Hollow Knight, TDLR: I’m in deep.

Rating: 9/10


I got to play Hollow knight this quarter and it has slowly become one of my favorite games (I hit 10/15 hours of game play within a busy school week…). I played it on steam and the second I opened the game I was drawn in by the beautiful artwork and game animations.


[Knight at Greenpath Stagway]

For those who aren’t familiar with Hollow Knight, it is a Metroidvania/platform style game where the player controls a Knight who is a nameless insectoid warrior. We explore Hallownest, a fallen kingdom that features several bug mobs and an interconnected world.


The game begins with the Knight waking up in a forgotten tomb with no memories of how they got there. It is a cool introduction to the game and helps you get adjusted to the game mechanics before you go down to the Hallownest. While I have played platformers in the past, I had to get use to the timing of the attacks and having jump as a key rather than ‘W’ or the up arrow. This adjustment period caused me to die several times in the tutorial. When you die, your soul is left behind. When you respawn and come back to it, you fight it to regain your resources. However, if you die five times without collecting your soul, you restart the game (I learned this the hard way ;-; ). Once you get past the forgotten tomb, you come to a city that is just above the Hallownest. There are shops here that you can unlock. One shop sells charms that acts as buffs for fighting and overall game mechanics. The other shop sells mapping charms that allow you to keep track of where you are in the world. This gives you incentive to fight the mobs and collect geos. One of my favorite parts about Hollow Knight is the boss battles. Each mob that you interact with in Hollow Knight has a different fighting style. The smaller mobs each have a single ability that you must work around. The bosses have several moves to make the fighting more dimensional and difficult. The major boss battles also help you unlock abilities or parts of the map that lets you advance in the game. While the game allows you agency on where you want to explore, I feel that the boss battles act as guidance for you to gauge where you are progressively.


What makes Hollow Knight one of my favorite games is that it has taken a very popular and overdone genre of games (platforms) and has enriched it just by honing in on elements of art, animations, story, and music. It is obvious to me that the creators have spent a lot of time on the game and there are just hours of beautiful gameplay that makes the $15 price tag well worth it.


The only criticism that I have is that charms are really expensive, and it is difficult for me to decide if I want to grind for them by killing mobs or progress in the game without them. I see the appeal of setting their price points this way but sometimes it is frustrating when I am saving for a charm and then I die and lose all of it.

Overall, I love this game. I find myself playing it as study breaks and in between classes. I also feel that it is a nice break from games this quarter that have been story intensive.

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  1. Hi Phuc, I agree that the charms were hard to grind out and obtain. I had to chose between them and decided which ones were the best. Aside from that, I can’t believe you died 5 times without collecting your soul… What a way to discover a hidden game mechanic…

    Also, the unique interactions with the bosses were definitely a fun aspect of the game. I actually died several times to a miniboss.. before understanding how to fight more efficiently.

  2. Hi Phuc, cool to read about your experience! I personally couldn’t even get past the first boss I encountered due to the difficulty lol. I like your point about what makes Hollow Knight one of your favorite games — though the style of play (i.e. platforming/Metroidvania) is not necessarily unique, the tone, atmosphere, premise, and almost all visual and auditory elements of the game have a very high attention to detail and create something unique.

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