Hollow Knight Review– and why it deserves a 10/10

Madison Horvat, Editor-in-Chief

I’d never thought I’d spend 60 hours playing a game about sentient bugs running around underground, but that was before I played Hollow Knight. Released in 2017 by Team Cherry, a small Indie developer team, Hollow Knight is an indie game that uses gameplay, storytelling, artwork, and music all meshed together to create something beautiful. 

I’ve never been one for 2D platformers, nor have I ever played a metroidvania (a subgenre of video games often characterized by player freedom and a large interconnected map– we’ll get into Hollow Knight’s take on this genre,) and yet this game truly seemed to capture me with it’s gameplay mechanics. The game starts out slow and simple, however as you progress through the game you unlock secrets, upgrades, and an expansive map to explore as you run around playing the character of a bug wielding a nail to jab at enemies with. The enemies of Hollow Knight also start out small and simple, but by the time you reach the far corners of the map, they’ve gotten a lot tougher, and a lot harder to beat.

Hollow Knight’s bosses are similar to the regular enemies of the game, and while I won’t spoil any boss fights, I will say that the difference between the first encounterable bosses and some of the last is staggering. I’ve spent hours trying to defeat some of the late-game bosses. The best part of it though, is that I had fun doing so. Hollow Knight’s mechanics make for fast paced, entertaining battles, where oftentimes it’s a good idea to learn a boss’s moveset before trying to really beat it. 

Aside from the gameplay, Hollow Knight has an overarching story that many players might not spot right away. As you progress through the game, however, story elements become much more apparent, and you find yourself unraveling the secrets of Hallownest, the ingame world of Hollow Knight

Not to mention, you can meet many NPCs around Hallownest, some aiding you in your journey, others simply existing in the world to populate certain areas. Over time, it’s easy to get attached to some of these characters as they aid you around Hallownest, or as they simply pass by. The NPCs of Hollow Knight really help to top off the world of Hallownest, and create an immersive experience for any player. Even better, the story elements don’t stop at NPCs. Even every boss has a story to tell, which can be unlocked through exploring, and fitting together puzzle pieces to form an overarching narrative of the tales of this bug world.

As much as I love the game Hollow Knight, there are some small issues I would warn potential buyers about. While I wouldn’t let these sway my decision of buying the game much, my opinions don’t speak for everyone. Hollow Knight could be considered challenging for anyone new to 2D platforming and metroidvanias, I know I certainly had trouble getting around for a good while. I did, at one point, get stuck on one platforming section before finally beating it after many attempts. However, for the most part, this isn’t a common issue, especially with the various upgrades you obtain throughout the game. 

Boss battles are also quite difficult as you progress throughout the game as well, and I can’t say I didn’t have to look up ways to cheese a fight a few times. As you get used to the gameplay, earn upgrades and progress, the game gets easier, however be warned if this is your first game of the genre. 

All in all, Hollow Knight is a fantastic game that I’d recommend to almost anyone. There’s a reason, or several reasons, that it’s so highly acclaimed, and at a price of $15 it’s a must have in any game library. Personally, Hollow Knight is a 10/10 in my book.