Knytt Underground is a metroidvania style 2D platformer developed by Nifflas and Green Hill Studios. It is set in a gigantic underground complex, now left to the sprites and fairies after humanity mysteriously disappeared. The game was released on PlayStation 3 and Vita on December 18, 2012, with a DRM free PC version coming out a few days later. In a Nintendo Direct on August 7, 2013 a Wii U port of the game was also announced.
As a bonus, the game includes a copy of the original Knytt game, accessible though a hidden path in the credits section.
Humanity nearly destroyed their planet in a great war 500 years ago, and was forced to move into giant underground complexes to escape the toxic atmosphere. Then they all mysteriously vanished. In their absence, sprites, fairies and other strange creatures have taken over the underground. As they never truly knew humanity, its remains gives rise to countless theories, superstitions and legends hoping to explain all the tings left behind.
One such legend, core to the beliefs of the religious Myriadists, concerns the 6 bells of fate - if not rung once every 600 years, a massive chain reaction will destroy the world. So as the time approaches, they select a mute sprite girl, Mi Sprocket, to find and ring the bells. She sets out accompanied by two fairies, but they all can't help but wonder if it's actually necessary. It could just be superstitious nonsense after all.
The game is a metroidvania style flip screen 2D platformer with a sizable 50x30 map to explore. Drawing from both the previous Knytt games and Nifflas' Within a Deep Forest, the player controls a humanoid sprite or a bouncing ball, eventually gaining the power to switch between the two at will.
The sprite is a typical platforming character, capable of running and jumping, but also climbing vertical walls. The ball on the other hand, moves faster and and can jump higher, but is harder to control due to inertia and rebounds off angled surfaces. Aside from controlling movement, the player can also increase or decrease the ball form's bounce, as well as use a magnetic tether to swing around certain robots.
While the start of the game is linear and directed, most of it is centered around free-form exploration and traversal, moving from room to room filling out the map, gathering items and information needed to solve a larger quest. Some rooms provide no challenge, others are puzzles that require specific use of the player character's powers.
There are also dangers that can kill the player, both environmental features like toxic sludge or lava, and enemy robots that may pursue or fire upon the player. As the player has no innate offensive abilities, enemies must simply be avoided most of the time. There is no penalty for death, outside being respawed at the last "safe" point, usually at the entrance of the room or in the one before it.
Many rooms have temporary power ups available, usually carefully placed as part of a traversal puzzle to get the player to the next room or a hard to reach item. They take the form colored, glowing stars, with each color representing a different power. They can be carried for a short while before fading away and reforming at their original location, and activating them in the right place is generally needed to use them effectively.
|Blue||Turns Mi into a blue starburst that files horizontally in the direction the player was facing until ended by the player or hitting a wall.|
|Yellow||Turns Mi into a yellow starburst that flies upwards until ended by the player or hitting a ceiling.|
|Red||Creates a small explosion that flings Mi upwards. Limited range compared to Yellow, but allows for some degree of control.|
|Green||Turns Mi into a green starburst that can fly in any direction for a limited time. Ends if it makes contact with any obstacle.|
|White||Fires a white starburst in the direction Mi is facing capable of destroying a single robot.|
|Pink||Turns Mi invisible for a short time, letting her sneak past enemies.|