When three great beasts plague the land, legends speak of a hero. A really, really tiny hero. It's Chibi Knight, an action/adventure with RPG elements from BoMToons. Hold on to your socks, because the sheer amount of sweetness in this game is going to blast them right off otherwise. Not convinced? How about if we tell you the author had his own five-year-old daughter voice all the lines? Yeah, that's right. Chibi Knight: Coming soon to a Saturday morning cartoon lineup near you.
Chibi Knight plays like one-half Zelda mixed with one-half side-scrolling slasher. You travel around the land slaying things I imagine are probably called Fuzzy Wumbles or Shmoopa Doops and fight big, friendly looking boss monsters in PG battles. You move with the [arrow] keys, select options or use your sword with the [A] key, tap [S] to cast spells, and hit [P] to pause the game. Slain enemies drop healing items and grant experience points, which can be used to purchase upgrades. Keep an eye on your red health meter; if it gets fully depleted, you'll be sent back to the starting point on the world map unless you've reached one of the few other checkpoints.
Analysis: All right, so its adorable enough to rot your teeth, which is fine, but is it fun to play? The answer, fortunately, is yes. Mostly. The game is bright, colourful, and bouncy fun. The only real combat tactic to master is mashing the [A] key, which isn't much of a challenge, but it doesn't seem like it's trying to be one, either. This is a cheerful experience designed to be picked up by pretty much anyone, with just enough secrets to find and big creatures to see to occupy a nice chunk of your time.
The problem is that at the sugary sweet heart of the game lies a big lump of grinding, and since the story is barely there, the game has to rely on its combat and adventuring to keep it afloat. The controls aren't quite responsive or fluid enough to make room for really quick maneuvering, so you'll wind up getting killed quite a bit. If you don't want to die and have to trek all the way back to wherever you were from the starting point, you're going to have to get out there and stomp on baddies until you've gained enough levels that a stiff wind isn't going to kill you. You gain levels fairly quickly, but it's still a bit of a chore.
Chibi Knight is fast, cute fun that will probably be too simple for some gamers, but juuuuuuust right for others looking for a more casual experience. It probably won't take most players much more than an hour to beat, and I was disappointed when it ended. Tugging on my admittedly tender heartstrings isn't a difficult feat, but Chibi Knight does so with effusive glee and charm. If you've got kids, put a little Chibi Knight in their day, too.