Bzzztroidvania! Hollow Knight released

You might remember that Pip took a good look in 2015 at the art of Hollow Knight [official site], admiring its cute yet sinister hand-drawn world of insects. Pretty to look at, how does it play? You can see for yourself, as Hollow Knight finally came out this week. I’ve not had a crack yet myself but a fair few folks seem jolly pleased with the Metroidvania action-platformer. Here, have a gander in this trailer:

Hey, that looks great.

Developers Team Cheery say:

“Beneath the fading town of Dirtmouth sleeps an ancient, ruined kingdom. Many are drawn below the surface, searching for riches, or glory, or answers to old secrets.

“Hollow Knight is a classically styled 2D action adventure across a vast interconnected world. Explore twisting caverns, ancient cities and deadly wastes; battle tainted creatures and befriend bizarre bugs; and solve ancient mysteries at the kingdom’s heart.”

The game’s out on Steam and the Humble Store for £10.99/14,99€/$14.99 and on GOG for £11.99.

Hollow Knight’s development was partially funded by a Kickstarter in 2014. Sure it’s taken almost two years longer than planned but it’s coming out looking pret-ty good.


  1. cheesysmell says:

    Well, this certainly looks very nice. I do see some people complaining about the difficulty—in particular with w.r.t. certain checkpoint locations—and there appears to be death penalties like Shovel Knight. Comparisons to Dark Souls? Oh my.

    I hope they’ll patch in an easy mode.

    • Todd Hawks says:

      If you retrieve your stuff after death there is no penalty, you get it all back. The mechanics are a bit similar to Dark Souls in general but it’s way more forgiving (e.g. you can actually heal yourself). So I don’t see it needing an “easy mode”, it’s fine. Try it. It’s quite good. And big.

      • sk2k says:

        If you die while you trying to get your stuff back it is all gone forever.

      • geisler says:

        Today i learned Estus Flasks don’t heal.

        • Babymech says:

          Estus flasks don’t heal the chosen undead; the chosen undead heals the chosen undead.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Comparisons to Dark Souls? Oh my.

      Any bit in any game that’s a bit hard gets compared to Dark Souls. The term will continue to steadily lose values as its uses continue to spread.

      I give it about 5 years before walking the dog in British weather gets compared to Dark Souls. Then 10 years and it’ll get used for lacing one’s shoes.

      • Faxanadu says:


        Lots of games are copying lots of things from DS. And this is great. Because DS is great.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Simply the word “hollow” in the title got me to think about Dark Souls. I found it amusing to imagine how people would turn this into a “DS rip-off/clone” argument, but apparently there’s more than just that which makes people draw DS comparisons.

      • mechavolt says:

        It’s not the hard combat that makes this comparable to Dark Souls. It borrows:

        Tell-based attacks from opponents.
        1 chance to retrieve resources lost on death.
        Oppressively dark atmosphere.
        Obtuse backstory hidden in descriptions and environmental context.
        Insane characters who ramble on as if you’re not there.

        I’d argue that it takes more from Ori/Metroidvanias with most of the mechanics, but the atmosphere and story-telling is very Dark Souls.

        • Viral Frog says:

          I hate anytime a game is compared to Dark Souls. It’s almost always a surefire way to completely kill my interest in a title. Yes, Dark Souls was entertaining… from what I cared to play of the first entry. I just don’t have the time or patience for games like that. I play games to relax. I do not play games to punish myself.

          Thankfully, I’ve heard enough about this game to brush off the comparisons to Dark Souls and may eventually give it a go. It sounds like it’s fairly close to being on par with Shovel Knight’s difficulty level (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m going on word of mouth). Shovel Knight is one of my favorites. I found it to be challenging, but not to the point of frustration.

  2. Blueberrypear says:

    I am absolutely loving this game. The scale seems absurd considering the quality of what’s in there. The amount of love that has been put into the animations, characters, worldbuilding, etc is just impressive and I even like the writing. Gameplay wise it’s very tight and I haven’t died yet, to qualm the fears of another commenter. This is top notch stuff. I’m playing it through on my channel, here’s the first episode :
    link to
    (Accidentaly had facecam activated, please forgive me, it’s off for the second one)

  3. LazyAssMF says:

    It’s a really, really great game. I haven’t finished it yet but i’m pretty deep in it and am loving every piece of it. :)

    If Dark Souls+Ori+Metroid had a child, this would be it.
    This game is def. an early GOTY contender for me. :)

  4. Tacroy says:

    Huh, I got a “sneak preview” of this from last month’s Monthly Humble Bundle; I wonder if that’s upgraded to the full version?

    Edit: looks like the answer is no, it really is just a demo.

  5. Merry says:

    This is a superb little game. I’m not a fan of platformers, and so not very good at them, but this one has kept me absorbed for a couple of hours. The story and the commentary from the characters you meet along the way are excellent

    It’s also worth noting that, if you buy from Humble Bundle at the same £10.99 as Steam ate charging, you also get access to a DRM-free no installation version. I assume you don’t get this from a Steam purchase

  6. LTK says:

    Can we look forward to a Wot I Think? I’m quite interested to know how the whole package holds up.

  7. Raoul Duke says:

    I find the current fascination with 2D platformers hard to fathom. People go nuts when Mass Effect 3 streamlines the controls slightly in a complex 3D action game, yet everyone is apparently delighted to twitch along in 2D to repetitive enemies and annoying holes to fall down. The art looks nice, but I can’t imagine playing this for long myself (yes, yes, taste is subjective etc etc).

    • Xzi says:

      “everyone is apparently delighted to twitch along in 2D to repetitive enemies and annoying holes to fall down”

      I mean, did you not watch the trailer? 140 different enemies and 30 different bosses is significantly more diverse than any of the Mass Effect games. Nor does falling down a hole seem like a main cause of death in this game. Getting spiked/buzzsawed/blown up in the platforming bits, maybe.

      • Catterbatter says:

        These kids today, with their hair and their clothes and their “current fascination” with types of games that have been consistently popular for 40 years… Oh save us from these new trends like platformers and roguelikes and metroidvanias WHAT IS TO BE DONE

        • Raoul Duke says:

          Funny, despite being massively into PC gaming the whole time I don’t recall platformers being particularly popular between approximately Commander Keen/Duke Nukem and the recent indie obsession with them. I guess Jazz Jackrabbit and the Lost Vikings were ok.

    • Harvey says:

      For me personally, it’s not a “current fascination”, rather I have always preferred platformers. Being nearly 40 has something to do with this I suppose, I cut my teeth on these types of games and they still grab me viscerally in a way that 3D games do not.

      Not that I don’t enjoy 3D games, mind you, but I’ll never feel as natural in them as I do in a 2D game. How to better put it… my 20 something brother-in-law destroys me in shooters and Dark Souls, but cannot hold a candle to my skills in Super Meat Boy.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Fair enough – I suppose my point was that the same people who scream and yell about vastly more complex games being ‘dumbed down’ seem to blindly worship these games, despite them being about as pared-back as it gets.

  8. cardboardcity says:

    Looks nice but I’m total butt at these games.