Reader Review: Knights in the Nightmare

Reader Review: Knights in the Nightmare
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Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Alistair does, as he survives the world’s first bullet hell role-playing game.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

This review was submitted by Alistair Christie. If you’ve played Knights of the Nightmare, or just want to ask Alistair more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Knights in the Nightmare (DS)

Knights in the Nightmare is a RTS/RPG hybrid (levelling, character classes, elemental affinities, tons of weapons, fight across an isometric map, etc) with shooter elements. Say what? You control only a ball of light called the wisp using the touch screen, the one ally unit who takes damage. The wisp drags weapons to ally units to activate them and attack enemies in range, all the while avoiding enemy bullet hell attacks.

So very different: It plays like no other SRPG. Your allies are the souls of knights who died in that particular area plus a party built up from prior maps. Each round of battle gives the wisp an amount of energy depleted by activating ally attacks and being hit by enemy bullets. Each unit will likely get only one weapon, only some classes can move and some only attack in 2 directions, making planning strategic. The battles themselves are arcadey; less tactical and more frantic.

Complexity: A 30 minute tutorial, plus frequent references to the tips, is necessary to avoid being overwhelmed. Despite that, the brilliant learning curve puts you in great stead. You need not master all the minutiae, but doing so feels incredibly rewarding.

Save system: End of battle only, not even a mid-battle quick-save.

Complexity: Some admittedly minor aspects of the game feel pointless, existing only to add to the complexity.

DS RPG fans are swamped, but one publisher will look after them: Atlus, who have supplied yet another game full of beautiful 2D art and complex gameplay. Invest the time; the reward will be well worth it.

Reviewed by Al Christie

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get.


  • I have to go out of my way to agree with you here on the comment about Atlus!

    From their excellent mailing list to the fact that new games are being shipped with the soundtrack on CD and wicked packaged merch. If only more publishers were the same..

  • The tutorial really put me off in this game. I’m pretty hardcore with my SRPG’s having completed all of Nippon Ichis PS2 games, the FF Tactics and Ogre Battles.

    This game really pissed me off though. I skipped the tutorial seeing if I could go in blind even though the game severly warnred me. It is probably my fault but I was told the tutorial took up to 2 hours :S.

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