Release Date: February 28, 2020
Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and up)
Platform: Nintendo Switch
A code for this game was provided by Pigeon Dev
What’s It About?
Bucket Knight is a classic run-and-gun with pixelated graphics that are sure to keep the nostalgia flowing. You play as Bucket Knight, a guy who really needs to pay the loan on his house. To get the funds, he starts looking for the Holy Grail. But Bucket Knight is no ordinary Knight Templar. Oh no, he’s a guy with guns who isn’t afraid to take out the goblins, bats, and other monsters standing between him and his precious treasure. After all, a dude’s gotta pay his home loan, right?
In case you couldn’t tell already, Bucket Knight isn’t afraid to be silly when it needs to be. The whole premise will make you grin before you even start running and gunning through the levels. The levels themselves are a pretty fun challenge. There’s spikes to avoid, goblins with bombs, and skeletons with shotguns. There’s also food to eat in order to restore your health. But watch out for cheese, because that’ll knock off some of your health because (I’m assuming) poor Bucket Knight is lactose intolerant.
The music is also pretty great. It would feel right at home in an episode of Stranger Things. In other words, like the game itself, the music conjures up some really nice feelings of nostalgia for anyone who was raised on games in the NES/’80s arcade era.
There are also multiple weapons to choose from. Personally, I loved the machine gun and used it in almost every single level. You can purchase these items and upgrades by using the coins you find in the levels. Initially, money is a bit hard to come by, but by the midway point of the game, I was practically rolling in dough.
There’s also a nice feature that lets you toggle the screen to look more like a classic console TV or arcade game with a curved screen. If that sort of thing hurts your eyes, or you simply just don’t like it, then you can turn it off. I left it on throughout the entire game and thought it really added to the feel of the game.
And while the color schemes of the levels often feel too similar, there are nice shake-ups to the formula that keep levels from feeling too identical. Some levels, for instance, you might just collect coins and time your jumps without ever encountering an enemy. My favorite level design involved a giant floor made of buzzsaws slowly rising up to get you. There’s a few levels like this, and they made me nervous and giddy in the best way possible.
The game is pretty short, but that keeps the replay value high. I’ve played through the entire game twice already. It was too fun (and too short) to put down after beating it only once.
Yes, this game is short. Maybe too short. Although it’s only $4.99, which feels like an appropriate price, I still felt that I barely played it before beating it. I was surprised when I reached the ending so soon. I mean, I took my time with this game and I still finished it up in under an hour. Bucket Knight is short and sweet, but it still could’ve benefited from having a few extra worlds and levels.
My biggest issue with the game is that for such a short game, the level design isn’t exactly varied. With the exception of the buzzsaw levels I mentioned earlier, pretty much every other level feels the same. The color schemes, the enemies, and even the layouts feel eerily similar. Considering the game only has around 25 levels to play through, some variation would’ve been nice.
There’s something inherently fun about running from shotgun-wielding skeletons and bats that shoot fireballs from their eyes. Bucket Knight, by all accounts, is a wonderful run-and-gun with major nostalgic vibes. Is it too short? Well, I certainly thought so. Still, it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying what time I got to spend playing through it. With a price tag that’s right around five bucks, and an extremely high replay value, Bucket Knight is well worth the time and money.