I don’t expect every RPG to be innovative. Being fun and entertaining is really the only bar you need to clear to make a good game. With so many tools and tutorials more accessible than ever, it’s great to see more games being made by a diverse group of creators. What I’m starting to see more of is smaller, easy-going, retro-style RPGs with simple stories and gameplay. They’re almost like cozy novels, except they’re RPGs. One very good example of this new trend is Knight Bewitched: Enhanced Edition.
The Role You Play
There is a party of four characters that make up your party throughout the majority of the game. They are led by Ruth, the Kingdom of Valonia’s Angel of Justice whose appearance and play style are very similar to that of a paladin. Alongside her, there is Uno, the dual knife-wielding thief/assassin with the checkered past. There’s also Stray, Ruth’s bow-wielding Squire. They are also later joined by the alchemist Gwendolyn who specializes in magic.
The plot centers around the return of a dragon named Typhus. He is threatening to destroy the world after Ruth defeats his child, Typhus the Younger.
The King of Halonia then sends her on another mission to oust a witch living in the underbog who is supposedly poisoning people. When the witch saves Ruth’s life and she, in turn, refuses to kill her, Ruth is accused of being bewitched and imprisoned for treason. With the help of Stray and Uno, Ruth defies the king and pursues her mission to prevent the return of Typhus and stop him from destroying the world.
For the most part, Knight Bewitched is a traditional turn-based RPG. There are dungeons to explore and a few puzzles to solve here and there. It plays it safe and doesn’t do a whole lot that hasn’t been done before, yet does it well. The combat is challenging and gets progressively more so as you get further through the game.
The plot is pretty straightforward and there are not a lot of deviations from your main quest. There are a few small side quests thrown in and even one optional super boss. It may be worth it to spend some time occasionally grinding and/or gathering supplies. As far as playing the main game goes, it takes about 9-10 hours to finish.
The music is very conventional for a fantasy RPG. There are a lot of traditional locations such as small towns, mountains and caves that all have suitable music to accompany them. They all seem to take inspiration from the classics that came before.
While the music takes a bit of inspiration from the classics, the sound effects go a bit too far. A lot of the sounds in the game are sourced from older games and not the kind you would expect. A lot of them sound mismatched and excessive to the point of being distracting. The most notable example is the sound that plays when a character levels up. It’s the same sound that it makes when you capture the hill in a King of the Hill match in Perfect Dark. It’s awkward and it sounds worse and worse the more you hear it, and you hear it a lot throughout the game.
The Talking Parts
There are plenty of unique characters in Knight Bewitched and the dialogue does a good job of building upon their different personalities. There are plenty of dialogue-heavy scenes scattered throughout the game. Each one helps to build up the characters’ personas as well as tell the story. That build-up is aided by character sprites that portray different facial expressions depending on the tone in which their lines are delivered. They are subtle but effective.
Z…We’ve Reached the End. Anything Else?
One thing that stood out to me about Knight Bewitched before I ever played it was that it was tagged LGBTQ+. It earns that tag because two of the female main characters develop a relationship throughout the game. What’s very impressive is that it does so without coming across as pandering or lewd. The relationship is kept very PG and builds up naturally throughout the game.
Knight Bewitched Enhanced edition is a simple game with a simple story. It invokes plenty of classic ideas and executes them well with a nice dash of LGBTQ representation thrown in. If you are a fan of the old-school RPGs, this is a good one to pick up and well worth the price of admission.
Final Score: 9/10