I love it when games surprise me the way A Knight In The Attic did.
Not to discount the fun that comes from VR’s most popular genres, but this felt like something I’d never seen before. At PAX East 2023, I played the first 20 minutes of an early demo build of A Knight In The Attic, set to release April 13 on Meta Quest and PC VR.
In A Knight In The Attic, you unravel the mysteries housed within a dusty attic. With a very light narrative that centers around the Arthurian Legend’s femme fatale, Guinevere, this game maintains a mystical sensibility that really drew me in. In fact, playing the demo at Mighty Yell’s booth at PAX East, I completely lost myself in the game. The convention’s chaotic cacophony melted away as I explored the tilt maze-inspired world.
This is a great example of a game within a game. Your character is interacting with magical items in an attic. There’s scrolls that doll out tutorials, drawers that require keys to unlock, and a jar to catch fireflies, but the star of the show is the world of Camelot. Presented as a tilt maze, you hold and move the maze in your virtual hands the same way you would in real life.
There’s a twist, though. Instead of a marble, you’re rolling Guinevere around the maze. And instead of a plain wooden maze, you’re rolling Guinevere around the world of Camelot. The gameplay is quite engaging, with obstacles and challenges that provide clever twists beyond just avoiding walls and holes. Striking a good balance between challenge and smart checkpoints, it’s no pushover, but it also never treats the player unfairly. Extra collectibles also really encouraged me to put my skills to the test, though I only happened upon one or two during my time with the game.
After progressing to a certain point, you’re drawn out of the tilt maze aspect and encouraged to interact with other objects in the attic around you. This demo did a great job of balancing each side of its gameplay to keep you not only engaged, but continually searching for the next key, puzzle or objective.
My only concern is with the game’s narrative. Yes, it’s based on a fairy tale and aimed at all audiences, but it felt a bit sparse. One of the game’s main collectibles is optional scrolls that expand Knight’s story, but I never felt pulled into the story or even sure enough of what was going on to feel compelled to grab the scroll beyond the extra challenge.
Narrative complaints aside, I’m interested to see how A Knight In The Attic’s gameplay continues to evolve when the full game releases this month. Keep an eye out for more thoughts on the game in the coming weeks.