Review: Knytt Underground - PlayStation 3 and PS Vita
Knytt Underground (PS3/PSVita) Knytt Underground is a 2D puzzle platformer, created by indie developer Nifflas.
Gameplay appears simple on the surface, as do the visuals, but once the surface is scratched it is hard to pull away from exploring the giant world and the strangely beautiful art stylings.
Knytt Underground adopts a minimalistic attitude from the outset. The player takes control of a sprite named Mi the moment the game loads. At the title screen the player needs to navigate Mi to start the game, in essence teaching the controls before the story begins.
The game is divided into three chapters, the first two teach you two different ways to control characters, in relatively small areas, with chapter one and two only taking a couple of hours each to complete.
However, on entering chapter three you realise the huge scale of the game - there are 1,800 rooms to explore and this game does require a large amount of exploration, some areas seemingly impossible to navigate if you don’t take the right approach.
Knytt Underground is simply a huge game. Being a digital download and being released at a budget price, this game gives you a surprising amount of playtime.
To find all the secrets in this game is a gargantuan task. Secret areas are hidden throughout the game including the title menu and end credits.
The simple yet addictive gameplay will keep avid explorers coming back for more and more. It is possible to find alternate solutions to problems, something that would not be apparent on a first playthrough.
Playing as Mi controls at first seem oversensitive due to her speed, but with time this will be overcome. Mi can traverse terrain by climbing and jumping. Bob a ball and the second character controls vary differently and require clever use of bouncing to reach areas that seem out of reach at first.
Combining these characters gives a take on the genre that feels new and refreshing. Some areas will also have enemies which are generally avoided, but can on rare occasions be destroyed.
There are various power-ups which can give you temporary flight, swinging abilities or transform you that give a refreshing change of pace.
The only flaw is that due to the exploration nature and large scale of the map, backtracking can become a chore at times. This however is unsurprising to occur considering the size of the map, so this can be forgiven.
The game uses a black foreground with a background full of vibrant colours, which gives the game a very distinct look. Music is simple and will hardly be noticed while exploring the caves, providing a decent level of background noise without becoming distracting or annoying.
The story is given in small snippets - it will give you enough reason to play, but not much else.
There is no difference playing this game on PS3 or PSVita and if you buy one version you will get the other free. The cloud save works in this game, but you will have to manually upload and download the save file if switching devices. This is a great addition allowing the game to be played seamlessly between devices, allowing you to take your adventure on the move.
Overall Knytt Underground is a solid platforming and exploration experience, which is a prime example of the great innovation that some smaller development teams are capable of.
Fans of the genre will find hours of fun, others will be able to enjoy the artsy and simple style of the game, but may find the bulk of the game a little overwhelming.