Developed By: Corner Point
Platforms: Mobile (Android)
Reviewed On: Samsung Note 10+
Pushy Knight is a Sumo (the sport) inspired fast-paced push-em-off mobile game, where the player’s job is to push all their opponents off the ring in a multi-wave royal rumble. This retro-styled game came to my attention on Twitter a little over a week ago, when I saw the game’s 17-year old creator looking for people to review it. I am always fascinated by projects made by young upstarts, so I got in touch out of curiosity.
As it turns out, the game is made by a team of 7 people, all of whom under 18 years of age. I got the game downloaded to my Samsung Note 10+ and fired it up for a spin.
As with all conventional games today, Pushy Knight started off with a tutorial. But unlike the industry norm where tutorials are annoying and unnecessarily long because 70% of it was introducing what each ‘non-gameplay related’ buttons do, and where the eShop icon is, Pushy Knight’s simple and brief session was a welcoming sight.
The game’s control is straight forward. Left screen analog for navigation and a single screen button on the right for skill. And the gameplan? Push all others off the ring while making sure only you, the player, is the last one standing at the end of each wave.
Wave 1 starts with just one enemy. Running into your enemy (bumping them), would leave them staggered and pushed back a little. Tapping the skill button would unleash a charging-like action, snookering your enemy off the ring if the attack connects. As each wave progresses, more enemies will spawn and there are different types of them. On every fifth wave, there’d be a Boss. And while normal enemies only possess attacks that would push you off, the Boss will have finishing moves that will most likely finish you off in a single hit if you failed to evade.
Here’s me getting my ass kicked early in the game.
Very happy to give @CornerPoint_ ‘s #PushyKnight game a go on my phone just now. The game is simple and fun but definitely not easy! Here’s me getting my ass kicked by a game made by a group of under 18 youngsters. pic.twitter.com/OPv1hqUIa5
— Andy Tham (@ZoziBG) June 9, 2020
Every enemy you push off will potentially earn you a coin. Collect enough coins to unlock other playable heroes, each with their own perks, e.g Power Bonus, Speed Bonus, etc. Collecting heroes and challenging myself to set a new wave record has been my motivation in the game thus far.
But remember I said this game is retro-styled? I didn’t just mean the graphics, music, and the overall simplicity in game design. Pushy Knight is no pushover (pun intended) when it comes to punishing the player. I must have died over 25 times at the first boss alone before I figured out how to beat him properly and consistently. But why do I need to beat him consistently if I had already beaten him once? Well, because the game restarts all the way back from Wave 1 every time you die and dying a lot is guaranteed.
From my gameplay experience, there are two ways one would consistently lose the game. One is when you cannot stop yourself in time hence sending your sorry self off the ring. And during Boss fights itself when you get one shot in the face.
Boss fights can be easily mastered through a series of trials and errors. Once you learn its pattern of attack and range, you’d be marching in confidently and just be mindful of the other common reason for death. Failing to stop in time is common in my gameplay. For some reason, there is a slight but noticeable delay between my input and the animation. That being said, the response is not immediate, and this would often lead to bad judgement in moments where you need to do a quick turn, reverse, or stop.
Winning or losing a boss round is sometimes subjected to luck. There are times where the boss spawns right at the edge of the map, making it easy work to push them off. The moment they spawn in the middle is where the headache starts. As I’ve said, they possess a one-hit kill skill that if one fails to evade, will result in a game over.
Since death is a given, one would inevitably be sent to the loading screen a lot. But the good thing is the game loads really fast. Almost in an instant, in fact. Unlike many games out there with pop-up ads polluting gameplay experiences, Pushy Knight has zero ads. So, no annoying ‘watch 15 seconds’ of irrelevant game ads video to bother the players between breaks. You’d restart immediately after each death without hindrance, making it a comfortably seamless continuation.
The game also comes with what they call an Obstacle Mode that can be triggered from the settings. This mode adds two-element on top of the regular gameplay. A UFO and a Dragon. They are not part of the enemies you’d need to fight but their existence itself is problematic. The UFO is an immortal object that flies around, constantly shooting at the player with a one-hit-kill laser beam. The Dragon slithers around trying to bump the player off the ring while also acting as a wall that prevents their escape.
I will admit this. The Obstacle Mode is too much for me. The game is already hard enough for me as it is. But I won’t deny that beating each wave on this mode yields an unparalleled level of satisfaction.
Pushy Knight’s art style is as simple as the game’s mechanics. Pixelated but colourfully so. Nothing fancy yet pleasant to look at. The background track accompanying the game is also fairly simple but it got the job done setting the right mood for the gameplay.
Despite the game being very simple and lacking any meaningful content or impactful moment, the game still manages to coax out moments of fun. The bar for free to play games has been raised due to the surge of alternative monetization options, such as microtransactions. But Pushy Knight definitely harkens back to the days where you could just enjoy a game for what it offers. That being said even though I have scored the game as such, I do admire the effort involved and the young team behind it and there is no doubt in my mind that with time and experience they are capable of achieving better.
At the end of the day, every gamers game to satisfy their cravings for ‘fun’, and in this game, I am glad to say I found plenty of it.