Developer: Grey Havens
Release Date: June 14, 2011
ESRB: Mature (but not exactly 18+)
Written by ALFA_OverloRd
Welcome to Cradle, a cartoonish-planet that holds the secret to saving mankind at its core. The Spiral Knights are the brave soldiers that delve into the planet using elevators and battle the monsters and beings inside; whether they be slimes, zombies, ghosts, machines, or the main antagonist race: The Gremlins.
All right, you might ask "Why is the game rated mature?" Well, that's just the rating OOO adopted for the game, since it is an MMORPG, and they can't accurately rate the online interactions the players will have. However, in the Terms and Conditions, it says you must be 13 or older to play, so the game isn't 18+, but it is rated mature, due to it being hard to rate the online interactions. It is not 18+ due to gore, language, sexual content, or any other attributes associated with mature games.
Now, the gameplay. You, a recruit to the Spiral Order, have just shown up out of the blue, and are being tasked with helping out around the place. Since the monsters get harder as you get deeper, you are restricted to how far down you can go, as the monsters will tear you apart. You obtain materials, and use the materials to craft new gear, or upgrade old ones. The upgraded gear will allow you to rank up after you have done the "rank" missions, and will allow you to go deeper into the Clockworks (the planet). The combat is similar to a top-down twin stick. You can attack in 360 degrees, using either melee weapons (all considered "swords", whether they're swords or not), ranged weapons (guns), or bombs (these are actually bombs). Bombs must be charged up before planting, while swords and guns may be fired rather quickly OR charged up for a special attack.
There are 4 damage types; Normal, Piercing, Elemental, and Shadow. Every monster type is weak to a certain type of damage, and deals a certain type of damage, such as Slimes are weak to Shadow and deal Piercing damages. At tier 1 depths, enemies will only deal Normal damage, but will still be weak to their elements. Their damage is, also, lowered, as well as their health. At tier 2 depths, they deal half normal damage, and half of their specialty damage (this is based on what type of monster they are.), and their health and damage are increased. At tier 3 depths, they deal entirely their specialty damage, and their health and damage are increased further. This is why later depths are locked for new players, since it is almost mandatory to have different armors for different areas, which new players will not be able to have.
Unfortunately, what I just mentioned also leads to the GRIND-FEST! Later players will need to FARM materials in order to get the correct armor for certain areas, otherwise they will turn into mince-meat and ripped to pieces. In order to craft certain rarities of gear, you need the corresponding Orbs of Alchemy, which are the most painstaking material I have ever had to obtain, in any game, ever.
Despite this, I felt the need to review this game, because of how much fun with friends it was. I remember one of the fondest times was on a 1 in 1000 chance, 2 arenas (which are difficult, but very rewarding) showed up back-to-back. The elevators will change destinations every 15 minutes, and we had just completed the first one. Our crew just sat down beside the elevator, and started talking. Not about battle strategies or anything; we just asked how everybody's day was, what's going on, and if what the next equipment they planned on getting was. We just talked with each other, and we got better as a team, because of it. Granted, if you're playing with a pre-made team, you probably will do it in Discord, but it's still a swell time to bond and such.
FINAL SCORE: 7