Our Conversation About Portal Knights: A Review Story

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  • “What are you playing? It sounds like a fantasy game.”

    “It’s called Portal Knights, do you wanna see?”

    “Oh, it’s another Early Access Minecraft clone.”

    “No! Not really. It looks way cooler than Minecraft.

    “Yeah, I guess you’re right. So are you just digging and building stuff?”

    “Yeah- Oh my God! This stupid thunder knight guy!”

    “Say ‘gosh’. And yeah, that guy’s lighting you up pretty bad.”

    “The fighting is pretty cool. You can lock-on, like this, and switch between enemies, and roll around. But sometimes it gets messed up, it’s pretty buggy. I leveled up!”

    “What did that get you?”

    “It adds to my stats and gives me new abilities automatically.”

    “You don’t get to choose where your points or abilities go? That doesn’t sound like much fun, why don’t you just play Minecraft or Terraria, or something.”

    “Well, this game’s kinda cool because instead of having one huge world to run around in, there’s a bunch of little, floating islands you jump between.

    “How do you do that?”

    “Using portals, duh.”

    “That’s pretty neat. So instead of having to hoof it from one biome to another you just teleport from one map to another?”

    “Yeah! Lemme show you. You open the map, and the little nodes tell you what enemies, resources and plants are in each world. So you don’t have to run around like crazy to try to find copper, you just pull out your map, and then go to the place that has copper.”

    “This music is great, by the way.”

    “It’s really good for exploring!”

    “What? But the map is so small, how can you possibly explore?”

    “See how there are a bunch of wrecked buildings everywhere?”

    “Mmm-hmm.”

    “Well, those are cool because it really makes it feel like the whole world got shattered and has been abandoned for ages, but also because sometimes you find intact towers and stuff, and there will be dungeons in their basements. You explore and find treasure and stuff.”

    “You should find one, I’d like to see.”

    “Okay, lemme finish fixing this portal.”

    “You’re constructing these portals and zooming from map to map pretty quickly, and every map looks like a forest, do they all look like that?”

    “Well… there are some desert islands, but only a few. The game does kinda all look the same. I had a desert one before you came over.”

    “Maybe they’ll add more map types before they launch.”

    “I hope so. Look, there’s a tower! I’m gonna go into it. I’ll fight all kinds of guys on my way to the bottom.”

    “You know, for how much the worlds all look the same, you have been fighting a ton of different monsters.

    “I know, right? The dungeons are the best part. You get to explore, see new monsters and stuff, it’s cool.”

    “Hey, the blocks on that wall are different and in the shape of a door, I bet there’s a secret passage behind there.”

    “I’ll break through and see- Nope, just dirt. But that’s okay, because I can never figure out what to build on these games. And Portal Knights has all kinds of wrecked buildings I can fix, and it has stuff like this to give me ideas in where I could expand to.

    “So they give you something already started, but you get to do a bunch of building on your own. That’s a really good idea.”

    “Look! A portal’s in the last room!

    “But wasn’t there one outside?”

    “Yeah, some worlds have multiple exits so you can go two ways on the map.”

    “Hm…”

    “I don’t have enough portal shards to fix it, I’ll have to fight more guys to get them to drop some more.”

    “What about the crafting? Didn’t you say you make stuff?”

    “Yep! I’ll show you, let me go to my home island.”

    “Another forest map, I see.”

    “Oh hush! Okay, here’s my house, it was broken, but I fixed it with wood and straw to make a thatched roof cottage.”

    “Watch out for Trogdor.”

    “What?”

    “Nothing. You should build something.”

    “Okay. I can refine all this cotton I’ve been picking up, and then craft that and some copper bars I made in my furnace into new armor. It’s the kind I already have though. To get a new recipes I need to find a bunch of iron to upgrade my work bench.”

    “You’ve been playing this all day, how haven’t you found any iron yet?”

    “I dunno. But I’m just gonna keep going through portals until I find an island that the map says has iron on it.”

    “That sounds really tedious. Wouldn’t you rather just have one big map, where you could just dig down really far and find the better materials? In the 20 minutes I’ve spent watching you, you’ve gone through like three portals and don’t have anything new to show for it.”

    “Yeah, but I keep getting to go through new portals! I run around new islands, and fight guys, and build more portals, and go into dungeons, and can fix castles if I want!”

    “…I don’t want to sound like Tom Hanks, but what’s fun about that?

    “Who?”

    “Nevermind.”

    “I’m going back to the island I just got, I need to find some iron.”

    “Alright, honey, you keep looking. Let’s check it out again when they add more content in a few months, okay?”

    “Kay!”

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