Sentry Knight Through the Ages
The Sentry Knight series has brought in millions of players over the years. How has the series changed, and what’s next?
Sentry Knight, Sentry Knight, does whatever a Sentry Knight can. As it turns out, what defensive shooter Sentry Knight can do is get nearly one million plays since 2014, more than double that number for its wildly successful sequel Sentry Knight 2, and even spawn a successful spin-off into a new genre with Sentry Knight: Conquest.
Just a few minutes with any title (that turn into a few hours, and probably a few days, culminating in a St Bernard showing up at your door to see if you’re dead) is enough to show why the Flash game series, created by Tyler Myers, Justin Wolf, and Jason Coates, is one of the big kids on the playground… but with its huggable, loveable looks, addictive “just one more wave” gameplay, and indefatigable charm, it’s hardly a bully. So without further ado, let’s take a look at why Sentry Knight has won so many hearts across ye olde worlde wide webe… and see what the future holds!
It’s the classic tale of boy builds tower, monsters open infernal portal, boy lays waste to legions of demonic underlings with trusty bow and arrow, plus an epic spell or two. (Where’s that sunglasses gif when you need it?) The basic premise of Sentry Knight was to keep the tower you were cloistered in safe from the invading waves of baddies by firing on them as they advanced, using the coin you apparently loot from their gooey corpses to buy sweet upgrades, in addition to leveling up through experience.
It’s a simple formula, and yet it worked, big time. Sentry Knight forces players to think and react on their feet against seemingly impossible odds, with enemies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities descending on your lone outpost. Is it grindy? Well, when it comes to bulking up with the necessary firepower to take down all comers, ideally in slow-motion black and white with “Mmmm whatcha saaaaay” playing softly, you’re definitely going to have to replay a level or three, not that you’ll mind.
While Sentry Knight 2 offered more levels, more upgrades, and more variety, it also brought more d’aaaawwww to the table, which I think we can all agree is the most important thing. Sentry Knight 2 kept the same formula that made the original a success, although the stern grey knight morphs into the cuddly blue hero most players know and love. The addition of challenge-based achievements, such as defeating a boss within a certain timeframe, kept us on our toes, while the expanded skill tree gave us more abilities to play around with.
It’s hard to make a sequel that neither changes too much from the original or not enough, but Sentry Knight 2 feels beefed up in all the right places. The gameplay is faster and more balanced, in addition to being more difficult right off the bat, making levels move along at a steady clip so that replaying them for sweet, sweet gold isn’t a pain. Plus, those wishing for more content and to support the developer have the option of purchasing the premium content package, which comes with more levels and abilities. It’s literally win/win, or in this case, “pt-choo, pt-choo, AIIEEEEE FWOOOM!”
You would think introducing a new game to the series that not only has a markedly different play-style but also features the previous protagonist being shot full of bloody holes in the opening seconds would be a hard sell, but Sentry Knight: Conquest beat the odds. As the game opens, our new hero, the surly, reclusive Marksman, reluctantly accepts a mission to help save the kingdom from certain doom, though not without a lot of grumbling. Surliness is heroic, right?
Waving a fond farewell to the fixed tower-shooting of yore, Sentry Knight: Conquest functions more like an arena shooter, as you move the Marksman freely around the screen to dodge and fight with his trusty musket. It requires a lot more reflexes than its predecessors, but the ability to tame critters to fight alongside you, a fun and engaging story, and fast-paced gameplay will keep you hooked even if Marksman just wishes you’d leave him alone. Which just makes us love him more. Yes it does. Yezzitdoze.
So what’s next for our squishable heroes? Well, following a successful Steam Greenlight campaign, Sentry Knight Tactics is headed to PCs and Macs everywhere. This time, our trio of heroes, Knight, Marksman, and Priestess, think they can afford to rest a little, foolishly hoping the kingdom is going to stay saved longer than it takes to marathon a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers. This time, you’ll be ordering your heroes around the field in real-time, clicking and dragging to direct targets .
Outside of combat, you’ll also roam the world, taking on side-quests, exploring dungeons, finding powerful treasures, and even gathering more party members. While it represents a significant gameplay shift, Sentry Knight Tactics also feels expansive and fun in a way that shows the passion and dedication of its talented crew to experiment and innovate with their titles, and how squishable they can make little animals look. Sentry Knight Tactics is coming sooner than you think, and trust me, fans of the series should be very excited. Follow the official Twitter account for more updates, and watch this space for more Sentry Knight news!
Writer: Dora Breckinridge / Dora has been writing about games for the better part of a decade, and playing them for even longer, using the glow of the monitor to keep her warm in the frozen wilds of her native Canada. Her website is here!