A terrible dragon had just finished ravaging the northern lands chomping all the livestock in its path. However, through the cunning of the king, the monster has finally met its end. Or so we all thought. Now, it seems that old enemies have returned, and giant chomping skeletons will soon the least of the kingdom's concerns. It's the king they are after, though, and he's got towers full of unstable platforms to clomp down on the heads of anything that wants to munch him. But as he climbs, the complicated truth will soon be revealed. King's Ascent is a vertical-scrolling action-platform game by Aqualuft that'll have both kings and vagabonds playing their very best.
Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move, and jump using the up [arrow] or [spacebar], holding it to jump even higher. A beast is chasing you, and will kill you if it catches up. Some platforms will fall once you've stepped on them, but you can use this to your advantage: if they fall on the pursuing beast, they'll knock off a bit of his HP. Destroy the beast's life bar, and you'll move on to the next floor, until you reach the top of the tower for a boss fight. At this point, you'll be transported to another tower with another beast... and it seems like the monarch has made quite a few enemies in his time on the throne.
King's Ascent proves to be an enjoyable iteration of the vertical-climber formula, but with a smart deconstructive edge. It's as if the authors of the game started development by questioning aspects of the gameplay that hadn't really been explored narratively: Why is this character jumping up this tower? What is chasing him? What motives does this creature have for wanting to catch him? What exactly is the plan once they both reach the top? As a result, there's a surprisingly strong sense of plotting in King's Ascent. It goes hand in hand with the strategic puzzle elements included: players will need to plan their jumping in each level if they hope to survive, though restarting each section is a snap. Kudos also has to be given to the unique stained-glass-like graphics style, though one wishes it was also applied to some of the bosses. The CGI modelling is a little jarring to say the least. That said, King's Ascent offers a breath of fun and challenging action to its familiar game play, and its storytelling is sure to separate it from the climbing clones. And hey, the song that plays over the credits is pretty catchy too!