Hollow Knight Review

A Quality Game That Will Last You Many Hours


The Knight, a character created by Team Cherry

Hollow Knight—is a popular game released in 2017, a game with quality on par with the likes of Cuphead or Dead Cells and, coincidentally, released the same year. It was released by an Indie developer crew based in Australia known as “Team Cherry,” and this was their first major creation with the creators of Hollow Knight creating other, smaller games like Hungry Knight. It began as a kickstarter in 2014 with a goal of $35,000 in Australian Dollars (AU) (about 26,000$ USD), but broke that goal by over $20,000 AU getting over $57,000 (about $42,500 USD). That extra funding and an additional four extra free downloadable pieces of content (DLC) made Hollow Knight into a massive Metroidvania (sub-genre of action-adventure video games, like Metroid and Castlevania) that is quite popular in gaming. 

Hollow Knight takes place in a post-apocalyptic bug kingdom where a disease has taken over the kingdom and you as the knighthave to slash your way through the kingdom to solve the mystery of the disease and to stop it. During your adventure, you meet many strange bugs that can help you by trying to sell you items or can harm you by trying to cut your adventure short. There is also a surplus of bosses, nearly every boss having a different strategy will help you in achieving their defeat. 

The controls of Hollow Knight are surprisingly simple to learn but can be hard to master. At the beginning of the game, you only have a nail that you can slash in all directions and you have the ability to gain soul from enemies which can let you heal, as well as the ability to move up, down, left, and right. As you progress, you gain more movement abilities like a double jump or dash, and you gain more attacks in the form of spells. These spells are damage sources that require soul to cast, and you can first unlock them very early in the game and upgrade them throughout your play-through. 

On the topic of upgrading, there are a few ways to upgrade your items to make your character a stronger knight. For your nail, you find an Non-Playable Character (NPC) during mid-game called the Nailsmith and he will upgrade your nail for money and, in the later upgrades, for a rare ore called a pale ore. For your base spells, you get two spells from snail shamans and one from a boss fight in the early-mid game, and can upgrade those spells with a different method for each, though I’ll spoil none of those ways. 

Snail Shaman, a character created by Team Cherry

Damage isn’t the only stat you can upgrade, too. You originally start with five masks (which represent hearts) and a soul vessel with a capacity of 99 (a number which has little value in the grand scheme of things), and both can be upgraded with fragments of their type (with three fragments for an extra soul vessel holding and four for an extra mask) for a total of nine masks with all shards and a backup soul storage that can fully fill up your primary vessel.

On top of permanent upgrade, there is a non-permanent upgrade system in the form of charms. Charms are a way to upgrade certain things and gain certain abilities when you have that particular charm equipped. Examples of this are turning into a slug when healing or getting extra damage when at 1 health point (HP). You start with three charm notches and you can upgrade that number all the way up to eleven at the end of the game. Each charm has an individual cost for how many notches it requires to be put on and can be overcharmed for over the amount of notches you have (but you would be taking double damage).

For the final review, I would like to talk about bosseswhich is one of the main pulls of the game. The bosses are of varying size and difficulty, from a maggot in armor to a literal moth god. They are all over the place and have very few limits on when to fight them, mainly because of the world being so open and so many skips being so easily doable by casual players, however getting to a boss early may make the fight significantly harder and take more time to beat than normally. There is also a boss rush mode at the very end of the game called “Godhome,” where players can fight all the bosses even a few new ones sprinkled in for fun. This is where you can fight the hardest boss in the gamethe Absolute Radiance. First, you have to go through pain though, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want every achievement, mainly because where it is doesn’t count as a percent of the game.  

The Radiance, a boss created by Team Cherry

I think extremely highly of Hollow Knight, for it has beautiful art and amazing gameplay that makes you feel that you’re in control while still giving you a healthy challenge. It isn’t for everyone though, for it isn’t a terribly fast paced game for most of your playthrough. It is an exploration based Metroidvania with epic combat sprinkled in on the side. Because of all of these details, it has very high replayability and is a 10/10 no matter how many times you go through it. 

If you’re looking for more info on Hollow Knight or looking for Hollow Knight content, here’s YouTubers I would recommend*:

*Not all of these individuals have school appropriate posts, so monitor the content published for trigger warnings (mainly language):




Windette (content warning)

mossbag (content warning)

Rusty (content warning)