Star-Fired Beef

Steam Challenge – Knytt Underground

2 Comments

This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).

Time played: 7.5 hours

Knytt Underground is a great little puzzle-exploration platformer that, sadly, suffers from being too big. At least for me.

There are three chapters to the game. The first two act as a kind of tutorial that introduce you to some of the characters and the setting, and let you become comfortable with the mechanics. They are fun, and reasonably substantial – it took me about an hour, hour and a half to finish them.

Then you get to the meat of the game, Chapter 3. This is where it got ugly for me. I love the game itself, but there is just too much travel and not enough encouragement to continue. The main objective for the chapter is to ring six bells that are scattered throughout the world. The world is divided up into “rooms” that you need to traverse. Here’s the thing, though: it is a maze. And it is huge. 1728 rooms, to be precise. Granted, some of them are secret rooms, but you can definitely enter every one of them once you find the trick. That is a lot of backtracking.

I’m about 6 hours in, and I have not managed to get to a single bell. The map is not even a third complete. The keyboard controls are not conducive to long sessions – this is clearly better on console. And I am too demoralised to keep going. There is supposed to be a quick travel system available, called the disorder, but it has obscure rules that I need to be taught by certain creatures scattered about the world. So far I have found one of those creatures. I don’t know how many more I need to find to make things useful.

As I said, I love the game itself. The visuals are beautiful, the controls are fairly good, the rooms and puzzles are extremely well-designed. The characters and inhabitants of the world are good. I just ran out of steam. It feels like admitting defeat, but as with iBomber Defence and Jack Lumber, I think I’ve experienced most of what the game has to offer – completing it just feels like a formality. One that I am not keen on pursuing, when I have hundreds more games waiting patiently for my attention.

I would definitely try this again in the future on console, or if I got a controller for the PC. But for now, Knytt Underground is crossed off my list as Played.

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2 thoughts on “Steam Challenge – Knytt Underground

  1. The visuals remind me a little of a more colorful Limbo. Seems like a neat concept, but wow… that’s a lot of rooms and time spent trying to find bells!

    • Yeah it had that impression on me too. The movement is much more frantic though, unlike Limbo’s very heavy, slow pace. It’s just as well, because with this many screens of platforming, if the movement was sluggish it would be hell.

      You do get to see where the bells are, but of course it isn’t as simple as making your way straight to them…

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