Knights of San Francisco – Review
Follow Genre: Text-based RPG
Developer: Filip Hracek
Publisher: Raindead Games
Platform: Android, iOS
Tested on: Android

Knights of San Francisco – Review

Site Score
Good: Polished minimalistic presentation
Bad: Music doesn't fit the atmoshpere of the game
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

When we first heard about Knights of San Francisco, we were quite intrigued, if only because of the game’s title. The city of San Francisco wasn’t established until 1776, when knights were already a thing of the past. The text-based adventure, brought to us by Raindead Games, goes beyond an intriguing title and delivers an entire world that feels familiar yet unique. However, being intriguing isn’t necessarily enough to make a game worth your time. We spent some time with Knights of San Francisco to see if it’s worthy of a place in your mobile games library.


It’s difficult to fully explain Knights of San Francisco’s narrative for two reasons. The first one is obviously that we don’t want to give away any spoilers, as the entirety of the game is built around having a text-based adventure, and the fun comes from discovering everything for yourself. The second reason is that the game’s story is shaped according to your choices, meaning that no two runs will be exactly the same. The setup remains the same throughout each run, of course. Set in the distant future, the game takes place in the ruïns of San Francisco. Don’t expect a full-fledged sci-fi adventure, though, as future San Francisco is a bleak wasteland teeming with lizardmen, orcs and other creatures you’d probably expect to encounter in a medieval fantasy setting.

Players take on the role of a newcomer to the human settlement, known as “The Bleeds”. Up until recently, the settlement was under the protection of the titular knights, but things have gotten so bad recently that the remaining population is preparing to seek a new life elsewhere. This is much to the disappointment of the protagonist, who came to the settlement looking for their missing brother, who left the family to join the order of the knights. It’s now up to the protagonist and their budding powers of necromancy to venture into the lair of the Orcs, conveniently located in a giant pyramid next to The Bleeds, to seek answers as well as their missing sibling.


For the most part, Knights of San Francisco is presented as on-screen text, accompanied by lavish illustrations. The game is almost completely devoid of color, instead presented in black-and-white, and this works surprisingly well, as it adds to the feeling that you are playing through a fantasy novel. This is further emphasized by the font choice. The typeface deliberately looks like something you’d find in a physical book. The minimalistic approach is juxtaposed against the actions described in the story, which are often action-packed and quite gory, but for the most part, this works very well as the descriptions help to paint a picture in your mind, without having to show the details on screen. (Note: please be aware that the game does not adjust its screen to fit different resolutions, which is why there is a black bar in our screenshots. This bar may or may not appear on your own screens depending on which device you play Knights of San Francisco.)


Knights of San Francisco’s soundtrack is probably the worst part of the game. The music doesn’t fit the mysterious atmosphere and we would’ve liked the music track to shift to match what’s happening in the story. Instead, smooth jazzy tunes accompany you every step of the way, even in combat. Fortunately, you can easily turn off the music and listen to something else while you are playing the game. There are no sound effects or voice performances present either.


Knights of San Francisco is a text-based adventure game reminiscent of the choose-your-own-adventure books of yesteryear, albeit presented in a more modern form. The game offers a relatively short experience, depending on your reading speed, and should take you roughly 90 minutes to 2 hours to complete, although there is the incentive to revisit the title and make different choices. Despite the minimalist presentation, Knights of San Francisco manages to pull the player into its world by actively engaging them through the consequences of their actions. The game’s controls are simple: the story is presented a few sentences at a time and tapping the skull at the bottom of the screen allows you to read further. Making choices is as simple as tapping through menus. We would’ve preferred to be able to continue the story simply by tapping the screen rather than having to tap the skull, but that’s only a minor nitpick. Because of the elegant simplicity of the controls, it’s easy for anyone to pick up and play the title, and everything is self-explanatory. We would’ve wanted a bit more of an explanation about how stamina and sanity work from the start, but this is easily discovered through trial and error.

The game features plenty of combat, and just like the rest of the adventure, fights are delivered through text as well. Your actions are presented as choices here as well, but the game also adds an RNG element to determine whether they are successful. During combat, you see any available actions, and upon making your choice, the game will show 5 spinning sword icons, which act like coin flips. If three (or more) of these flips come out positive, then you successfully perform your action, otherwise, you’ll fail. You can “reroll” failed action rolls, such as when you miss while leaping towards an enemy, but this consumes precious stamina. Similarly, you are able to use Necromancy to raise a random corpse to fight by your side, but this will cost you a sanity point.

Although Knights of San Francisco doesn’t directly tell you what your odds of successfully performing an action are, the odds of success are indicated by the icons next to the available actions, which becomes really helpful when you figure this out. Your survivability greatly increases by paying attention to these icons. You can also increase your odds by having companions who will fight alongside you. These are encountered throughout the story, so exploration can really help in making a difference to ensure you don’t have to face the game’s deadlier foes on your own.

The game will keep track of your actions, and there is no need to save manually, nor are there lengthy loading screens. This means that you can play the title during your commute or lunch break without having to worry about losing progress or feeling forced to sit through its entirety in a single session. Even though it’s a relatively short affair, this flexibility was very welcome and ensured we were never hesitant to continue our quest, even if it was for just a few minutes. Finally, the game also includes a gallery of the various illustrations you encounter, which encourages you to revisit Knights of San Francisco in order to collect them all.


Knights of San Francisco offers up a fun fantasy adventure in the form of a sleek and minimalistic text adventure. The game is best enjoyed in short bursts, which is emphasized by its pick-up-and-play nature. Apart from the unsuitable soundtrack choices, it’s hard to find fault with the title, especially given its accessible nature and engaging writing. If you enjoy text-based adventure games, this one is a no-brainer, and if you’ve never tried a game like this before, this is a perfect entry point.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Knights of San Francisco - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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