Knights in Tight Spaces takes 'Fights' medieval

Developer Ground Shatter follows up on its deckbuilding roguelike by visiting a whole new time period.

Raw Fury

In late 2021, developer Ground Shatter wrapped up early access on Fights in Tight Spaces. It was largely overshadowed by a lot of Game of the Year chatter, but it was a delightful card-based strategy game that had players get into scrapes against increasing numbers of bad guys. It challenged players to think tactically, use the best moves available to them, and do so with little space to maneuver. It was a concept that has thankfully proven clever enough for Ground Shatter to return to, albeit in a more unexpected way. The team is now going backward in time to the medieval period with the upcoming Knights in Tight Spaces. Shacknews was in town for this year's Game Developers Conference, so we took a first look.

The overhead battle system in Knights in Tight Spaces

Source: Raw Fury

In principle, Knights in Tight Spaces uses the same core concept. Players take on the role of a heroic knight who finds himself up against a slew of different ne'er-do-wells. Once again, players will face off against adversaries by playing the cards available to them. Cards in hand can perform different actions, like strikes, takedowns, and movements. Like the game's predecessor, management of resources and resourcefulness in close quarters is the key to victory, but there are a few major differences this time around. This time around, players will select from different classes, each of which use their own unique cards.

The first thing to note is that Knights in Tight Spaces boasts an updated art style to reflect its setting. While Fights in Tight Spaces used a silhouetted style to reflect spy thrillers, Knights uses a more parchment-like presentation. Backgrounds and characters look like they were colored in ink from a quill pen, as does the art on the game's many cards.

Class system in Knights in Tight Spaces

Source: Raw Fury

The other important difference is that Knights in Tight Spaces will use a party system. As the game's story unfolds, currently through text exchanges, the main character will encounter random friendlies who will offer to join them in battle. These characters will often be of different classes, meaning they can use different abilities. While it's nice to have other allies to cover the battlefield, it adds further adds to the challenge of using cards in your hand, because certain cards will only work for a specific character. Players will need to be careful in how they fight, making sure to watch their main character specifically. If the lead character falls, the battle is over, regardless of how many allies are still standing.

It should also be noted that players may sometimes encounter too many allies over the course of their story. It's possible to dump an older ally in favor of what appears to be a more powerful class. With that said, there's a possibility that the spurned party member may come back for revenge later.

Knights in Tight Spaces looks like it will retain so much of what made the original Fights in Tight Spaces so much fun while also adding several new degrees of strategy. There's plenty of room for this title to grow further as it develops, but as of now, it plays like the original, which is definitely a good thing. There's no word on a release window for Knights in Tight Spaces or whether it will spend any time in early access like Fights in Tight Spaces before it. For now, it's coming soon to PC. We looked at quite a few games in the past week, so be sure to check out the GDC 2024 topic page for more previews like this one.

This preview is based on an early PC version played during a private meeting with the publisher. The final product is subject to change.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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