Knight of the Earthends is the latest RPG from Kemco, which churns out decent-quality Android and iOS RPG games at a fearsome pace. This one falls in the middle of Kemco’s quality lineup; it’s more diverting than DarkGate, but nowhere near as good as Symphony of Eternity. Still, for classic RPG fans, it’s worth a look.
Kemco’s secret looks to be that it’s building a lot of these games on the same engine. So, like in other Kemco games, your party is made up of 16-bit sprites who wander through a relatively open overworld and a series of towns and dungeons. The game is relatively linear, using cut-scenes to push you from each town-dungeon combo to the next. Each new town has better equipment to buy, of course, and dungeons are very easily mastered because of an extremely revealing mini-map mode. There are no in-app purchases, which I absolutely love.
Moving around maps is very easy thanks to a tap-to-move system which does away with virtual D-pads. In battles, you can go purely turn-based or auto-fight; if you choose auto-fight you won’t get to use spells or special attacks, though.
Spend a Few Hours With Friends
The company’s specialties, story and character, buoy you along through the relatively short 10-hour main plot. (After you complete the plot, some bonus dunegons appear to hack your way through.) Knight of the Earthends is easier than some other RPGs I’ve played recently; I didn’t find any hitches or need to grind levels as long as I played my battles smartly.
The characters in this case are Reiya, a very businesslike knight; Raud, a cranky android, and Yuinika, a kind of elflike creature with a horn. Yuinika is both literally and figuratively horny, and keeps hitting on Reiya; the banter never gets R-rated, but it’s probably PG-13. The three start out defeating demons, and end up embroiled in global politics. Naturally, along the way they become friends.
The English-language translation is clunky at times. It never quite reaches “all your base are belong to us” levels, but you’re very conscious that you’re playing a translated game. Still, though, the characters have strong personalities.
The actual adventure also suffers a little bit from being too predictably structured: it’s never a JRPG spoiler to tell you that our heroes are going to have to defeat two essentially concentric sets of four main dungeons each before killing the big boss and saving the world. That said, Kemco has offered more complex plots such as in Aeon Avenger, and I hope they do so again.
A Classy System
Knight of the Earthends’ creativity comes in its level and class system. Each of the characters is essentially a different, fixed class. Reiya buys “skill books” which give her individual skills that can then be combined into custom, special combo attacks. Raud levels up by buying him parts and upgrades, which have various attacks and powers attached to them.
Yuinika’s skill is the most brilliant. The horn-girl levels up in “styles” acquired by killing batches of various kinds of monsters; Demon, Golem, Beast, Slime, and Mimic are five of the 14 styles Yuinika can pick up, and each style has different stats, spells and attacks.
The styles approach makes you want to “collect them all,” hunting down different categories of monsters so you can find out what that mysterious level six spell is for each style. Since wandering monsters are invisible here until they attack you, that takes luck and patience. Not too much patience, though; as I said, this is a relatively short game.
Knight of the Earthends costs anywhere between $1 and $8 depending on what kind of a sale Kemco is running at the time. If you’ve already played through the deeper and better Symphony of Eternity and Final Fantasy III and you enjoy some frisky inter-character banter, this can be your next stop on the Google Play market.
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Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc