We've all heard the story before. An alien spaceship arrives from deep space, its aggressive inhabitants hell-bent on eradicating the local populace in order to make the planet suitable for colonization. Except this time, the spaceship contains a lone human in blue, a sworn knight of the human alliance sent to clear Planet ERA-138 so humans can live there. So what are you waiting for? Can you purge the planet of its perilous, pernicious pixilated inhabitants? In Alistair Maunder's Blue Knight, you'll get your chance.
Blue Knight is a power-up and exploration-platform-shooter that best falls under the category of "Metroidvania". Like Metroid, Blue Knight starts you off woefully lacking in any weapons or boosts (strange that your superiors would expect you to purge a planet empty-handed) but has you kicking butt and taking names in no time after a bit of exploration. Your knight moves and jumps with the standard [WASD] or [arrow keys], while you can aim and fire at bad guys with the mouse. You get to traverse a fairly large world, visible in its discovered entirety by holding the [M] key. Thankfully, there are numerous respawn points throughout the world, so even if you die, you're never too far from your last spot.
The point of the game is to destroy the world's four gate keepers before facing off against the final boss. Along the way, you will need to zap many bad guys to collect their precious black diamonds. Certain areas of the world only open up if you have enough of these diamonds, which means a fair bit of backtracking to dispatch the limited number of aliens in order to advance. Bad guys are very Metroidesque, consisting mostly of relatively harmless aliens that jump and walk around in patterns, and a few pesky homing birds. Some of the tougher bad guys shoot at you from turret-like structures that protect the four pyramid gate keepers. The Blue Knight is quite agile and powerful once he finds his weapon and accessories though, so dispatching these bad guys is never much of a problem.
With its satisfying shooter qualities, pickups, and elements of exploration, Blue Knight is a nostalgic romp that classic Metroid fans should enjoy. From its graphics (a green and grey-hued landscape filled with a pink-lined grey walls and tunnels) to its sound (wind-blown background ambience mixed with NES-style sound effects), Blue Knight has definite personality and old-school charm. While there's no way to save the game and the ending feels a little anti-climactic, overall Blue Knight is still a nice way to pass half an hour while fondly recalling memories of an earlier videogame era.