So much of indie game culture involves reviving and reliving the games of our childhood, with many games being loving tributes (if not outright clones) of our favourites. As game development becomes more accessible, it makes sense to introduce children early on to the work that goes on behind the scenes of the games they enjoy so much. That’s just what Nick Pasto of Pesto Force has done with Super Chibi Knight, a project done to introduce his eight-year-old daughter to game development and teach her the differences between consumption and creation.
A direct sequel to the original Chibi Knight flash game, Super Chibi Knight is a hack n’ slash adventure with RPG elements. It’s quite traditional in its set-up, hearkening back to Nintendo’s Zelda II. Exploration takes place in a top-down overworld with a village and various other locales to explore such as forests and deserts. Enemies are not random encounters but rather can be seen in the overworld and engaged with. Entering areas or battles switches the game to a side-scrolling 2D perspective.
The hack n’ slash elements are pretty standard. The player can attack, jump, and block, and while completing a particular quest they get access to certain special attacks that use up power. Once a player gains experience, they can choose to level up their armor, their special attack power, or their sword strength. Each armor and sword level has a distinct look, which is really nice, simultaneously being pretty cool and cute. Eventually the player can choose a career path of either a sorcerer (giving you access to spells) or a beastmaster (allowing you to ride giant beasts). I’m always up for riding and fighting alongside big brutes, so that certainly got me excited.
The art style is simple and colourful, and there’s no shortage of quests to complete despite the game being in beta. However, I still eventually felt dragged down by repetitiveness. Experience from battle was in abundance and yet I still had to grind a lot. Many of the quests also involved simply finding objects and returning them to townsfolk. It’s fun for a while, but having returned to many games of my childhood, I find that I have less patience for this than I did as a child and subsequently have less patience for new games that continue this trend.
Despite that, it’s exciting to see kids getting in on the development side of games. What person that played games as a kid didn’t dream of making their own some day? What child didn’t have that perfect game they were going to create and share with others? With a greater abundance of tools at hand, I hope this becomes a possibility for even more children.
© 2013, The Indie Mine. All rights reserved.