Rain knocks on the coffin lid; a cart jumps on bumps of a country road, gloomy charioteer spurs horses in order to make it by dark — before ghouls go hunting — and glances at an edge of a forest with displeasure hearing a wolves’ howl. Just an average wooden coffin as the other three before stays in a cold crypt. A grey-haired man in a mantle gives the charioteer a bag of coins. He in his turn hides it in the bosom grumbling and showing something similar to a gesture against the evil eye. Then he returns to his cart and leaves this place in a hurry. The necromancer smiles and stretches his hands over a coffin.
I have to say that it’s the first time I’ve been satisfied with a game from the very first stare. Nowadays more and more weak and raw projects appear in the early access. They often are so pathetic that people can hardly call them “games” — well, let’s hope that this destiny will pass by
Knock on the Coffin Lid. Obviously there are many reasons for this belief. It’s a game by an independent studio with an interesting idea and visual design made by indie-developers. Even this single fact intrigues doesn’t it? But how will you react when I tell you that this is a mixture of CCG and RPG with a raid of Dark Souls that sometimes reminds of Darkest Dungeon? Moreover — every composite chapter of the common game mechanics works with no complaints. Yes, I’m talking about the game Knock on the Coffin Lid by RedBoon company.
From the very beginning this game lets us understand that there won’t be any gingerbread houses or rainbows at all. A cruel world devastated by the bloody war will meet us. Actually the first event we see is the death of our hero and his coffin. When did you last choose in a game your protagonist right from a wooden macintosh? A protagonist who had recently been in a grave? Of course it’s harsh but funny, imho. We are able to choose from three characters: a knight Percival, a girl-elf Vanadis (we learn about it in the course of the plot), and I suspect perhaps a dwarf-berserk or a werewolf Bjorn with the most charismatic coffin. According to its appearance Bjorn was placed in it with the help of spears and pitchforks.
In the early version only the access to a knight Percival was available. Special gratitude to developers for allowing us to watch the game at an early stage.So, our knight, having woken up inside the coffin and surprised by what was happening. He meets a suspicious man who looks like a tricky necromancer and is responsible for our resurrection. Word for word, and the knight after sending the black magician out, decides to return home. While swearing, he finds out his boots were stolen. When he leaves he hears the last words of the necromancer about their fast meeting because the knight will appear in this coffin again after his death.
By the way, this is one of the main mechanics of the game. There are many paths to goals on a big map. Endless crossroads and elections as well as battles lead us to our aim. We’ll collect new equipment during the mission, we’ll dress our character and surely gather a collection of cards — they help all the fights in this game to occur. I should notice that developers succeeded in making nonlinearity and replayability. In addition, elections have a significant meaning and can lead to surprising consequences in the most unexpected moment — after 5 minutes of your game or an hour later.
There are three things in the fight that require being followed attentively. First of all this is your HP. As soon as it reaches the zero point you will die, lose your loots and go back to the coffin whereas all the enemies on the cleaned locations will resurrect and prepare something new to you. Moreover, new monsters will appear in those places. You also need to watch the block indicator (it is depicted as a blue shield). This block has a function of an armor so that firstly all attacks of your opponents consume your armor and after — your HP. Be especially attentive to this indicator — HP in this game is like gold. You also need to remember about mana. Every card contains information about the quantity of mana necessary to play.
Besides this game has buffs and debuffs. There are two ways of receiving them: by collecting and applying special cards or by the blessings and curses used by the enemies. I have also recently mentioned that each choice matters. Once I refused to help the captured dwarf during the game but helped the elves-pathfinders to torture him. The dwarf cursed me. As a result a special card appeared in my deck. It robs one unit of mana every time it emerges on the field. This infection always kneads in your deck. More pain and more suffering to the God of sufferings! You will also meet trading shops and tasks during your game. There you’ll be able to purchase armors and weapons for your character as well as potions of armor and mana.
Actually despite seeming difficulty of mechanics and wild conditions in the form of irreparable HP, the game is quite simple in mastering. It will be easy to get involved in it but difficult to become a master. In other words, “easy to learn — difficult to master”. Even defeat is being perceived positively. The game has high replayability and variability. Texts and dialogues are written in a good literature language and the world itself causes interest and desire to get to know it better. This is not a classic vanilla fantasy. Severe gloomy elves with tattoos, stocky greedy and bleak dwarfs, greedy murderers and looters, wild animals and twilight creatures and the war with total devastation everywhere around.
Despite being raw (that is rather typical to the early access) the game looks very promising. There were no bugs or crashes during the time I used it. This can be an example to famous companies launching something buggy and unplayable into the release. If developers continue working with the same enthusiasm a worthy game can appear on the market. It will be able to fascinate you in its interesting world and thrilling gameplay for many hours. Many people will find a bonus in finding this game in the digital commerce Steam. We’ll go on following this game and sharing new impressions and information with you.