Super Chibi Knight started out as something fun for Nick and Bella to do together, but now it’s reached the stage that it’s a fully fledged and rather fantastic game (yes, I have played it) with its sights set on Steam. There’s a Greenlight page for Super Chibi Knight currently, but getting on to Steam would really just be the cherry on top of the cake.
The real benefit of Super Chibi Knight is what it’s doing for Bella.
“I see it helping her get familiar with programming, art, voice acting, etc, in a really hands-on way,” Nick tells me. “It’s much more engaging and relevant than anything she’s doing in school!”
Playing the early alpha build of Super Chibi Knight, it’s very easy to see how well the collaboration between father and daughter works. Nick supplies the programming and art, while Bella voices the young female protagonist of the game. Every time you jump or swing her sword, you get a cute exclamation from Bella. Or when you run out of health and fall unconscious, Bella supplies a pertinent “uh, oh”.
“Super Chibi Knight is a PC/Mac/Linux Action RPG that takes you to the Kingdom of Oukoku to battle a mysterious sorcerer who has unleashed his minions on the kingdom’s citizens.”
While Super Chibi Knight may be co-developed by a child and certainly looks very child-friendly, that doesn’t mean it’s void of challenge. You’ll need to play at your best to strike down the large creatures you encounter in the game, as well as the smaller minions. Luckily, you do have the aid of RPG levelling up, so the more enemies you defeat, the stronger you can become, upgrading armor, your sword and your devastating special attack.
The only unfortunate aspect of Super Chibi Knight spotted while playing may be the necessity of grinding, but this may be eliminated come the final version of the game. Most of the time, completing the quests you’re given is going to give you the biggest boost of experience so you can level up and have a better chance of taking on the bosses. But maybe once or twice, purposefully encountering the groups of enemies in the overworld so you can battle them and take the experience they offer may be something you have to do. It’s not that the combat isn’t fun, but as with everything, it can still get repetitive.
One thing that I wasn’t expecting from Super Chibi Knight and found it a really delightful surprise upon discovery was the multiple specialization paths you can take. You can become a beastrider and mount huge creatures that do crushing damage and fill half the screen. Or you could become a sorcerer and cast a range of magical attacks. It’s not much choice, but I honestly wasn’t expecting anything at all. Throw plenty of secrets in on top of this, and you’ve got reason to replay the game beyond merely enjoying the story and smooth combat.
From what I can see this early on into the game’s development, there are also a variety of locations to travel to and quirky quests to complete. A retiring pirate will give up his ship if you sculpt him a statue. A tribe awaits the hero that will rescue them, thus leading to the opening of a large door into their jungle territory. A dark portal is sealed where your fate lies beyond. There are deserts full of sandworms, fields of jelly enemies and red wasps and underground lairs with foul magical creatures awaiting your arrival.
Super Chibi Knight is well-presented, adorably voice acted and has a real good feel about in general, which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve played any of Nick’s previous games, of which there are plenty on the web.