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Originally released exclusively on PC way back in 2017, Hollow Knight is a beautiful metroidvania that merges hand-drawn character art with smooth animation to immerse you into a world worth exploring. It all takes place in an underground world full of colorful insects, with you as the Hollow Knight seeking to restore peace. Now available for Nintendo Switch and PS4 – even more players can experience this haunting descent into the unknown.
Hollow Knight plays a lot like the classic Metroidvania games that inspired it, thrusting you into a world where you need to unlock new maneuvers and skills in order to progress. Certain areas will remain blocked off to you until you track down these special abilities, with much of the fun stemming from how much poling around your required to do. Aiding this is the fact that the insect kingdom of Hallownest is full of secrets to discover.
An insect-based metroidvania that sees you explore an underground micro kingdom
Hallownest is full of distinct areas to fight through. Where all is placed makes absolute sense for the world developer Team Cherry has created, with most interlinking and affecting each other in unique ways. Does one area feature a waterfall? Odds are when you pass underneath it rain will be pouring. There’s a map documenting the caverns and tunnels for every zone, but you’ll need to track it down if you hope to see everything.
Charming characters brought to life by hand
Unlike most modern metroidvanias that seek to replicate the classic style using pixelated graphics, Hollow Knight has been developed entirely using hand-drawn sketches. This is what gives characters like the eponymous hero and his constant foil Hornet their whimsical look, which also translations to the various attack and movement animations they perform.
Collectible upgrades that adapt Hollow Night’s abilities
Laced throughout every location are what’s known as charms, which hold the potential to gift Hollow Knight with special skills. There are only a certain number of slots, but wearing them in a unique combination can result in some wildly flexible gameplay opportunities. They do everything from causing double damage to enemies to letting players see the Knight’s position on the map.