I was sent Krzyżacy – The Knights of the Cross as a review code. While I am very grateful for the opportunity, I will not let it sway my opinions. This will be my honest review.
Krzyżacy – The Knights of the Cross is a pixel art deck builder based on a book of the same name. Unfortunately, the English localization is bad. I stopped reading the story early on because the effort isn’t worth it. The source material might be worth reading, but this adaptation isn’t. With only gameplay left, there wasn’t much reason for me to keep playing once the novelty wore off. Krzyżacy – The Knights of the Cross becomes a boring grind with cute pixel art, but you can find a better game elsewhere.
Like most deck builders, you start the game with a basic deck and slowly build a stronger one as you progress through the campaign. What makes this deck builder unique is that you can recruit units to help you in battles. These units will perform actions based on the combination of cards you play during a turn. This creates an interesting dynamic where you are trying to create combos from your hand that synergizes with your companions. The problem I have with this system is that if you don’t meet the basic requirements for an action, the unit sits idle. This game is not forgiving when it comes to the action economy, and wasted turns result in more unnecessary grind.
I recommend you look up guides or build toward a two-color deck early on to make sure you play efficiently. The amount of gold and xp you earn and the global healing you can do is limited. These limits are standard in the genre. The problem is that you can get stuck in the campaign if you haven’t been using your gold wisely. Most deck builders let you easily redo the run, but Krzyżacy forces you to sit through the cut scenes and restart from zero. This is great if you are good at these games and love the strategy, but bad for the casual players. There are global perks you can earn by playing the game that alleviate some of this grind, but it stops being worth the trouble. The game is short enough that the reset isn’t a huge issue, but I couldn’t find the motivation for a second one.
Don’t get me wrong. I like that this game offers difficult choices to its players and rewards efficiency, but I wish the story was better and it was easier to reset the run. I kept hitting a point where I didn’t have money to buy companions, cards, or heals, and my deck wasn’t strong enough to get through the story, and I couldn’t justify going through the grind.
If you are looking for a fun deck builder, there are better options. The art is cool and it introduces interesting mechanics, but as is, this game isn’t worth buying into. The localization of the story isn’t good, and the gameplay isn’t fun enough to justify the price. You can get it on Steam for $14.99, but I suggest you hold off for a sale or some major updates.