When it comes to challenging 2D platformers, most would point to the Super Meat Boy games as the top of the pile. There are, of course, others that champion the other aspects of the genre, such as Shovel Knight or The Messenger. However, if you are in need of something less intense, but does everything quite competently, Pixel.lu’s Sir Lovelot could be the prince charming you are looking for.
There is not much depth to go on plotwise, players are helping the lothario Sir Lovelot seek out his next conquest in each level of Sir Lovelot. With four different distinct biomes and varying level designs, you will jump, swim, run, and dash your way into the tower of another long-haired beauty. Our hero can also shoot bullets, which is a strange addition. The heroic knight could be slinging lances, but that is not exactly a big problem.
On the controls front, though, is where Sir Lovelot has got it right in spades. Controls are precise and tight, allowing you to make the faintest of adjustments in order to avoid deadly spikes or a hungry enemy waiting to make mincemeat of you.
More often than not, perishing is not due to the complexity of controls or poor implementation. It is the player that is responsible, as panic can easily lead to an extra button push or running headfirst into trouble.
The different worlds of Sir Lovelot also present evolving challenges to your quest for love. The first world is all about plant life and dangerous spikes, progress to the second world and you will find water that slows everything down. The game also takes the chance to introduce new enemies to thwart you, forcing players to rethink their strategies along the way.
Throw that together with level designs that are always refreshingly new and challenging, and it makes for the perfect loop of trying and dying constantly. Instant loading thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5 drops players back into the action without a moment’s break, and you can easily sink moment after moment into trying to best Sir Lovelot’s many levels.
That said, you can easily blow through the entirety of Sir Lovelot in just under two hours. That is not a lot of content. However, if you are a completionist, then there is plenty of meat left on the bone.
Each level does not just rank you on completion. The number of times you die as well as the time taken are all key elements in determining your score. Aside from the mandatory flower to collect for your love, there are also collectables to be found. Geese which lay golden eggs, diamonds, rings, and lollipops are scattered around different levels. It is not like they are just lying around either.
Most of these treasures are hidden behind secret walls, or require precise timing in order to get to them. To show your true prowess with platforming, it is imperative for players to collect everything, die as little as possible, and still make it to the tower with time to spare.
Sir Lovelot also tries to spice things up with the end level of each world, turning it into a chase sequence that will test everything you have learned thus far. With only one final boss that requires some quick moves and rapid firing, they are not exactly the standout parts of the game.
All of these are presented in a gorgeous looking pixelated package. Sir Lovelot himself is an adorable pint-sized knight, with the environments and enemies matching him pixel by pixel in their execution. Although more variety can be made for the worlds, since they are all palette swaps in essence, the short nature of the game means it does not really become an issue.
The audio is also excellent in Sir Lovelot, keeping you amped up from the moment you start running all the way until you reach your end goal. The shooting sounds fun and cute, with every enemy vanquished and your own untimely death accompanied by satisfying sound effects.
Sir Lovelot definitely does not try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the frenetic 2D platformer. Instead, it is relying on tight controls and an understanding of satisfying gameplay loops to make players feel the love. Throw in some nice looking pixels and great audio, and you have a charming platformer well worth enjoying.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Sticking to what works best, Sir Lovelot is a neat 2D platformer that never overstays its welcome.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 5/10
Presentation - 8/10
Value - 7/10