The Shapeshifting Glory of Muffin Knight Never Grows Stale

I original planed on topping off today's Gaming App of the Day with "Revolutionary Game Features Unicorns Pooping Explosive Rainbows", but I didn't want to oversell Angry Mob Games' Muffin Knight.

A pint-sized platformer with role-playing elements, Muffin Knight has been around on iOS and Android devices since last fall, winning hearts with its colorful 2.5D graphics and devouring free time with its baked goods-based character transformation mechanic and its simply addictive role-playing flavored progression system. I only discovered the game recently myself, thanks in part to its inclusion (in somewhat gimped form) in the Amazon App Store on my Kindle Fire.

Have I mentioned the unicorn shits incendiary rainbow droppings?

Simple and sweet gets me every time, and that's just what Muffin Knight is. As the story goes, a young lad wandering the woods wandered upon a basket of magical muffins, accidentally scattering them to the four corners of the fantasy kingdom. Incensed, the muffins' witchy owner transforms the boy into a knight and tasks him with travelling the world recovering her enchanted snacks.

So the titular hero must travel from level to level, gathering enough muffins to unlock the next level while killing hordes of rampaging beasts and baddies hell-bent on endlessly traveling to the bottom of the screen and then popping back up top faster and more powerful unless you defeat them the first time through. It's pretty plain arcade fare, until you factor in the magic muffins.

Every time the hero collects a muffin, he instantly transforms into a different character class. One moment he's a spear-tossing Knight, then he's a shotgun-wielding Dwarf, a lightning-hurling Mage, or an Archer carrying a high-powered crossbow in each hand.

The more muffins you collect, the more characters you unlock, the roster growing crazier with each new addition. There's a monkey that hurls boomerang bananas; a shuriken-hurling ninja that just happens to be a kitty; a bile-spewing zombie; and yes, a unicorn that shits explosive rainbows.

The thing is you never know which character you'll be transforming into, so once you've unlocked all 18 things can become a mite unpredictable. There'll be characters you love (Archer, Unicorn) and characters you despise (Sumo Panda, Grizzly); you've got to play the hand you're dealt as you deal with increasingly difficult waves of enemies.

What's truly diabolical about Muffin Knight is that bastard of a "Tap Here to Start" button. It's always right there when you die, along with an indicator of how many more muffins you need to unlock the next character, or how close you are to reaching the next experience level and gaining another point that can be used to upgrade your characters or unlock special perks. That stupid, stupid button is why I stopped halfway through writing this and spent another hour playing the game. You fight, you transform, you die, you continue. It devours you.

The only real issue I have with Muffin Knight is that I purchased it on my Kindle Fire, which has yet to receive the festive Christmas update players of the straight-up Android or iTunes version have been playing. If you're considering playing on the Kindle, grab the Android version instead. It's all $2.99.

Much like muffins, Muffin Knight is sweet, simple, and dangerously addicting, and you can never go wrong with rainbow-shitting unicorns.

Muffin Knight [Android Market]

Muffin Knight [iTunes]