$14.99 is a lot of money to ask for. With that kind of cash, you could buy fifteen copies of Angry Birds – or an infinite number of copies of Jetpack Joyride or Temple Run. When a company charges that much money for a game, there are certain expectations that go along with it.
So, when Nintendo asks for nearly fifteen bucks for a game that ends in a couple of hours, I have to wonder – what are they thinking?
HarmoKnight isn’t a bad game – in fact, it’s downright fun for the brief time you’ll spend with it. Game Freak, the team behind the Pokémon games, has created a rather unique take on the “endless runner” genre, one in which music forms the backbone of the entire experience.
Luckily, the whole game is really charming – I mean, Game Freak is behind this, that should go without mention. As Tempo makes his way to the end of the game, he’ll travel across a world map, reminiscent of 16-bit platformers. Boss fights are nerve-wracking – in the best way – and you’ll hold your breath while you try to finish the level with only one heart left. All of the characters are beautifully animated, and the music all sounds like a combination of video game soundtracks and Christmas-time. While the music is fine, it all starts to bleed together after a while – each world has a different theme, but the chimes, bells, and synthesizers all sound similar from level to level, and each song has the same bouncy, saccharine feel.
Along the way, Tempo will meet a few new friends, each giving the player several different ways to defeat the Noizoids. It sounds like it’s a great idea, but you’ll only be able to switch to a different character at specific points in certain levels. It’s a nice change up, but it would have been better if you could choose characters at any point in the game.
HarmoKnight has the Nintendo polish, but you’re spending $14.99 for what is essentially a glorified mobile game. The lack of depth normally found in Nintendo games, and the brevity of the whole experience makes this one a hard sell. At $4.99 this would be almost a no-brainer, but I cannot recommend this as a must-buy at such a high price. Look at it this way: Bit Trip Runner 2 costs the same amount of money, offers a similar experience, and gives you more than twice as much content, with many more playable characters, moves, and levels. Go get that game instead.