The very first thing I noticed about Foam Sword’s Knights and Bikes is how “Double Fine” it looked: artistically I was instantly transported back to Psychonauts and Costume Quest. It came as no surprise to hear that Double Fine are publishing this hand-painted action adventure game about two young girls in a world where the lines between reality and imagination are blurred.
It was clear from the short demo that I played with fellow GameGrin writer Marcello at EGX Rezzed that this game was meant for two people. There was a section where the game prompted us to race each other, and the prompt was all we got. There was no time limit, no rules, no death or failure, nor any reward. It was just two children spontaneously having a race and it was so fun to play. That’s something that carries across to other parts of the game, that sense of childlike joy permeates the beautifully colourful world.
It’s this that will make the games inevitable darker turns more impactful. We didn’t get to see much, but there were a few lines of conversation said by the older of the two girls - Nessa - that hinted what we were seeing on the screen didn’t necessarily correlate to the game’s reality. We played through a section in an abandoned theme park, and some of the places we passed definitely scared Nessa more than her younger counterpart Demelza.
Thanks to the huge success of the Kickstarter, Knights and Bikes will feature online play but I honestly think this game is perfect for local co-op. It evokes the feelings of childhood, and I think that can only be enhanced if you can knock the controller out of your friends hands during a race, or whatever other little game that Knights and Bikes suggests you play. This makes sense when you look at the guys who make up Foam Sword, with previous titles including Tearaway and LittleBigPlanet.