Did you know that there are at least three depictions of an "onion knight" in mainstream media? I sure as hell didn't. You've got your classic Onion Knight of the Final Fantasy variety, which is the only one I knew about until now. Then there's Game of Thrones' Davos Seaworth whose nickname is Onion Knight, a fact that completely flew over my head despite having watched the whole damn show. Finally, there's the Knights of Catarina from Dark Souls, derogatorily nicknamed the Onion Knights. Poor guys.
Wanna know what grinds my gears about these, though? Not one of these fellas is actually an onion. They're just dudes with swords! Thank god for Rhythm Sprout: Sick Beats and Bad Sweets, a game that actually features a literal onion knight. He's a lil' bulb with a knight's helm! And, oddly enough, a blue sports tracksuit. So imagine my joy when I spotted a demo for me to tinker around with before the full game releases in February.
I've been on somewhat of a rhythm kick lately, and I always love ones that take the traditional formula and put their own little twist on the delivery—like the way Bit.Trip Runner blends combat and sidescrollers, and how Rhythm Doctor uses visuals and a single button to make every single level unique. Rhythm Sprout is another nice spin on the genre, a kickass rhythm game that has big dungeon-crawling vibes. Notes fly down the screen and every successful hit takes my little tracksuit-wearing vegetable one step closer to the goal. It's a simple three-button control scheme—left, right, and a dedicated dodge button for obstacles and some sugary baddies.
These enemies—gingerbread men, chocolate bars, and other sweet treats sporting comically giant human noses—get in the way of my onion knight's quest. If my stank doesn't knock them out, my sword sure will. Travelling takes a brief pause to cut the critters to pieces before happily skipping along each level once more. Reach the end of the level, and my little onion man celebrates by immediately going honk-shoo right on the goal. Saving the world must be a tiring job.
It's one of those games that took me by surprise with just how much fun it is. I'm rather fussy with my rhythm games—and especially the music—but Rhythm Sprout's five demo tracks have been stuck in my head for the past few days. I found most of the note charts a little on the simpler side, but some more complex patterns in the fifth level have me hopeful for what's to come in the full game. There are also modifiers like mirror mode, turbo, and note randomisers that can be tweaked to make each chart a little more difficult.
If you're a fan of rhythm games, Rhythm Sprout is one that should most certainly be on your radar. It's simple enough to get into, features some absolute bangers and I can see later levels becoming a nice challenge for seasoned genre players like myself. Developer SURT is promising all kinds of music like K-Pop tracks, Lo-fi and Drum'n'Bass, so there should be a little something for everyone. If all the levels are as good as what the demo has to offer, I'll be a happy scallion.
You can peep the Rhythm Sprout demo over on Steam now, with the full game releasing on February 1.