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I’ve teamed up with good friend and fellow YouTuber Jesse Cox of OMFGCata to bring the world a brand new web series called “The Greenlight!” Every Saturday, Jesse and I will spotlight a game currently on Steam Greenlight that deserves to get those thumbs up.
Last week we went roaming around dark dungeons, and apparently we’re not finished with dwelling in underground caverns as this week’s game is Knytt Underground. Now, anyone familiar with indie games in any capacity should know what the Knytt games are and should have hopefully played them. These were simple sidescrolling platformers that carried mystery in the atmosphere. The most recent iteration before Underground was Knytt Stories, and the focus of that game, and what made it fairly popular, is that it came with a simple level editor so that people could make their own grand adventures and share with others. Knytt Underground derives from the essence of the original Knytt games, but ups the scale to epic proportions and includes some rather interesting power-ups.
Go and give Knytt Underground that big thumbs-up over on Steam Greenlight if you think it looks as great as we think it is!
If you weren’t already sold on Knytt Underground due to unfamiliarity with the developer or the series it is a part of, then it won’t take too much convincing to swing you around. Immediately present as you start the game is the atmosphere. Mostly it’s foreboding and mysterious, sprinkled with silhouettes and oddly photo-realistic background of flowers, trees and ambient colors. Soon enough, you’re introduced to how the game operates, and it’s as you’d expect any sidescrolling platformer to work, though Jesse and I did find the climbing mechanic just cute to look at due to Mi’s little legs scuffling.
Who is Mi? She’s the main character – a sprite, in fact – and what’s interesting with Knytt Underground is the journey that you go through with her – the places you see, the people you speak to and so on. Surprisingly, there’s a LOT going on in Knytt Underground in terms of backstory and character. The story follows that either Mi or her brother will be chosen to ring the Six Bells of Fate – of course, it’s Mi who is fated to do so. If she doesn’t perform this task as required, it is said that the whole world will be devastated. So it’s pretty important that she lives up to the challenge. The developer teases an extra layer on top of this, though, as he offers the suggestion that maybe the myths surrounding the Six Bells of Fate are just that – imagined stories from the past – so in that you get a sense of the game’s mysterious ways.
Gameplay-wise, we’re looking at a metroidvania, for lack of a better term, that seems to be fairly small in its early stages, but as soon as you hit Chapter 3, it suddenly opens up and becomes much bigger to the surprise of everyone who has played it. It’s a game of exploration that initially focuses on gently rearing you on a diet of unpunishing platformer sections and dodging the dangerous human technology that lies in waiting to zap you. On your side is your nimble sprite ways, as well as a number of pick-ups that grant you the ability to fly, jump further, swing and a whole host of other abilities. The catch is that they’re all time-based so the game slowly picks up a pace with more of a risk factor involved. That, along with the interesting array of characters and gorgeous aesthetic, will keep you playing the game for a number of enjoyable hours.
Check out my Super Indie Spotlight below for my more in-depth verdict on Knytt Underground: