Hollow Knight, a game full of bugs – in the good sense

Bugs. The term evokes images of crawling things with fangs and stingers, hiding under our beds and in our shoes, and is rarely associated with something positive. They’re the bane of programmers and the scourge of children – and now, they’re the cute characters of Hollow Knight.

Before I bother you with my impressions, check out the trailer. It’s rare for a trailer to so cohesively show all of the game’s mechanics, and this one seems to be one of them:

Exploration, platforming, fluid combat and unlockable abilities seem to classify Hollow Knight as a metroidvania. The cute style does remind me of Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest, though the gameplay seems to be quite different.

Among the several features of the game, a couple have caught my eye as novel or particularly interesting, such as the presence of “feats”, difficult challenges that players can try to achieve and “Dream Diving”, the ability to venture into strange worlds contained within both friend’s and enemy’s heads. These go along the already expected large, non-linear world you can explore and abilities and spells you unlock that allow you to visit previously inaccessible areas.

Hollow Knight oozes charm and if nothing else the team behind it are very capable animators and sound designers. I still haven’t decided on what I think your character is, but from the shape of his head I’d guess that he’s some type of beetle – considering a dung beetle can pull over 1100 times its own weight[1] (ponder on how impressive that is for a moment), there could be no other insect more fit to the job of exploring the ancient ruins of the Hallownest kingdom.

shield_zombie_fight

You can learn more about the upcoming game on its Kickstarter page, where it was funded with an excess of USD 22,000,  guaranteeing new locations, bosses and quests, a second playable character and a Wii U release. The Australian indie trio Team Cherry have slated the release for the first quarter of 2016, and it’s initially coming out on the PC, Linux, Mac and the Wii U.

1. To put things in perspective: that’s the equivalent of an average-sized man pulling 80 tons – or eleven full-sized elephants.

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2 thoughts on “Hollow Knight, a game full of bugs – in the good sense

    1. I look at it this way: if a dung beetle wants to stop rolling balls of feaces around, he can elect to do so; on the other hand, I can’t simply will myself into being capable of pulling eleven elephants.

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