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Knights and Bikes

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Knights and Bikes Game Poster Image
Colorful co-op trip through a child's imagination.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Language
Consumerism

What 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.

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What's it about?

KNIGHTS AND BIKES is a co-op tale of fantasy and adventure, filled with friendship, teamwork, and the lure of untold riches. The story's told through the eyes and the imagination of two young girls, Demelza and Nessa. The two newfound friends have teamed up to explore Penzfury Island in hope of tracking down a mythical treasure, and maybe break a recently unearthed ancient curse at the same time. Players will collect cool trinkets, crab claws, and grubs to wheel and deal for new parts to customize your bicycles, making them battle ready. You'll ride your bikes into the fray against possessed miniature golf balls, flaming foam swords, and giant bouncing mascot heads, armed with your baddie-stomping rain boots, some sweet flying discs, and maybe the occasional water balloon or two as well. With a little extra help from your pet goose, Captain Honkers, as well as the picked and preserved head of an undead knight from the days of yore, you might just find that hidden treasure, save Demelza's family business, and even get Nessa a place to call home.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about coping mechanisms. What are some positive ways for kids to use when coping with problems? What are some of the negative ways kids may try to cope? How can parents/teachers/etc. help kids through tough times?

  • What are some ways to help develop strong and lasting friendships? How can working with friends help making overcoming obstacles easier?

Game details

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For kids who love adventure

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