Some games deliver instant gratification like a scratch ticket for the lottery: what you see is what you get. Other games work like the stock market, where the more you invest the greater your potential return. Wind-up Knight requires investment to maximize your fun. Mostly, you need time, but if you’re short on that, money works too.

The little toy knight of this title starts off on a daunting quest. He must face grave danger to find and rescue a kidnapped princess whom he secretly loves. All the action comes in the form of a beautifully rendered 3-D scrolling platform game. The little fellow jumps, ducks, and slashes his way through dungeons, ramparts, forests and other medieval settings. It’s challenging to make it through a level without being pierced by a spike, dashed on the rocks, burned by fire, or pecked by a giant bird, all of which puts you back at the beginning of that section. Furthermore, the knight must capture every “wind up” power-up along the way or he’ll wind down and stop in the middle of a run.

And, then there are the coins. Collect every coin along a level and you’ll have enough to purchase very helpful gear like a better sword, a shield and some armor. This is the investment I talked about. Snatching every coin on a level requires real concentration and probably multiple attempts. If you’d rather just keep moving onward and upward you may use real money to buy the necessary battle items from the store.

Finally, the creators crafted this game with many details. There’s an animated intro, pop-up tips on being a better knight and great sound effects for all the obstacles and creatures. All in all, if you’re up for committing the time, it’s a worthy download.

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