For a year or so, Knights and Bikes has been earning plaudits on PS4, PC and Switch. Finally, we can hear the clatter of the spokey dokeys and the ringing of the bell, as it pulls into Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass’ driveway today.
Knights and Bikes was a nominee for ‘Best Indie Game’ at the 2019 Golden Joystick Awards, while elsewhere it has won awards for being a best debut, and best in audio-visual categories. We’ve played this one on PS4, and can confirm that it’s a pocket marvel.
What’s so great about it, you may ask? There’s a nostalgic pull on this one, as it explores what it’s like to be alone as a child on the seaside island of Penfurzy. It’s almost like you can smell the brine and bike oil. You’ll play one or both of Nessa and Demelza, the newly formed Penfurzy Rebel Bicycle Club, as you investigate some paranormal goings-on and try to save your father’s coastal caravan business.
The dialogue and story call to mind Night in the Woods or Welcome to Elk, and match their quality. There’s humour throughout, mostly of the goose variety (what is it with geese on Xbox One?), as you’ll be shadowed by a little honker who just wants a good meal.
It’s not all chit-chat, though, as the game has combat that’ll test your hack, slash and frisbee skills. There’s even boss battles, but the less spoiled about them the better. One of the joys of Knights and Bikes is that it can all be enjoyed in co-op. In fact, it’s better enjoyed together, so go grab a BMX partner.
If you had a childhood anything like ours, you will be excited at the prospect of pimping your BMX, slapping on flags, faceplates, new handlebars and more. Then you’ll wheelie about town, as you get to the heart of the Goonies-esque fantasy that is taking over the island.
- Best friends forever! Play single-player with an AI companion, couch co-op or online co-op.
- Solve puzzles and deal with enemies using your improvised abilities! These include: frisbees, water-balloons, puddle-stomping welly boots, and a powerful boom-box stereo.
- Work together! Both characters have different skills so you’ll want to experiment with how they combine in order to succeed.
- Explore the island! Seek out its modern tourist-attractions and ancient ruins, both on foot and on your customised bikes.
- Discover treasure! Ranging from trinkets like broken action-figures and animal skulls, to the legendary riches rumoured to be hidden on the island.
- Upgrade your bikes! Barter with adults (offload your junk) so you can personalise your bikes, unlock extra abilities or at the very least: get those training-wheels removed!
- Tend to your pet goose! Captain Honkers has a keen nose-beak and can help you find what you need, if you keep him fed and happy.
Knights and Bikes is skidding onto Xbox One today and will cost you £16.74, or it’s available on Xbox Game Pass. It’s been out for what feels like a millenia on PS4, Switch and PC but keep an eye out for our review of the Xbox version as the days pass.
You’ll play as Nessa & Demelza as they explore an ancient island with their pet goose Captain Honkers, riding and upgrading their bikes on a quest for answers. As the story unfolds they’ll face hazards, puzzles, and the gathering forces of an ancient curse with their growing collection of frisbees, water-balloons, toilet-plungers, and a boom-box loud enough to wake the undead. Together our heroines will laugh, learn, and cry – but will the power of their friendship be enough to actually save the island AND each other? *Game is only available in English text. *Local multiplayer is available in all versions. Online multiplayer is only available for Xbox One console. Voice chat is available with Party chat.