Gryphon Knight Epic
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 7

With only eight levels it doesn’t take very long to complete Gryphon Knight Epic, but the game is certainly enjoyable while it lasts. It doesn’t have the speed or overwhelming odds of a bullet hell shooter, but the slower pace still provides a challenge. Add to that the beautiful pixel art visuals and you have a game that all retro fans will enjoy.

Gameplay: The pace is a bit slower than modern side scrolling shooters, but still challenging and enjoyable.

Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals with detailed backgrounds and tons of enemy variety.

Sound: Not bad, but not exactly memorable either

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Gryphon Knight Epic

Developer: Cyber Rhino Studios | Publisher: Cyber Rhino Studios | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Indie / Shoot ‘Em Up | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Gryphon Knight epic begins where most other games end. The brave knight, Sir Oliver, vanquished the evil dragon with the aid of his valiant companions, saved the kingdom, divided the spoils and married the princess. Unfortunately, Sir Oliver finds his happily ever after interrupted when his former friends go rogue and he must once again leap into action to stop them from wreaking havoc. Along with his loyal mount, a gryphon named Aquila, Sir Oliver must battle through eight hand crafted levels while taking down the armies of his former friends and restoring peace to the world once again.

With its beautiful 2D pixel art visuals and old school side scrolling shooter gameplay, Gryphon Knight Epic could easily be mistaken for a forgotten CPS arcade game from the early nineties. However, start playing the game and it is clear that the game packs a little more depth than those arcade shooters did. While most of your time in the game is spent flying from left to right atop your mount while shooting enemies the game also gives you the ability to reverse direction at any time. Sometimes this is necessary to hit switches or open gates, but mostly it can be done to go back for something you missed. At certain junctions you are also presented with a choice of paths to take and some of these scroll vertically instead of horizontally. While the game is fairly linear, the ability to change direction and choose different paths does add a little exploration element and means you can search for secret areas.

The game definitely draws some inspiration in the way that you can choose the order in which to tackle the bosses and then gain their weapons after defeating them. Sir Oliver’s default weapon is a magical crossbow that can be charged up for more powerful shots, but the weapons you collect from the bosses are a bit more interesting. However, they function as special abilities and take time to recharge, so you will mostly be relying on your crossbow. To help him out Sir Oliver can also purchase squires to travel with him. These tiny critters circle around your character and bestow abilities such as restoring his health, creating a shield or shooting fireballs. In addition to purchasing squires between levels, Sir Oliver can also use his hard earned cash on upgrading his weapons or buying potions. The amount of cash you earn depends on the difficulty setting you choose before each level, with lower settings resulting in less spoils. Since the prices skyrocket very quickly, it means there is a bit of grinding involved if you really want to purchase everything on offer.

Gryphon Knight Epic is a good looking game and players who grew up with its visual style will really appreciate the attention to detail. Each level is themed around a certain area with backgrounds and enemies to match. The enemy designs are very cool and there is plenty of variety, so each new level feels fresh. You’ll also face off against some giant mid-level bosses before taking on the small end-level ones. The audio is isn’t too bad either with some nice tunes and plenty of sound effects. The game is definitely best played with a gamepad as you have dedicated buttons for shooting, using the special weapons, changing direction and using potions. The only issue we encountered is the fact that the screen auto scrolls rather slowly, which makes it tricky to deal with enemies that are behind Sir Oliver. Your character sprite is also rather large, which might make you think it is very hard to dodge projectiles, but in reality the hit-box is restricted to only Sir Oliver and not his Gryphon mount, which makes things a bit fairer.

Although Gryphon Knight Epic doesn’t do anything exceptional or groundbreaking, it is a very enjoyable shooter with a nice medieval/fantasy theme. It doesn’t really have any gimmicks to truly set it apart from the pack, but remains entertaining right to the end. The game can be rather challenging at times and as we mentioned earlier, there is a bit of a grind involved to purchase everything, but overall it is a nice throwback to the early days of the genre.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 1.2ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 800×600 minimum resolution and 128MB of vram
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
  • OS: OS 10.4
  • Processor: 1.2ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 800×600 minimum resolution and 128MB of vram
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (or distribution with equivalent Kernel)
  • Processor: 1.2ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 800×600 minimum resolution and 128MB of vram
  • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space

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