If I told you I’d been playing something called I Am A Brave Knight, what kind of game would spring to mind? An old-school platformer like Lethal Lance? An endless runner? Some sort of physics-based thingy with three stars up for grabs in every level? An Infinity Blade-style swipe-a-thon?
The answer is actually E: none of the above. To be fair, it was a bit of a misleading question, as I Am A Brave Knight isn’t really a game at all. Full story below.
At this point you’re inevitably wondering: ‘If I Am A Brave Knight isn’t a game, what the heck is it?’ I’m glad you asked, Jeeves.
According to the press release, the “developers purpose was to stir emotions and ultimately change one's perspective about life and death while emancipating themselves from the usual codes of video game.”
The result is a sort-of-interactive story set across a number of fixed-screen scenes. As the… user, you’re tasked with drawing letters with your finger as prompted and ultimately spelling out words. Each word (one per scene) corresponds to a little bit of narrative along the top.
For example, in the job interview scene, spelling out ‘FOREMOST’ yields the caption “I am the best man for the job.”
We’re taken from birth to death via teenage tantrums, love, marriage, parenthood, sickness and loss. All very cheery stuff! Thoughts after the screenshot.
Ok, things to like first of all. I Am A Brave Knight is oddly emotive, especially for something that lasts all of 10 minutes.
Stranger still, we’re dealing with featureless rectangles as opposed to, y’know, actual humans, but the whole thing is moving nonetheless. I quite like the minimal style, incidentally. It definitely works a treat.
The music is worth a mention, too. It complements the contemplative tone nicely.
Things not to like. Well, to describe I Am A Brave Knight as an “interactive” story is probably a bit of a stretch. It really is just a case of drawing letters as prompted, and it’s not possible to do anything “wrong” as such; there’s no challenge.
Worse still, there are occasions when the game doesn’t like the way you’ve drawn a letter even though it’s clearly – as far as human eyes go – completely acceptable, and likewise times when a squiggly line inexplicably passes as a letter. Weird.
The whole thing is remarkably short, too, but to be fair, the app description does mention the 10-minute running time, and furthermore it’s described as a “short” interactive story.
On the whole, yeah, I quite liked I Am A Brave Knight. It’s certainly different, and it does what it sets out to do: leaves you thinking about the nature of life and death, and questioning if there’s actually any point. To anything. Sigh.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to lie in the foetal position and have a cry.
- Oddly moving
- The wee rectangular characters
- The music
- Draw letter, draw letter, draw letter
- Oops, letter isn’t recognised
- Very short
Summary: I Am A Brave Knight is short and bittersweet, a bit like a lemon-flavoured chocolate bar. And heck, it costs about the same, so quit your whining.
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.