No matter your location in the world, you would have grown up with fairy tales. These fantasy settings have been adapted over the years, and are more PC than the Brothers Grimm original scripts, but the core concept is still the same, nonetheless. A hero, a damsel in distress, true evil and love, loss, sorrow and more. These are the foundations that make up each novel, but when a game takes these fantasy settings as its main influence, are the rules still the same? Sir Lovelot is a fairy tale-inspired platformer that puts a chauvinistic twist on a much-loved tale.
Developed by Pixel.lu and published by Sometimes You, this retro-looking old-school platform title focuses on Rapunzel’s story, with the hero’s one true love being stuck in a tower for all Eternity. The twist comes when our super stud ignores Rapunzel and rescues other princesses who are suffering from the same tower predicament. What a sexed-up chauvinistic pig of a man, eh?
For Sir Lovelot, Love is in the air.
Sir Lovelot is determined to get his damsel in distress. He travels the four corners of Lululand just to find “The One”. You must take on over 40 handcrafted levels across several environments. Each has a unique set of nasties for you to avoid or destroy. Unlike other platform titles like Mario, where jumping on their heads will kill them, in this, you must use a laser style weapon to eliminate your foes (not very in keeping, but let’s ignore that.)
The platform element is pretty straightforward and certainly isn’t of a Metroidvania level of difficulty. The challenge comes from trying to finish each level 100%. You can achieve this by; killing a set number of nasties, finding all the hidden geese, collecting the golden coins, and plucking the white flowers. These objects can be hidden behind a range of moving traps, such as; pendulum axes, circular saws, pits and more. Secret rooms also hide precious items, so each stage must be searched thoroughly if you wish to collect everything. However, the only thing you must gather to progress is the flower. After all, no lady is going to want to kiss you if you have no flower to woo her.
As nimble as a gymnast.
Sir Lovelot is the most nimble Knight I’ve ever seen. He can; double jump across gaps, leap over traps, and spring off walls like a world-class gymnast. The choice of actions by the developers wasn’t exactly original, but they worked well in the platform setting. The obstacles that you had to overcome require little consideration, as did the approach of slaying your foes. Even though the difficulty ramps up in the later levels, it’s never unachievable to get to that lady in the tower.
This ease of gameplay is helped by the spawning mechanic. Each time you die, and you will a lot, you simply load back in at the start of that section. It’s easy to learn from your mistakes. Yet, this isn’t a game that’ll be completed in minutes. However, its simplicity won’t challenge the hardcore members of the platforming family.
A retro world for an old-school tale.
Anything other than pixelated graphics, would look wrong when the developers reinterpreted the Rapunzel tale. The delightful simplified sprites look great against each of the colourful backdrops. The 2D side-scrolling approach was a great success and worked smoothly without issue. The hidden rooms are well disguised, which increases the challenge of finding all the collectables.
Maybe I’ve played too many indie games as the audio from each blend into an indistinguishable combination of synthesised music and suitable sound effects. The audio in Sir Lovelot isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either! It performs its job well, helps to set the scene and then sits in the background becoming mainly forgettable.
It’s not a challenge performing so many moves.
Our hero has a lot of moves up his sleeve, yet it’s no problem to complete them. A lack of tutorial doesn’t hinder your progress, and like the classic nature of the actions he must complete, the controller layout is also a familiar place to be. The complexity comes from the accuracy required to avoid traps or to overcome monsters. With a small amount of patience and some practise you’ll fly past any obstacles finding yourself in the arms of another woman.
Even though new elements and traps are drip-fed into the gameplay, the core concept is rather repetitive. Some monotony is eased with a change to the backdrop, but unfortunately, this doesn’t remove the deja vu feeling you get throughout. Luckily, the levels are short, and this mixed with a lower difficulty ensures you won’t be stuck on a stage indefinitely. A small achievement list can be unlocked through natural progression, mostly. With a small amount of grind needed to complete the list, this sadly supports the feeling of repetition.
Sir Lovelot doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
I have a soft spot for old-school platform games, and I love the fairy tale theme. The only issue I have with Sir Lovelot is the lack of originality in the gameplay. Nothing felt new or fresh! It was done to a good standard, but it didn’t capture my imagination. I loved the tongue-in-cheek take on romance and the art style, but I wish the audio stood out more. I recommend it because of its theme and the good standard set throughout, and you can buy a copy here! Sir Lovelot is an old romantic at heart, he searches every corner of the realm to find his true love. Will he be successful, or is he destined to be with the first girl he finds?