Knytt Underground (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By Adam Riley 30.09.2013 4

Review for Knytt Underground (Hands-On) on Wii U

Cubed3 loved NightySky, right from when it was first tried out on WiiWare, through to its eventual release on Nintendo 3DS eShop. Now its creator, Nifflas, is back with Knytt Underground on Nintendo's Wii U eShop. The recent Eurogamer Expo had the privilege of housing the latest demo edition of this tasty prospect and it is already proving to be even more addictive than NightSky.

It is always embarrassing when talking to a developer and forgetting what they previously worked on, let alone asking if they were behind a completely different game they had nothing to do with! Conversational faux pas aside, Nicklas 'Nifflas' Nygren politely shrugged off the mistaken identity (no, not the guy behind Cave Story, despite the graphical appearance of Knytt Underground belying that fact - oops!) and proceeded to offer tips during play of what is a very pleasing adventure romp.

Some of the intriguing twists in Knytt Underground are that all dangerous drops are actually passageways to other areas of the impressively expansive and highly intricate map (accessible at any time on the GamePad, with players able to see where key mission locations that are currently in play are to be found), and secondly that the lead character can transform into a bouncing ball at will...Yes, a ball.

Screenshot for Knytt Underground (Hands-On) on Wii U

This mechanic is not as strange as it first sounds, and comes into use regularly, proving to certainly be no mere gimmick. Struggling to comprehend how to get across a vast expanse? No problem! Quick turn into a ball, start bouncing on the spot and then try taking a leap of faith. However, be sure to quickly switch back to human form or else the resultant bouncing effect will undoubtedly cause a major headache - hitting enemies, rebounding back from whence the character came, and so on. There is a definite puzzle element to proceedings, with RPG fetch quests mixed in, and a wide open space perfect for in-depth exploration, helped by how the lead character can cling to walls and scale heights that way.

For those situations where mere wall-climbing and ball-bouncing did not suffice, there are also moments where special yellow icons can be collected to rocket-propel the lead character upwards, plus the ability to slingshot to ledges using the help of special robots whilst in ball form. The whole concept is extremely odd, but definitely in a highly intriguing and engaging way. Everything is helped along by some seriously funny script work, with a heavy dose of sarcasm throughout that really appealed in the short time playing Knytt Underground. When the demo ended, it was difficult to put down the GamePad and walk away, which is obviously a positive sign...

Screenshot for Knytt Underground (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

With a look of Cave Story and the feel of an expanded NightSky, it is apparent that Knytt Underground is already shaping up to be something extremely special indeed. Even from the early taster session on offer recently, it was clear that Nifflas' new title is one that will easily grab gamers and not let go, drawing them further and further into the highly engaging, and thoroughly comical, adventure.

Developer

nifflas

Publisher

Ripstone

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Knytt has been around on PC for ages, I remember playing it in college, about 7 years ago maybe? Dunno if this is exactly the same, sounds very similar. Great game, really original, glad it's making the jump to console!

Looks interesting to me! Will keep my eye on it and could def be a future purchase! 

When in doubt....Whip it out!

Ikana said:
Knytt has been around on PC for ages, I remember playing it in college, about 7 years ago maybe? Dunno if this is exactly the same, sounds very similar. Great game, really original, glad it's making the jump to console!

Seems this is the third Knytt game and it's already been out on PSN since December last year! Didn't realise that until writing up this article! I'm intrigued to see what differences there will be in this Wii U edition.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Darkflame (guest) 30.09.2013#4

The PC version of the original Knytt  Storys, and has a HUGE number of modules.

http://nifflas.ni2.se/?page=Knytt+Stories

"Don't Eat The Mushroom" is a must-play. Its the most fun 5 minute game ever, and with many different possible routes depending on your "choice".

http://knyttlevels.com

Seriously, its well worth the effort to install Knytt and download a few modules for it. Any fan of good metrovania style 2d exploration games owns it to themselves Smilie

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