Link to Game: https://www.hollowknight.com/
Hollow Knight is a game made by Team Cherry where players play as the “Hollow Knight”: a being born from void. It plays as a metroidvania where combat combines with open world exploration. The main draw of the game is how atmospheric the game feels tied along with tight controls and engaging combat.
The mechanics of Hollow Knight can be broken up into 3 main parts:
The player first is introduced to the control scheme of jumping and moving at the first part of the game. As the game goes on, the player gets different ‘power-ups’ that allow them to increase the range of movement (e.g. Wall Jumping, Diving and Double Jumping)
Exploration makes up the bulk of the gameplay in Hollow Knight which takes the player through Hallownest, the world where the game is situated in. Each area in Hallownest has its own unique flair and design.
Hollow Knight has a very fluid combat system with tight controls which allows for an experience where you only have yourself to blame if you get defeated in the game. There are melee attacks which you use your nail to perform as well as spells.
The aesthetics of the Hollow Knight follows a very grim theme. This emphasises the harshness of the world and also instils a sense of wonder as it encourages the player to push onwards in order to make sense of their environment. There are close references to real world in terms of nature where they took the physical look of insects and add their own dark spin to it.
The story of Hollow Knight is played through the interactions with the many NPCs and environment. The main character which you play does not talk himself and the game mainly focuses on how the world changes by the many actions you make. There are also 3 different endings depending on the actions you take during the game. This adds an additional level of complexity for the game for the player to explore if they so choose to.
Hollow Knight’s technical aspects include the implementation of a power-up system, the custom physics that the character uses to move as well as the little nuances that allows the game to have a high skill ceiling when speed running it, such as mastering the timing to hit an explosion in order to propel the character upwards to skip certain obstacles.
The Lens of Motivation
Hollow Knight caters to the player’s sense of exploration and discovery, where the game’s vast interconnected world, filled with hidden paths and secrets, encourages them to keep searching and uncover new areas and abilities.
This pushes the player to keep engaged throughout the playthrough of the game and keeps them returning even when they have completed the game to search for any missing secrets they may have missed out on.
Lens of Secrets
Hollow Knight has a surprising amount of content, which allows for high replay value. This also allows for the emergence to optimal paths to take when speed running the game. There also may be multiple different events or encounters the player may have missed out during the playthrough of Hollow Knight. They can also experience and go down different paths in each new playthrough, which adds to the value of replayability.
Lens of Goals
Hollow Knight has a clear goal as shown by a completion level per save file as well as defined by beating the final boss in the game. There is also an achievement system where players can earn achievements by completing certain objectives, like discovering all the charms or defeating all the bosses. This displays a sense of progression, as players become more powerful and skilled, they can tackle more challenging goals, making the game even more engaging and rewarding.
Lens of Skill
Hollow Knight is generally considered to be somewhat challenging in trying to complete the game. Over the course of playing the game along with many deaths and failed attempts, the player will see themselves becoming better at the game through developing the skills of knowing the precise timing and positioning to defeat enemies. Players must also master the game’s various movement and traversal mechanics, such as wall-jumping and dash-slashing in order to progress.