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Knight (PC)

Sometimes I want to play a game, but not be *that* engaged. In order to scratch that itch, I used to just grind my characters to max level in JRPGs growing up, and still do from time to time. These days, I actually find myself playing the occasional auto-battler. They can be a bit hit and miss in terms of hitting the right notes, but so far I’ve been enjoying Vivid Knight. It’s relaxing, requires a tiny bit of strategy since it’s combined with a roguelike, and has a few things to do during fights to keep me busy. On top of this, it has an alright cutesy anime style with bright color schemes (some might even say vivid!), and a chipper, upbeat soundtrack.

The premise is simple enough. An evil witch has transformed everyone in a kingdom into gems, and now its princess has to navigate the various levels of a dungeon to eventually defeat the witch and save her kingdom. She cannot fight on her own, though, and must find the gems of heroes scattered throughout the dungeon. With these, they can be freed from their glittering prison and fight for her. Usually they are found in treasure chests where players will find three different gems selected at random from whatever ones have been unlocked at the time. From here the player chooses one to join their party and the other two are discarded.

Heroes fulfill the standard roles popular in RPGs with tanks, healers, DPS, and support. Players start with only one slot available for heroes and have to collect gold to unlock additional party slots. Heroes are also divided into color schemes and have their own symbols that represent a trait. These combined with accessories, that also have these colors and symbols, are used to give the party various passive abilities. These can be either offensive or defensive. As such, thoughtful party composition becomes necessary. On top of this, heroes can be upgraded by collecting more of like gems in order to give them a boost and increase their stats.

During battles, the heroes fight on their own and for the most part they do alright. My only complaint is that my healers are slow to react to injured companions, which has lead to some unnecessary deaths. Then again, if some of these healers did their thing every time a hero was injured, they would be super overpowered because they can heal for quite a lot, especially when upgraded. While the heroes are doing their thing, players get to use abilities once per turn as well through gems that they get from an alchemist in the dungeons. These too are in the form of gems and are mostly used during combat, but there are a few that are for non-combat situations. Abilities range from attacks, to healing, to defense in combat, and for non-combat there are heals, mana recovery (a special kind of mana that I will discuss later), getting extra gold, and so forth.

Exploration of each level in the dungeon is where the roguelike element comes into play. The levels are laid out different on each play through. What makes things a little more interesting is the mana bar I just mentioned. It’s not used for casting spells, but rather is slowly depleted as it loses one point each time your party moves from room to room. It can lose a bunch more points if a room has a mana trap in it, as well as if you’re overburdened with too many hero gems. It can be replenished by certain ability gems as well as a few random events that players can come across while exploring. If the mana bar reaches zero, then active party members start taking damage while travelling from room to room.

On the whole, the game is pretty fun. It’s quite laid back thanks to the auto-battler element. However, since there is strategy to party composition, abilities players can use directly during battle, and the roguelike exploration that emphasizes balancing greed with finishing a level, there’s just enough to keep my brain busy. It’s been a fun distraction when I want to play something but not have to think too terribly hard. On top of this, I do quite like the aesthetic as it has a cutesy, carefree feel to it. The only thing I’m not sure of is whether it works on Linux. I still haven’t haven’t set that up anywhere. It’s native to Windows, obviously, but no idea if it works elsewhere. Hopefully it does, but given how niche this game is, I don’t expect much useful data on ProtonDB at least for a little while. I’m sure a few months from now someone may have posted there. It may even be me. Who knows! In any case, I’ve been having a good time with Vivid Knight and felt like writing about it. Thanks for reading! \(^_^)/



May 30, 2021

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