Knightmare Tower -- a fast-paced action game for iOS -- plays off some extremely worn-out video game tropes: You have your faceless knight, tons of cookie-cutter monsters and even a story that revolves around rescuing not just one, but 10 princesses. And despite this laundry list of things gaming could do without, this one is an absolute blast to play.
The kingdom is gripped with terror as the good king's 10 princess daughters have been kidnapped by a demonic force. They are being held on different floors of a massive tower, and you, as a loyal servant to the king, must jump on your rocket and blast as high into the tower as you can in an attempt to bring the captives home.
On your way up, you must slash your way through dozens of monsters, each of which provide a small boost to your flight. You can gain additional bonus boosts by completing combos and you'll also find items like bags of gold coins and health pickups while flying upwards. Once your speed runs out -- or your health becomes fully depleted -- your flight ends and you are brought to a summary screen where your gold is tallied. From here you can choose to either give it another go or purchase upgrades for your knight or rocket.
There is no way to fast-track this process (read: no obnoxious micro transactions, yay!) and saving up in-game currency to purchase huge upgrades pays off when you see how much better your knight performs in the tower. It's extremely easy to lose an hour or two without even realizing it, and the game's cartoony-yet-brutal visuals are easy on the eyes even during particularly long play sessions.
The singular complaint I have is that the game starts to chug a bit if you've played it for a stretch without stopping. During my playtime (on a third-generation iPad, for the record), the game ran smoothly for a good while, but then began to stutter randomly. This was remedied by restarting the game, which isn't a huge deal, but it's still a bit of a bummer.
Knightmare Tower is easy to pick up and play, but rewards players who decide to sink some serious time into unlocking upgrades and improving their performance. The game is US$2.99, but with no in-app purchases to worry about, that's an absolute bargain.