ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights follows Lily as she tries to unearth exactly what has happened to her beloved kingdom, which is now run amok by a legion of demons known as the Blighted. Another indie Metroidvania, I hear you say? Well, yes, but ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights provides recent respite from the plethora of pixel art entries to the genre and instead, has a more gothic, Castlevania-esque art-style.
On the subject matter of art-style, ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights is absolutely beautiful - one of the best-looking indie games I’ve ever played on the Switch. When I saw the trailers, my mind instantly went to Hollow Knight and there are plenty of similarities with its godlike bosses and dark, dank environments. However, ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights has enough in its locker to step away from merely being labelled as a Hollow Knight tribute. There’s nothing particularly original or ground-breaking in the gameplay but the world is cleverly tied together and the combat is flawlessly exciting. There are upgrades and spirits that Lily can summon to help along her journey and each adds value to her arsenal. Some spirits are better at targeting aerial enemies and others better on the ground; the skill is in working out which spirit is best in which combat situation and when you work out the perfect balance, it’s incredibly satisfying.
The piano-driven score is as beautiful as the visuals and it makes for a compelling experience as you fight your way through the kingdom. Also, if you’ve read one of my many other Metroidvania reviews before, you’ll know I’m fussy about in-game maps but thankfully, the map in ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights ticks all the boxes and it really enhances the exploration experience as you track down the plethora of items, upgrades and secrets.
- Beautiful art style
- Smooth and exciting combat
- Great for exploration/100% aficionados
I’m really struggling here, there really wasn’t much to complain about! The HP system can be frustrating at times; there’s a standard health bar and then a number of ‘prayers’ that you can get Lily to execute. Each ‘prayer’ refills a certain amount of her health (you begin the game with three ‘prayers’) but you must do this manually. It’s not a particularly unusual health mechanic and it teaches you to keep an eye on the bar but this becomes more and more tricky as the combat ramps up and when there is a lot happening on screen. There is a few seconds’ delay when executing a ‘prayer’ and you’re not invulnerable while doing it, so I often died in the process of trying to replenish my health. What was also frustrating is that there’s only a visual cue when your health is low – the edge of the screen becomes dark red – but this was not immediately obvious against many of the dark backgrounds, so I found myself happily moving along without noticing my perilously low health and well, you can guess what happened next. But maybe I just need to be more diligent! This problem was also exacerbated in the boss fights, some of which are incredibly challenging; we’re talking Dark Souls levels of difficulty at times!
- Low-health visual cue unclear
- Cumbersome self-healing mechanic
- Ridiculously hard boss fights
Final Score: 9/10
Please play this game. It’s beautiful, well thought-out and a lot of fun. As indie Metroidvanias go, it’s pretty faultless and it would appeal to fans of the RPG and action-adventure genres too. Many fans of the Metroidvania genre are eagerly awaiting the next huge entries on the Switch (Axiom Verge 2, Hollow Knight Silksong, etc) but in the meantime, ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights will sate everyone’s appetite and more.
Thank you for checking out our ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights Switch review, thank you to Binary Haze Interactive (via Stride PR) for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: