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KnotBot Header

KnotBot is an adorable puzzle game which uses block coding to program a path for your KnotBot to follow.  From collecting apples to defeating enemies the game gives a fun introduction to basic programming which can be enjoyed by complete novices, or those with coding experience.

The game has been developed by indie studio BeetBomb, who already have a handful of games available on itch.io, although this is their first game to be published to Steam.

The game is visually adorable with the first thing you see after hitting play being a campaign map with a rough around the edges hand drawn feel to it, which sets the tone for the rest of the game.  You guide Knop, your cute KnotBot, through a variety of puzzle based tasks by using the available commands to write a short piece of code.

Once you load into the first puzzle you are presented with a well laid out and simple interface.  The right side of the screen features Knop and the puzzle including the objective and any obstacles in place.  The left side of the screen is given over to your workspace.  You will notice that these are both laid out in a grid fashion.  This helps you to plan as a single block of code relates to the position in the world, for example a single block of movement code will move Knop one grid square in that direction.  You also have your available code blocks to the bottom of your workspace, a trash can in the top left and a help tool in the bottom right.  These will allow you to clear the workspace and gain insight into the code blocks respectively.

The controls for the game are very simple with a simple drag and drop system for writing the code.  You are presented with your available code blocks at the bottom of you interface.  You simply drag these onto your coding grid, starting at the top and working down, to write your programme.  You can experiment freely here and take your time as there are no time restrictions and if your programme is unsuccessful, Knop is simply reset to the starting position for the level.  Removing elements is a simple as dragging them back off the workspace, or double clicking the trash can to clear your workspace.

There are about 30 levels to complete in the game as you progress along the map, with new commands becoming available to you every few levels, for example after the second level you receive your sword and after the 5th level you unlock a ball of yarn which you can use as if it were wires to route the programme and use a larger area of the workspace.  This will also allow you to optimise your code as you can use this as a command to loop the programme.

As you progress, the puzzles quite quickly ramp up in difficulty with the puzzles needing multiple lines of code by the time you reach the ninth puzzles and logic gates starting to be introduced in level 10.  You will also notice in most levels there is a number at the bottom left of the game board portion of the screen.  This indicates your target number of moves.  It is sometimes worth experimenting as many of the puzzles have multiple solutions, some which are more efficient than others and require less movements.

I am thoroughly enjoy the game and it's great as a casual break from the other games I am playing and is good for short pick up and play sessions as each level doesn't take a huge amount of time to complete (I am about half way through the game with about an hour of playtime).

There are a couple of things which I feel the game would benefit from such as a save slot system as currently the only option is to reset all your progress which prevents allowing multiple users to progress at their own pace and more variety to the soundtrack.  Whilst these are really QoL issues and nitpicks, I think if the developers were to invest in one thing to prolong the life of the game it would be a level editor.  The game just feels like it is crying out for this which would present you with a blank canvas to place the various objects and obstacles and make your own puzzles for other players to download.

In spite of these minor issues the game is very well executed with nice graphics, simple gameplay and a good variety between the puzzles which mean you don't feel you are repeating the same commands over and over.  At the retail price I would definitely recommend this game and feel it has been priced at the right point for the conent.  I particularly think this one is good if you have kids in the 6-9 year old bracket as this is a great way to introduce them to the concept of coding and programming.

1 /6
KnotBot Campaign Map
The gorgeous 'hand-drawn' campaign map, the brown "?" icon indicates a new command block being unlocked at this point
2 /6
KnotBot Level 1
The first puzzle with blank workspace on the left and puzzle displayed on the right
3 /6
KnotBot defeatingKnotflixes
A puzzle in which you need to use Knops sword to destroy 3 Knotflixes
4 /6
KnotBot Level 7
Level 7 at first glance looks like level 1, however you are limited to a single movement command block
5 /6
KnotBot multiple strings of code
Starting to get complicated with multiple strings of code to solve the puzzle
6 /6
KnotBot The Apple Tree
Adding in logic checks to the programmes. A successful but inefficient solution which does not meet the required moves for a golden sock

KnotBot is available on Steam priced at 9.29GBP/$11.99/9.99EUR.

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