Jet Set Knights review for PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS4
Also on: PC, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: FobTi Interactive
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No

Despite borrowing part of its name from a beloved cult classic, Jet Set Knights has absolutely nothing to with the Dreamcast game. Nor, for that matter, does it have anything to do with jet setting, so if you?re a Mad Men fan hoping for some kind of ?50s revival you?ll be disappointed too.

What Jet Set Knight is is far less interesting than either of those things. It?s a heavily retro-tinged single-screen platformer that doesn?t do anything to justify its existence. It mines ground that seemed kinda, sorta original when Towerfall was doing the same thing 2013 — and even that?s stretching things, seeing as we?re talking about a genre that goes back almost forty years. I mean, just from the same publisher in the past couple of months, we?ve also had Tamiku and Thy Sword, both of which were much better at this kind of thing than Jet Set Knight could dream of being (and, it?s worth nothing, neither of which were that great to begin with). So there?s really not a lot here you haven?t seen many times before, in much more interesting ways.

In this case, you?re playing as one of the titular knights, defending a princess against wave after wave of enemies. Everything moves fast and furious, as power-ups and rewards constantly flash on the screen, and you have to balance picking all those up with protecting the princess from the various baddies that are menacing her. On top of that, the game also adds in a bit of tower defense by allowing you to build a defensive tower around the princess.

Unfortunately, the game is done in by some incredibly cheap deaths. There were plenty of times where I died and I had no idea why, and plenty more where I died because I hit an enemy at just the wrong angle. While this made me grit my teeth and try a little harder the first few dozen times it happened, it didn?t take long for it to get pretty old.

But even if it hadn?t, I still can?t imagine getting all that invested in Jet Set Knights. It?s been done better by plenty of games plenty of times over the past couple of decades, and you?d be much better off playing any of the games from which Jet Set Knights draws inspiration than playing it instead.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Jet Set Knights PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: C-