This may surprise you, but games can slip under my radar! Given how many news stories and features you probably see me write here at Siliconera each month, it’s likely a shock. (I already passed 250 for December 2022; thanks for asking.) But that also means a deserving title could get overlooked. For me, that was Floppy Knights once the indie strategy game from Rose City shadowdropped onto the Nintendo Switch. It was part of what was essentially the Nintendo House of Indies advent calendar this month, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect “present.” (Especially since Nintendo decided to be a Grinch and keep Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp from us this year.
Floppy Knights is a tactical game with a card-based gimmick. You follow Phoebe and her robot arm/friend Carlton. After quite a bit of time brainstorming and experimenting, she invented the Floppy Knights. These are little units that head into battles on Phoebe’s behalf to accomplish tasks. However, when they act, you don’t just get a series of actions they can automatically perform. Instead, Phoebe possesses a deck of cards, with a number dealt into her hand each turn allowing a character to move, attack, or perform special actions. When a commander or normal unit is played on the field, you also get a card with its attack or ability at the start of each turn. So you’re relying on decks you’ve made, with cards Phoebe crafted, and characters to help overcome the objectives and bonus objectives in each location. Updates appeared throughout 2022, with Phoebe’s Prototypes and Graveyard Shift appearing in August and October. When the Switch version of Floppy Knights launched, the 2.0 third update for the year came with it.
Tossing cards and decks into other genres has been a whole thing for a while now. One could argue (or blame) games like Mega Man Battle Network and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, for doing so. (Well, might I add.) We’ve also seen it come up with other genres lately. For example, Signs of the Sojourner could have been a more typical visual novel with conversations to peruse, but instead you get decks of cards based on experiences, and playing the cards happens instead of an actual talk with someone else. Rose City is picking up on a trend with Floppy Knights and rolling with it in a way that works exceptionally well.
Floppy Knights using cards for all of its actions ends up feeling perfect, without being limiting. Especially since the execution means you don’t feel like Floppy Knights is forcing you to grind or unnecessarily push yourself. crafting new cards isn’t too difficult. Earning the funds for it isn’t too taxing. There’s no fear about having a hand with cards you can’t use, since each character you play automatically generates at least one viable one each turn. Not to mention with the base game and all the updates, there’s an ample amount of immediately available cards.
Though, in a way, maybe it all was for the best after all? As I mentioned before, the Switch version of Floppy Knights launched alongside a 2.0 update. While this is big for people who aren’t new to the game, it means I’ve had a generally fuller experience with it from the start. It’s taken me some time to get to the content, as it didn’t appear after heading to the Steelshore Coast with Phoebe and Carlton to get assistance from Rowan against Felix and his Floppy Knights. It also made going through Floppy Knights a bit more exciting, because I did so knowing I’d eventually get to also play as Alex and Snarlton in an additional Side Quest.
In any case, Floppy Knights is a delightful game. It’s one of those tactical treasures. I’d also say its quite timeless, even if it wasn’t for the December 2022 2.0 update that added additional content. The themes, character designs, and gameplay are created in such a way that they are unique, but also harken back to staples. So there’s always that emotional draw of wanting to root for someone who wants to succeed for her own merits and talents. With tactical games, there’s the appeal of seeing if using different decks or approaches here could still help you win. It’s simply a joy to play.
Floppy Knights is available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.