Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review 7/10 "My trousers began to slowly unbuckle themselves in anticipation..." ๐Ÿ•ต️‍♂️ @lcbgamestudio #IndieGame #GameDev

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Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review
The third in the initial trilogy of Pixel Pulp titles, Bahnsen Knights follows Mothmen 1966, and Varney Lake, visual novel titles – with a smattering of micro-games – in an 18-month period that has taken me on a journey that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed from a presentation and atmospheric perspective, but I can’t help but feel this most recent entry is the weakest of all.

If you haven’t played a Pixel Pulp game yet, then you’ve missed out on some very cool moments. There’s a thread of narrative running through each title, whilst they all function perfectly well as stand alone games. Primarily CGA visual novels, the main thrust of each game is making your way through the tale being told before you, and occasionally making decisions, or having a brief sojourn into the handful of micro-games included – although these aren’t vital for completion.

Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review

To give a brief summary of my experiences with games so far, whilst I was hips deep in the X-Files-esque Mothmen 1966, it was the time-shifting, vampiric ‘coming of age’ tale of Varney Lake that really pulled me in, and so I was very much keen for Bahnsen Knights, and as I followed the development through social media, the incredibly evocative imagery being shown off that involved deep neon pinks and purples, seemingly evoking southern gothic insane priests, growling truck drivers, eyes shining wide with concealed madness, and something awry in seemingly standard rural life – my trousers began to slowly unbuckle themselves in anticipation...the issue was, though – the design choices and various mechanics end up feeling like they stifle the narrative and act as obstacles that consistently fumble the tone and flow.

Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review

The story of Bahnsen knights takes place across several chapters, and focuses on the protagonist – Boulder – a man who has infiltrated the titular road gang, but is also there to uncover some personal mysteries along the way.

As with the previous titles, the bulk of the game takes place through beautiful CGA visuals, atmospheric chiptune music and a lean narrative. The issue here, though, is that the micro-game asides and especially the insta-death choices are completely at odds with the slow-burning mood that the entire game is built around, and the trial-and-error forays out of the standardised formula that the games have set felt ill-advised and only served to take me out of the action.

A choice that makes its impact known at a later date leads to tension and a sense of agency, but purposefully clunky controls during a time sensitive passage, or having three insta-death choices and once correct one, feels cheap, disappointing – and above all, removes any sense of subtlety and nuance.

Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review


LCB Studio clearly have the skill and verve to continue creating video games that stand apart from the crowd, and have real character and imagination.

Personally I hope their next game focuses more on their strengths in characters, visuals, narrative, and audio and moves away from micro-games and design choices that feel more like interruptions than embellishments.

Bahnsen Knights Xbox Review

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