Sometimes the first five minutes of a game are the best. That’s the case with TinyLegends – Crazy Knight, which gets off to a cute start but quickly sinks into boring repetition.
You play Vallen, a crazy-looking knight with a fondness for axes. In a brief nod to a storyline, the distant kingdom of Kromdor is being afflicted with the Evernight. As darkness descends upon the land, monsters emerge from a long sleep, rested and ready to party. Vallen’s job is to defend the kingdom by slaying the monsters.
A simple kingdom map shows where the monsters are. At any given moment, you’ll see two or three groups of monsters, randomly generated and set at a difficulty level close to your character’s current level. Pick a group of monsters to fight them.
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When the battle begins, your character is dropped into a circular arena with walls that look like a forest, a castle, or a few other backgrounds. There’s no terrain or special features within any of the arenas, so the differences in setting are completely cosmetic. You also receive one of three potential goals: kill all the monsters, survive for a set time against continually respawning monsters, or kill all the monsters within a set time.
Monsters spawn in the arena, and you run around smashing them with an axe, a hammer, or a sword. There’s no treasure to collect, but power-ups such as extra life, speed, or armor show up from time to time.
As you fight, your character earns experience and may level up. At the end of the fight, your character earns gold. Then you buy new weapons (if you can afford them) and pick a new group to battle. You do this over and over again, repeating the same basic fight with slightly different faces.
You face wolves, zombies, minotaurs, vampire bats, killer bunny rabbits, and other fearsome enemies, but the different monsters represent only slight variations in hit points and speed. Since even the early levels can spawn more than a hundred monsters, you’re likely to get tired of the limited selection of foes.
Since the monsters have no tactics or special abilities, your best strategy is to put your back against a wall and mash the attack button. This is very effective, and also very dull.
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That’s the whole game, livened up only slightly by the appearance of boss golems every five levels or so. As you level up, you unlock new weapons and even a couple of alternative warriors to play. None of these change the game much, but you need to upgrade weapons regularly to keep up with the increasing strength of the monsters.
The game pushes hard for in-app purchases by making most weapons expensive and limiting the best weapons to buyers of premium currency. The best way to grind for currency is to pick the timed Survival battles and rack up combos of several hundred hits in a row. 600 hit combos are a little silly, but they earn lots of gold.
There’s nothing broken about TinyLegends – Crazy Knight. The game runs smoothly and looks good, given the limitations of its art style. But with so little variation, and no strategy other than ‘put your back to the wall,’ it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to keep grinding through the same battles over and over again.