Knights in the Nightmare DS

  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Jun 3, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
Buy On
  1. There's just so much content here and so much complexity that once you get a handle on how the game works, it's going to be difficult to stop playing.
  2. 90
    Knights is something completely unique and as such has a learning curve. But, once the game is understood, it only gets better and better.
  3. 90
    Knights in the Nightmare is a miraculous achievement in game design, and one hell of an RPG experience.
  4. Aside from the fact that the game has a fairly steep learning curve early on, there isn't a lot to complain about when it comes to Knights in the Nightmare.
  5. You’ll know the first time you play it whether this game is for you – you’ll either be immediately dissuaded by its complexity and depth, or you’ll fall in love with them. It might be the very definition of “niche title”, but for those who get it, Knights in the Nightmare provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  6. 88
    An awesome addition to the DS library.
  7. Knights in the Nightmare isn’t a game that everybody will love simply because it’s one of the most complex games ever to be released. There is no game to really compare it to, except for maybe Ikaruga, and that’s not even an RPG.
  8. In the end, no other DS title plays like Knights in the Nightmare. It's one of those games that gives you as much as you put into it.
  9. Knights in the Nightmare can’t be judged by numbers. It breaks the barriers between two different genres, melting elements and creating something really different. Sometimes it loses himself in the hugeness of the magnificent gameplay, but it’s a little sin, and the supporting elements, from the plot to the fantastic artistic direction, confirm the quality of the production. Hail to Sting, for the courage needed to innovate, and to Atlus, for taking the responsibility to believe in their vision.
  10. If you have a DS and are sick of the same old RPG clones that have been coming out this past year then Knights may be just what you are looking for, especially if you don’t mind trying new things.
  11. 82
    If you're a series fan, there's no question that you need to play this game. For newcomers, I only offer this one warning: be ready for a challenge.
  12. Nintendo Power
    As unlikely as it seems, it's a great combination of cerebral strategy and pure twitch challenge. [July 2009, p.86]
  13. Those of you willing to take the challenge will find a beautiful, genre-bending game with near-endless amounts of strategy, customisation and content. Truly, Knights In The Nightmare is a game worthy of the title "hardcore".
  14. Knights in the Nightmare combines deep tactical role playing with frantic old-school bullet dodging to tremendous effect.
  15. Knights in the Nightmare is not an easy game to get into, and its complicated mechanics might be too overwhelming for those looking for simpler fun. Regardless, few games can reward your efforts as well as this one can. Pick it up if you want something different. Long live the king.
  16. Knights in the Nightmare, while complicated, is an excellent game worthy of players' time and effort.
  17. Knights in the Nightmare struggles under the weight of its own complexity but the bizarre melding of divergent gaming subgenres make it a title I'd recommend to anyone bored with gaming's status quo.
  18. Nintendo Gamer
    The most complex RPG we've ever played. Takes a lot of time to get to grips with, let alone master, but it's worth the effort. [Sept 2009, p.71]
  19. Game Informer
    An intriguing excursion into uncharted territory. [June 2009, p.93]
  20. Knights in the Nightmare isn't a bad game; the combat system is addictive as hell, and though the various elements of the game that might seem like an odd mix, together they make a lot of sense. It just tries to do too much, so instead of a historic must-play that changes the genre forever, we get a quirky, worthwhile oddity.
  21. GamePro
    Casual players and even tactical RPG fans may have a hard time getting used to Knights in the Nightmare, and I can guarantee that the effort to learn the battle system will be worth it in the long run. [July 2009, p.86]
  22. Part tactical role-player, part bullet hell shooter - this is hard to get into but worth it if you do.
  23. Edge Magazine
    For its fights alone Knights In The Knightmare is a worthy effort, another semi-successful attempt to find the sweet spot for stylus-driven roleplay. [July 2009, p.101]
  24. The story never draws you in, battles take forever, diminishing the game’s allure as a portable experience, and the fact that you play as a ball of light introduces a layer of separation from the game’s characters that ensures your disinterest in their fates.
  25. It fails in the most fundamental aspect: the gameplay. It’s generally dull. Despite a high initial learning curve – usually the sign of a game with depth and complexity – Knights in the Nightmare is shallow and simple.

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#20 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. BrynJ.
    Jan 27, 2010
    A complex, difficult, innovative strategy game that maximizes the potential of the DS hardware. The visuals, audio, and gameplay are more A complex, difficult, innovative strategy game that maximizes the potential of the DS hardware. The visuals, audio, and gameplay are more polished than most games. Give it some time, maybe read a FAQ towards the beginning of the game to figure out what you need to do, and don't project your ideas of what a strategy game should be onto this game. Full Review »
  2. TrevorG.
    Jan 26, 2010
    So I picked up this game when it first came out because it looked absolutely amazing. And then I let it sit for months because I just So I picked up this game when it first came out because it looked absolutely amazing. And then I let it sit for months because I just didn't want to take the time for the tutorials(I heard it took an hour or so). I kept playing games I could just pick up and play. Then one day decided I would just start doing the tutorials.... they really fly by... not very long at all. And it was totally worth it! The story is interesting and has a nice progression. It let's you know just a piece of the puzzle at a time. The settings are very immersive... especially for a hand-held game. And the battles are a lot of fun. If you like strategy games like Age of Empires on the DS and you like RPG's than this game should be up your alley. While it's true you don't get too attached to all your characters.... you do get pretty attached too the knights you've been fighting with for a while. Especially after upgrading them(and you get a little glimpse into what they were like when they were alive).... but the story isn't about your knights ... it's about the wisp and his connection to everything that is going on. It's really a intimate look into the kingdom of Aventheim... both it's past and present. The art style is really unique and very well done. There's just so many good things to say about this game. Probably my favorite game on the DS. Full Review »
  3. JeremyS
    Aug 21, 2009
    Knights in the Nightmare is game that I wanted to like a lot more than I did. I commend Sting on creating something this unique and Knights in the Nightmare is game that I wanted to like a lot more than I did. I commend Sting on creating something this unique and interesting, but it wasn't a game I wholeheartedly enjoyed. The whole game contradicts itself. The battle system is extremely confusing until you get the hang of it, then I came to the realization that it was deceivingly simple, just a bit convoluted. The story is well written and has an epic scale, but I didn't feel any connection to most of the characters. (There are an astounding amount of units to recruit) On the other hand, the artwork and sprites are absolutely beautiful. The compelling music has a castlevania vibe going for it. (The game comes with a music CD with tons of tracks, good stuff) It's not a great game, but it is a good game that does a lot of interesting things. Most of these things work, some of them tried my patience. I'd highly recommend it to those who have patience and are fans of SRPG's. If you are neither of these, get this game at your own risk. Full Review »