Bahnsen Knights – Review
Follow Genre: Visual novel, puzzle game
Developer: LCB Game Studio
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Tested on: PC

Bahnsen Knights – Review

Site Score
Good: Retroactively adds layers to the previous titles in the series
Bad: Audio remains underwhelming
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It has been a year and a half since we were first introduced to LCB Game Studio’s Pixel Pulp series of visual novels. While we weren’t all that impressed by the audiovisual presentation of the first novel, Mothmen 1966, the series has grown on us, and we were eager to dive into Bahnsen Knights, the latest and potentially final chapter in the series. We’ll try not to repeat ourselves too much as Bahnsen Knights is more of the same in terms of gameplay and presentation, sticking to a formula we’ve seen executed successfully twice before. Can LCB Game Studio pull off a hat trick with Bahnsen Knights or does the Pixel Pulp series go out with a whimper instead of a bang?


We’ve read a coming-of-age story centered around a vampire and a mystery tale involving a famous cryptid and a meteor shower, so what’s next for the Pixel Pulp series? Bahnsen Knights is the closing part of the trilogy that began with Mothmen 1966, serving up a narrative about a cult that worships cars and roads. It’s a story that finds its origins in the pulp magazines of the ‘50s and ‘60s, continuing a tradition started by its predecessors. It’s also a thoroughly enjoyable read, to the point that we’re somewhat sad to see the Pixel Pulp series coming to a close. Just like with the previous two titles, you needn’t have read the other entries in the series, as they are only very loosely interconnected, although the cameo appearances from characters originating from previous tales do add another layer to the overall story. At this point, you’re probably wondering about what the actual storyline is about, and we’ve been deliberately avoiding outright talking about this, as Bahnsen Knights is best enjoyed going in blind. If you’ve read either of the two previous Pixel Pulp stories, you have somewhat of an idea of the overall atmosphere, and if you’re new to the series, you’re in for a treat -you’re just going to have to trust us on this.


The layered approach isn’t just something that becomes apparent in terms of story. Something we’ve only realized now that the trilogy is complete is how the overall color palettes of the three Pixel Pulps were carefully picked to complement one another while retaining that feeling of being standalone releases. What you’re getting here is the same ZX Spectrum-inspired style of visuals, but where Mothmen 1966 primarily used cyan tints and Varney Lake went for yellows, Bahnsen Knights sticks to magenta tones. This imbues the game with a visual identity of its own, while still maintaining consistency across the series.


Audio has always been a weak point of the Pixel Pulp novels, and unfortunately, Bahnsen Knights isn’t an exception to this rule. While the soundscape fares slightly better than the previous entries, to the point that it even includes some very rudimentary music, there just isn’t a whole lot of substance here. It makes sense given the visual novel approach, and it would be strange had Bahnsen Knights suddenly been fully voiced and orchestrated, but we were still underwhelmed.


As we’ve seen with the previous two titles, the Pixel Pulp series is more than “just” visual novels. There is the branching, choice-driven storyline, of course, but Bahnsen Knights also incorporates actual gameplay, from simple puzzles to the obligatory card game variant that we’ve seen in the previous entries as well. Yes, it’s more of the same, but “the same” simply works brilliantly, to the point that we can’t really say anything we haven’t said about Pixel Pulp before. Of course, the gameplay acts more as a framework to deliver an engaging story, and this is what Bahnsen Knights excels at. It would appear that LCB Game Studios did listen to feedback from previous entries and included a “skip text” button, something we noted was missing in our Mothmen 1966 review, but this didn’t work during our initial playthrough, although we’re not sure whether this was a glitch or because the game only allows you to skip previously read text. Either way, it was a welcome entry during our subsequent playthroughs, as there are plenty of reasons to return to Bahnsen Knights and see the different endings play out. While Bahnsen Knights isn’t necessarily a visual novel that will appeal to the mainstream audience, it’s probably our favorite out of the three Pixel Pulps, and if you’re in the niche that the game is aimed at, you’ll probably end up loving this one.


Sticking with the Pixel Pulp series has certainly been a journey. In more ways than one, Bahnsen Knights proved to be the closing chapter we didn’t know we needed. While the story can definitely stand on its own two feet, this entry ties the Pixel Pulp series together neatly, as we’re suddenly discovering layers that we didn’t even know were present when we played the previous two titles. The deliberate choice of colors is a good example of this. If anything, we’re eager to revisit the previous entries, to look for connections between the three games. While this is purported to be the final Pixel Pulp for now, here’s hoping that a second trilogy will eventually revive the series.

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