Gameloft has just launched a new game called Rival Knights on Android today. It's a free-to-play jousting simulator where players mount up in full medieval regalia, charge at their friends online or work their way through a single-player campaign, and try to smash opponents with a lance. Every round involves timing taps just as a cursor moves over the sweet spot in a target bar and dragging your lance to the chink in the armor in a limited amount of time.
There are over 120 unlockables to work towards, including helms, horses, armor, and a customizable crest. In-app purchases let you buy premium currency which can be spent on consumable power-ups or exclusive equipment. You'll also have to deal with an energy mechanic that limits how often you can play before having to pay up, and upgrade timers limiting how long it takes for your gear to be improved.
What's especially interesting about this game is that unlike most Gameloft titles within recent memory, Rival Knights doesn't seem loosely based on a popular mainstream game. It's great to see Gameloft working on an original IP for a change, and this certainly isn't the kind of game you see every day in the Google Play Store (though the freemium mechanics are woefully familiar). Those closest you'll find are the pared-down drag racing games where players have to shift gears with high precision.
I've only played a little bit so far, but the 3D graphics and ragdoll physics are quite impressive. Give it a try at the download link above. What do you guys think of Gameloft's latest title? Can they make a good game while still clinging to a freemium model? Be sure to check out our examination of where developers stand on free-to-play before you jump to any conclusions.