Puddle Knights (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle Game
Developer: Lockpickle
Publisher: Lockpickle
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Puddle Knights (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: Intuitive and addictive gameplay
Bad: Soundtrack doesn't fit the game's setting
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

With Puddle Knights, developer Lockpickle is bringing its debut game to the Switch. The puzzle title was well-received when it debuted on Steam six months ago, so our expectations were high for the Switch port. So how does Puddle Knights hold up on Nintendo’s hybrid console? We took the game for a spin and these are our findings. 


Despite its charming presentation, Puddle Knights has no story to offer. This came as a bit of a surprise, as the archetype-filled puzzle game’s concept would be a great setting for some character-driven moments. Nevertheless, the game’s lack of story may be a bit irksome, but the overall concept of the game is simple enough to grasp as it is based on the classic trope of the noble knight laying down his cape so that the princess doesn’t have to walk in the mud. 


There is a lot to like about Puddle Knights’ visuals, even if they are a bit oversimplified. The character designs are adorable, with the knights looking chibi-esque with oversized heads and undersized limbs. Meanwhile, the other characters are better proportioned but are still cartoonish in design and almost look like toy figures. The game’s environments follow a similar design principle. The polished but unembellished aesthetic doesn’t push the Switch’s boundaries and the game runs like a charm. Load times are virtually non-existent and the game’s framerate is smooth as butter. If there’s one thing we can fault the game’s graphics, then it’s that the levels are a bit too zoomed out, leaving plenty of screen estate empty. 


Accompanying the levels is cheerful piano music. There are a couple of different tracks here, with the music changing between each of the game’s chapters. The music was a bit of a disappointment though, as it appears cheap stock music was used here. We can’t really fault developer Lockpickle for this, as original music can be expensive and games like Puddle Knights tend to be produced on a low budget, but the specific choice of piano music baffled us. We would’ve preferred something that sounded more medieval, even if it was the most cliché medieval music available. Other sounds are limited, with no voice acting whatsoever and just the bare necessities when it comes to characters interacting with the environment.


Beneath Puddle Knights’ colorful surface is an addictive puzzle game. Your task is to escort a high-standing member of society from point A to point B on an obstacle-ridden map. The caveat here is that the nobility or clergy that you are guiding must preserve their dignity at all costs. In layman’s terms, this means that they can’t walk through the mud, lest their clothes get dirty. In order to attain this lofty goal, you have a number of colorful knights at your disposal. The knights wear capes of varying lengths, which can be used to cover up the mud so that the nobility can safely walk across. 

It’s an interesting and original take on the concept of a slide puzzle. More mechanics are gradually introduced as you work your way through the game’s 129 levels. Early stages focus on standard capes that can be torn to create permanent bridges, while metal capes are untearable. Later stages add multi-level platforms where knights’ helmets create walkways for the nobility and other knights to cross, as well as a variety of other twists, such as drop-down bridges that can only be crossed in a single direction. A special mention should go to the veil-carrying servants: the combination of a noblewoman and a servant creates a unique challenge in which you’ll have to ensure neither one has to walk through the mud, all the while keeping in mind they are connected by the veil.  Although an explanation for the game’s plethora of mechanics is never provided, each one is introduced in a logical and intuitive way. This means that you’ll never have to worry too much about figuring out how a new element works. What you’re getting here is a polished product with expertly crafted puzzles and addictive gameplay. 

That said, Puddle Knights is a remarkably relaxing and stress-free experience. There are no timers to be found here, nor is there a set number of moves that you are graded on. All you need to do is complete the level at your own pace. This is easier said than done as the difficulty does ramp up in the later levels, and you’re often left scratching your head and wondering what to do next. Once you do figure it out, however, you’ll be left satisfied as the puzzles are challenging but never unfair. Additionally, you can undo a move if you’ve made a mistake, which adds to the relaxing nature of the game. As it is possible to block yourself entirely, this is a very welcome addition. You can also reset the puzzle instantly with a single button press, if you feel you messed up too much. Surprisingly, you can even undo a reset, in case you accidentally pressed the reset button. 

The game’s levels are spread out over several chapters, with each of the chapters focusing on a different core mechanic. You’ll only need to complete a few levels in order to progress to the next chapter, but you’ll also unlock more difficult challenge levels as you progress. While these are optional if you’re just making your way to the end of Puddle Knights, these challenge levels are a joy to figure out.


All in all, you’re getting a fantastic puzzle game here. The puzzles are masterfully designed and the lack of arbitrary stress factors means the game is perfect for some relaxing gaming on a rainy afternoon. The lackluster music and absence of story hurt the overall experience but the visual appeal and fantastic gameplay make this one an easy recommendation. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Puddle Knights (Switch) - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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