The Bottom Line: This short action-adventure offers a delectable taste of what happens when you mix Kirby and Katamari.
Some folks love a good buffet, while others live in mortal fear of soggy wontons and Kung Pao chicken that has sat for hours under a heat lamp. What nine out of ten buffet-goers can agree on, however, is that Buffet Knight is like a delicious snack that’s gone before you can get seconds.
Imagine if Kirby were bitten by a radioactive Katamari. With his newfound super powers, he would become our titular hero, Buffet Knight. Not only does Buffet Knight suck up everything in sight just like Kirby, but he also grows larger and stronger with each object he eats. It’s a potent combination that delivers the best of two worlds – the kinetic, vacuum-powered gameplay of Kirby merged with the Katamari series’ fixation on growing ever more massive.
Forests, Dungeons, and Chickens
The story is one as old as your grandma’s secret casserole recipe. The despicable Demon Chef has run off with all the ingredients from Gourmet Town and it’s up to Buffet Knight to get them back. As the player, you explore villages, forests, mountains, and more while sucking up various objects and spitting them at enemies. Eating a certain number of objects allows you to level up and increase your health, while defeating bosses boosts your vacuum power and lets you devour larger objects.
The gameplay is simple but satisfying enough for a game of this length. If I had to pick a flaw, it would be that the controls are a bit floaty. Honestly, though, this floatiness didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Why is that? Well, first of all it’s because Buffet Knight is not a difficult game – no “git gud” gatekeeping here. But more importantly, it’s because this game’s focus isn’t really on the gameplay.
Dine and Dash
Instead, Buffet Knight is content to introduce an amusing concept, tell a cute story, and crack a few jokes. At these tasks it performs admirably, by presenting a cheerful cast of characters and offering fun ways of interacting with them. You can even harass the chickens, just like you and your friends always did when you played A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time. There are also two different endings; which one you receive depends on whether you fulfill Buffet Knight’s heroic destiny or let him succumb to selfish desires.
It’s worth mentioning that this buffet lasts only a very short time. Even if you take your time and hunt for Easter eggs, you’ll probably reach both endings within 30 minutes. On one hand, it’s a shame the game is so short, because I was having fun right up until the end. I even wandered through every area one last time, looking for secrets, before calling it a wrap. On the other hand, the gameplay mechanics are not very deep and I’m not sure they could support a longer game. That’s something the developer would need to consider if they ever wish to make a sequel.
So come for the concept. Enjoy the cute graphics and lively NES-style soundtrack. And have fun with the simple gameplay. Buffet Knight may not be a deeply fulfilling smorgasbord, but it is a very satisfying snack.