The medieval times featured barbaric sports in the form of jousting and sword-fighting. While participants never went for the kill in such events, they were still a bloody and messy affair, which is why people brave enough to put their names on the line made use of the best equipment available to them, especially armors. Stray Knight’s story revolves around a similar premise, where you are placed in the shoes of a mustached man hoping to enter a tournament but lacking a complete set of equipment.
A grid-based puzzle game
The gameplay of Stray Knight is quite the unusual one, at least compared to other browser games which are primarily geared to entertain people whose boredom are threatening to erupt. The game plays out in a grid-like map not unlike a Sudoku puzzle. You move around the map by clicking on a grid and your character will walk towards it in a predetermined movement pattern represented by white dots. If you made a mistake, you can cancel your knight’s movement by randomly clicking on a different grid. Each map presents you with two goals: collect your equipment and then enter the castle. The pieces of equipment – namely, a sword, a helmet, and a shield – are scattered throughout the map. You MUST collect all three before advancing towards the castle; otherwise you’ll have to repeat the map.
There are several obstacles along the way that will prevent you from coasting towards your equipment and the castle. The most common are enemies that move in a set pattern. Coming into contact with these enemies will produce an immediate game over. However, you can take them out if you are already equipped with ALL of your items. Trying to take them on with only a sword or a shield and a sword will similarly result in a game over.
Other obstacles that are placed on the map are spikes and bear traps. The spikes can be deactivated or retracted by going into windmills on the map, which serve as their on/off switch. The bear traps, however, can’t be removed. Navigating around spikes and bear traps can be quite tricky because of the movement system. As mentioned, once you click on a grid to move to, your knight follows a predetermined pattern, and it may sometimes cause them to follow a path that has spikes or bear traps along the way. You can alternatively employ a safer method by moving your knight one or two grids at a time. More and more obstacles and traps will present themselves as you progress through levels, making your journey more difficult.
A game of patience
Stray Knight is more of a waiting game than a skill-based game, relying mostly on your memory and patience. The game does not record how fast you complete each level, so it’s pointless to act rashly without analyzing the entire field first. In some cases, you will find yourself just sitting in a grid and only moving after a couple of seconds and then back to sitting in a grid again. Of course, you can challenge yourself by blowing through levels as fast as you can with the aid of a real-life stopwatch or timer if you want.