Parents need to know that "Portal Knights" is a 3-D sandbox role playing game (RPG) adventure. Players travel to a variety of different biomes to gather resources to customize their own worlds, planting gardens, building houses, digging mines, and so on. Players also fight against strange creatures using magical and medieval weapons, but there's no blood, and the cartoonish nature of the visuals limits the impact of the violence. The game is easily accessible for young kids and provides a good outlet for them to use their imaginations. Up to four players can team up through local or online co-op within their friends list to help with building, crafting, and fighting. This can teach teamwork and communication but also opens up players to possibly offensive content.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In "Portal Knights," players are on a quest to become the ultimate Portal Knight. The world has been torn into pieces, and it's up to the Portal Knights to rebuild it from scratch. Players have to venture out to recover magical shards, which can rebuild ancient gateways connecting the fractured world. Travel between randomly generated 3-D sandbox worlds, each with unique environments, creatures, and resources for crafting. No two worlds are the same, and houses, caves, buildings, and dungeons are filled with all sorts of surprises. Along the way, the heroes will collect various resources, which they can then use to build a home filled with the treasures from their journeys. And since any adventurer worth his salt knows that it's dangerous to go alone, players can call on up to three friends to join their game and team up to fight the forces of evil and create a brand new world, brick by brick.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
This adventure is best described as an adorable combination of "Minecraft," bright, cute, colorful characters from Nintendo games and a generous dash of RPG elements. Combat is a little simplistic, making it easy enough for younger players to feel a sense of accomplishment. With the launch of "Portal Knights" to consoles, fun features have been added to keep players of all ages engaged. Pets and more than 100 non-player characters (NPC) offering helpful tips and quests have been added, in addition to dynamic timed events. These events ramp up the difficulty level of the world they take place in, rewarding players with a trophy to take back to your home base after completing some of the challenges.
Creative types will be thrilled with the changes made to "Portal Knights." The ability to plant farms, craft more than 100 items, and build using dozens of materials hasn't changed. Instead, things have been refined with even more crafting options, and long anticipated water tiles have been included to create castle moats, waterfalls, and ponds. In fact, if you were content building complex structures out of only dirt, wood, and stone blocks, you could spend your entire time on the first level and still level up simply from building and crafting. But to get better materials to craft with, you must restore the portals and venture out either alone or with friends to a variety of biomes. Each zone is its own biome, with unique environments, creatures, and resources for crafting. Relaxing music, gorgeous scenery, and endless possibilities for crafting your dream castle, or any other structure you can imagine, combine to make "Portal Knights" the perfect recipe for fun.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 10 and older
Quality: 5 out of 5
Educational value: 3 out of 5
Positive messages: 4 out of 5
Positive role models: 2 out of 5
Ease of play: 5 out of 5
Violence: 2 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5
Consumerism: 0 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Developer: 505 Games
Release date: May 23, 2017
ESRB rating: E10+ for fantasy violence
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