The hermit's son has been kidnapped by demons! Are you a good enough king to rescue him? And, while you're at it, could you do something about that advancing violet wall of doom? And, also, could you tell the peasants to knock it off with all the portentous statements concerning the upcoming apocalypse? It seems that a monarch's work is never done. Though, in fairness, by the end of KingStory, the new adventure platformer from KintoGames, you'll have a pretty sweet crown on your head. That makes it all worthwhile.
Moving with the [arrow] keys and jumping with the [spacebar], you traverse a fantasy world beset by an evil both vague and purple. Interact with other creatures by pressing [up]. Once you have a weapon, you can then attack demons by smashing into them: the faster you go, the more damage you'll do. Items unlock new abilities and let you reach new areas. Some aspects of KingStory require careful timing and observation, while others require nothing more than running like heck. You'll have to have fast reflexes to know which is which.
While KingStory's has gorgeous pixel graphics (especially the ghoulishly creepy enemies), a delightfully eerie soundtrack, and solid gameplay, it has a tone that can only be described as schizophrenic. A fellow reviewer remarked that it was the kind of game that couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a platformer, an action-RPG or Canabalt. That's a pretty accurate assessment. Also, it is deceptively short: once it seems you are finally about to set off on your grand adventure, the game abruptly ends. It's especially odd since so much of the text has that "cryptic foreshadowing that will make probable sense by the end of the game" edge to it, except, since the end comes so early, all you're left with is the cryptic stuff. Hopefully the implied sequel is soon in coming. Despite the above reservations, there's still a lot to like about KingStory. The collision combat system is intuitive and deserves to be developed further as a mechanic. More importantly though, there is a breath of uniqueness to KingStory that inclines one to be forgiving of its faults. Games that experiment aren't always perfect, but they are rarely dull.