely at random.
These problems are mere niggles, though, and shouldn't dissuade you from playing this hugely enjoyable action-platformer. This is a leaping, blasting, clawing slice of fun that deserves to find a home on as many iOS devices as possible.
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