is a new game created by Three Rings, and distributed by Sega. It is an online multiplayer game, running on Java, and using a free-to-play payment method.
The game starts with a simple tutorial level, before introducing you to the main town of Haven. From here you are free to explore the game world, known as the Clockworks, with up to three other players.
The Arcade - your access to the world of the Clockworks
Controls are simple - use mouse or keyboard for direction, and mouse buttons or keyboard letters to attack/interact, block or strafe. The controls are easy to learn, but can also be remapped, and the game also supports joystick/gamepads.
A typical Gate Map, showing different tiers
The levels are arranged into tiers of difficulty which mean that the deeper into the Clockworks you travel, the harder the enemies become, and the more vital it is that you use higher level equipment. Equipment can be either bought from vendors, or crafted using recipes and materials gathered on previous battles in the Clockworks.
The levels you can access via the various gates are constantly shifting, meaning you can never be exactly sure what you will come across next, and levels are less repetitive. Some levels are pre-built, but many other levels are randomly generated. Levels are themed into one of several different elements, which controls both the appearance and the types of enemies it contains.
A fire themed Arena level (after this Igot a little caught up and forgot I was playing to take screenshots!
The game provides PVP in the form of Super Brawl - Arena style challenges. Winners can receive special costume pieces which expire after a certain period, so you must keep fighting to keep them!
The game is Free to Play, where players are each granted 100 free 'Mist Energy' per day. This energy is used to either craft items, or access the different levels in the Clockworks. A special type of energy known as 'Crystal Energy' can be purchased (yes with real life money, after all the game has to earn it somehow) to allow a player to play more levels, craft more items, or access special upgrades that can't be bought with Mist Energy, such as trinket slots or extra weapon slots.
Presentation & Sound - 10/10
The game art was created by MacHall/ThreePanelSoul artist Ian McConville
who brings a unique style to the game. Some might consider it a little 'cute' for their tastes, but you might soon change your mind when you reach the Graveyard levels (where the strategy is usually 'run!'). There are a range of fantastic characters, from downtrodden devils who get berated by their boss and throw office chairs, to pink ghostly 'spookats' who like to rush you from behind. The background scenery of the Clockworks is constantly changing, and you may find yourself taking a break from the action (when you can) just to admire the scenery.
My character and current armor/weapons
This is one of the only games I've ever played where I haven't felt an urge (not even a tiny one) to turn off the music. I haven't even turned it down. Considering that I have been beta testing this game for quite a while, and usually mute game music after the first hour or so, that is pretty impressive. The game sounds and music in this game are sympathetic to the player, and rarely annoying. Enemy sounds aren't random, and usually give a clue about their next attack.
Spiral Knights is a simple, refreshing change from the over-complex and depressingly apocalyptic game fare usually served up these days. Many will be reminded of Zelda Four Swords and other classic multiplayer games, and it's not a bad comparison. As a free-to-play game, this is definitely worth a try for those who enjoy lighter-hearted games or even hard core gamers who want a break from their usual game style.
This game deserves a 9.5/10