Floppy Knights is a fun take on turn-based strategy, a genre that has been explored in recent times to many degrees of success. Some projects really nail that formula of building your team, laying out your plan, and plotting every move, before you touch a single piece on the board. They have incredible complexity in the search of deep gameplay, sometimes at the cost of a steep learning curve and long sessions of experimentation.
Floppy Knights achieves this kind of level in a very refreshing way, a fast-paced flow and mixing in the now very prevalent concept of card game deck construction, and manages to avoid that unnecessary log lead-in.
We start the game as the very energetic child prodigy Sophie, that despite being only 16 years old has ingenuity with no limits. She’s already a full-fledged engineer and among her most accomplished creations is a cybernetic arm, though it is not clear if replaces her real arm by choice or necessity. Not happy with just that, she’s also created a fully functional AI to be the soul of it, and our trusty companion in the adventure.
Sophie begins with two missions in mind, to prove that she can make it to the top, where her Idols in the robotics world hang, and to make enough money so she can get her own place to keep working. As such, she sets her aim on one of the most renowned competitions in mechatronics, and to win she needs to not only face other competitors but also outwit her long time rival to achieve victory.
That’s where the first encounters lie. The game is composed of the very classic strategy game grid map and a limited space where we can deploy units. But there’s a twist. Instead of a fixed number of units per encounter we have an allotted amount of points per turn and a card deck that is shuffled each time, giving us a number of cards that we can play in any order and on any unit we choose, as long as they comply with the conditions.
More important is that each encounter sets us up with a different set of conditions for victory, keeping the game fresh and constantly making us rethink our approach to each challenge. This includes getting us to figure out what deck we will use and with what cards, and which captain we will command to make the most of their unique abilities and that must survive at all cost.
Unlike many other strategy games in the genre, Floppy Knights respects our time, and I can appreciate that. The encounters are quick, it gives us a clear picture of our objectives, and it guides us how to try to make them possible. When we make a bad move we might immediately notice, but if we decide to try to power on and fail, it won’t be an hour long trek to get back to that point in the battle, but a few minutes to reiterate. The game gives us a lot of freedom to experiment.
I played Floppy Knights on Xbox, where it might be a perfect fit due to that quick turn over and thanks to Xcloud where we can continue the game on the go on our phone or tablet. It was really a perfect fit for a quick round at lunch or during a commute or some waiting time. It matches perfectly as the pace and flow of the game lends itself to be played in small bursts.
Floppy Knights is a very colorful game with big characters and cute animations for each action, it has a very happy vibe and a hopeful and optimistic outtake in everything it does. It definitely is a good introductory game for younger audiences, and for us older, more experienced players it’s a quick refresher on why the strategy genre is still here, evolving to stay relevant.
This review is based on an Xbox code sent to SideQuesting by the publisher Rose City Games.