RPS Advent Game-o-Calendar: December 15th

Christmas time is here by golly. Celebrating gaming makes us jolly. To ignore this would be folly. Let’s open another door on our RPS-approved fairtrade advent calendar.

There's only so much alt text a man can stand.

It’s a killer monkey! A chocolate killer monkey, without the killer monkey. Thanks, Fairtrade. Om nom nom nom.

And for you?

It’s Knytt Stories!

Here’s a delightful thing. I’m sat here on my weak, creaky old laptop, on my Philadelphia-based holidays, and I’m still able to spend a late evening in the company of Knytt Stories.

They have secrets.

It is the simplest thing. Arrow keys, S to jump, and you’re done. The aim? Get to the far left. The reason? To tell the story.

Except of course, there’s so very much more to Knytt Stories. It’s all about smart design, and an ineffable atmosphere. Following the Samus rules of platforming, your character begins with the ability to jump, then as you progress you gain more movement. First is an increase in speed, then a higher jump, and later the sheer joy of the double-jump, with other surprises to follow. Oh, that double-jump. It’s such a delight to use. Obviously double-jumps are always great, but there’s something special about Knytt’s. Perhaps it’s the puff of smoke, or the pfffft sound, but it’s never not incredibly satisfying to execute. Especially as you start speeding up, letting you explore new passages with remarkable grace.

A game that comes in RPS-size screens!

Created by Nicklas “Nifflas” Nygren, it displays the same sense of environment, cuteness without cloy, and careful simplicity as his other releases, Within A Deep Forest and the original Knytt. And you may prefer either of these, but for me, it’s Knytt Stories that I love the most.

It’s free for you, you lovely person, downloaded from Nifflas’ site, from around about here. And you should.


  1. Theory says:

    Don’t forget to get more levels too. :)

  2. Dracko says:

    This thing is genius as a platform and editor and practically essential gaming. Don’t forget to check out the official expansions too. I particularly enjoy Gustav’s Daughter as an overworld experiment.

    An acquaintance also made three neat short scenarios, which shouldn’t take anyone more than a couple of minutes, but are notable for their originality and for playing with the rules of the game. Check them out here. Torchlight in particular plays with nocturnal fears and ‘oh lord what is lurking in the darkness!’ and The Oubliette is a delightful classic Prince of Persia throwback.

    I’d say it’s a shame Nifflas has decided to drop the project, but he wants to move on to other things and he has yet to truly disappoint. His other games on his site are worth playing too: One of the scenarios in Knytt Stories is a remake of the endgame of Within a Deep Forest, for instance. He’s definitely one of the great indie talents working at the moment, and fully understands the naive quality of gaming.

    Other neat scenarios I’d recommend include the Lovecraftian It Waits, the charming Rain and the relaxing city stroll Walk at Night.

  3. Xagarath says:

    Do I detect a Tom Lehrer reference?

  4. John Walker says:

    Xagarath: You very well may be.

  5. PleasingFungus says:

    This post finally inspired me to download Knytt Stories. Took me a few hours to beat the original scenario, but I suspect most of that time was spent creating a little pixelated map for the game. (I got a little lost at one point and went overboard compensating.) Still: Very pretty, controls are solid, lots of neat little tricks with the wall-climbing and umbrella that a motivated person could use.

    So, neat.

  6. Del Boy says:

    I’ve no idea why this kept passing me by considering I download every ‘indie’ game I come across.

    Great stuff.

  7. Dracko says:

    It does strike me as odd that there wasn’t more fuss made about this either. It’s just such a great idea for a freeware title.

  8. dbd says:

    What a wonderful game! Both the artwork and the music are beautiful, and the gameplay is spot on. One of those games that are simply enjoyable to play. Thanks for the link, I love it! :)

  9. Wroth says:

    I have the exact same advent calender, given to me by my mum. Does she read RPS?

  10. 2007 calendar little prince wall says:

    […] RPS Advent Game-o-Calendar: December 15th | Rock, Paper, Shotgun Posted by John Walker on December 15th, 2007 at 12:02 pm.. and The Oubliette is a delightful classic Prince of Persia throwback.. lots of neat little tricks with the wall-climbing and umbrella that a motivated person could use. RPS Advent Game-o-Calendar: December 15th | Rock, Paper, Shotgun […]