A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game has a heavy focus on friendship and cooperation. Demelza and Nessa can only make progress by working together to overcome obstacles, even in Solo play. The characters’ interactions also showcase the importance of building relationships, and how important imagination can be to kids, especially when facing real-world challenges.
Positive Role Models
Demelza and Nessa make for a great friendship, supporting each other through whatever life tosses their way. They look out for each other, help each other to improve, and enjoy each other's company. Still, these are two kids that see themselves as being on a grand adventure, often leading to all kind of mischief and trouble.
Ease of Play
The game's designed from the ground up for co-op play. It’s entirely playable solo, with players switching between the two characters and the AI running whichever the player isn’t. But this makes certain moves much more difficult to pull off together. Even in co-op play, players will need to have a teammate that they can communicate well with.
Violence & Scariness
While Demelza and Nessa do spend much of the game fighting things, it's all in a cartoonish manner and against creatures that might come from a kid's imagination. This includes fighting cardboard cutouts, animated toys, etc. with weapons like flying discs, water balloons, and kicking up sand. Defeated enemies usually just break apart and disappear in a puff of smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Knights and Bikes is a co-op focused fantasy adventure game available for download on PlayStation 4, as well as Windows, MacOS, and Linux-based computers. Players take on the role of two young kids as they explore an island looking for treasure. The game can be played solo or in local and online co-op play. Players fight against different fantasy creatures by throwing items at or stomping on them. While fighting's constant, it's very cartoonish in nature, with no blood ever shown onscreen. The impact of the violence is also lessened by the game's art style, which is meant to represent the imagination of the kids as their story unfolds.
Is It Any Good?
Remember what it was like to be a kid, fighting giant dragons with magical swords, when in reality, you were swinging a stick at an oversized bush? That's the power of a child's imagination, and it's a feeling wonderfully recreated in the co-op fantasy adventure, Knights and Bikes. Between the game's fun art style and the personality that's overflowing from the main characters, it's a game that can't help but tug a bit at the heartstrings. It's not just the usual joy of playing a game at work here, but it's the pure joy of just remembering what it's like to be a kid again.
Knights and Bikes was designed from the ground up with co-op play in mind, and it shows. While you can play solo with an AI teammate and even switch characters on the fly, the game loses some of its magic when you play alone. Little things like splashing water on your partner or competing in a random race or mini-game isn't nearly as exciting without an actual buddy to share the experience with. While the AI does a fairly good job of taking care of itself in a fight, you can't exactly brainstorm solutions to the game's puzzles or coordinate moves with an AI like you can with a live teammate. But whatever way you choose to play, though, you're in for a whimsical escape from the troubles of the real world and a colorful reminder of those childhood days when you dreamed big and played even bigger.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.