What is Portal Knights?
With plenty of block based building, bad guy bashing, and more crafting than you can shake a workbench at, Portal Knights is a Minecraft-alike that's sure to scratch a familiar itch. Playing your way through a series of randomly generated worlds, it's up to you to search high and low, making your way through dungeons and forests, and houses and mines, as you hunt down each level's often well hidden portal. Find it, and repair it, and you'll be able to pass right through it, and move onto the next world. With many an enemy standing between you and your portal-y escape, you'll need to gather materials, refine them at your workbench, and craft better weapons, armour and magical spells, in order to take on the game's more challenging enemies.
How do you play Portal Knights?
With support for two players in split-screen, or up to four when playing online, Portal Knights is a game that's plenty of fun on your own, but is even more fun when playing with friends. With over 40 worlds to play through, whether you're digging your way into an underground lair; mining a cliff side for valuable minerals; or venturing into a dungeon that's guarded by some tricky skeletons, Portal Knights is a game filled with adventure, and some light role playing elements to boot.
With many an enemy standing between you and the portals, there's plenty of chance to get stuck into combat too. Clonk an enemy with your weapon, and the camera will automatically lock onto them, in an attempt to make it easier for you to both land your hits, and dodge the enemy's. Defeating enemies not only earns you experience points, which let you level up and learn new abilities (including several which let you regenerate your health), but often also net you valuable items, which you can put to good use when crafting new, and more powerful weapons.
How easy is Portal Knights to pick up and play?
How easy you'll find it to get to grips with Portal Knights will likely depend on whether you've played a game like Minecraft before. If you're a seasoned Minecraft veteran, you'll be in very familiar territory here, as you go about mining, crafting, and battling enemies. However, if you're new to these types of games, Portal Knights can have a bit of a steep learning curve, as you have to figure out its many different facets for yourself. While the game does have a tutorial, it doesn't tell you how to mine or gather resources - both of which are essential to your progress. Luckily, once you've figured out the mining/crafting system, things very quickly get a lot easier.
Once you've found your footing, the main challenge here comes from the game's enemies. With foes rapidly getting much stronger, and much more powerful, even a small group of baddies can sometimes prove formidable foes - and if you die, you'll be plonked back at the very beginning of the level. The trick here is to dodge as much as you can (a move which can be performed at the touch of a single button), and to always be sure to upgrade your workbench as soon as you can, so you can craft new, more powerful weapons and armour to keep you safe on your adventure - you'll be amazed at the difference it makes.
For the youngest of players, a basic reading ability would go a long way here, as the game's tutorials (and mini-quests) are both delivered through text alone.
Sample sentences include:
- Repair the Broken Workbench by crafting its upgrade
- Place 5 Refined Wood Blocks to start rebuilding the old farm
- Affects your striking power. Each point in Strength increases the damage of your melee attacks
In terms of mature content, Portal Knights is pretty squeaky clean. While you'll engage in combat against gooey blobs, skeletons and ogres, using swords, arrows and spells, there's nothing in the way of realistic impacts or blood effects, with enemies simply disappearing when defeated. There's also nothing in the way of bad language or sexual content.
Parents may also be interested to note that, unlike in Minecraft, there are no animals to hunt in Portal Knights. While Minecraft sometimes requires you to kill the various creatures that roam its world for food, the only creatures you'll come across in Portal Knights are either enemies, or pets, neither of which can be killed for food (in the case of pets, they can't actually be killed at all), with no requirement to eat anything to stay alive.
Format Reviewed: PC