Indie Gaming On A Budget: Hollow Knight Or Night In The Woods?
So, you just got $20, and you're torn between buying two recent indie games, Night in the Woods or Hollow Knight. Both of them have been very well received so it's making it extra hard to make your decision.
Well I'll try to make that decision a little bit easier by having a look at which is better value for your money.
Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is a platforming adventure game with an emphasis on story. You control Mae Borowski, a college dropout who's returning home to continue living aimlessly and reconnect with old friends. Aimless wandering is a good way to describe the game. You can spend hours running and jumping around the town of Possum Springs and chatting up the towns folk. That's not to say there isn't anything else going on. The game is full of deep, which can get depressingly deep at times. Don't let the cute art style and anthropomorphic animal characters fool you, as conversations with Mae's friends can involve God, existential terror and what it means to be alive.
These conversations are where the game shines. Each character is really deep and you can tell a lot of time went in to crafting each one of them. Maybe a little too much time though. While the characters and interactions with them are all solid, the game parts are a bit lacking -- each of the mini games is decently fun, they're just not anything special.
Overall, Night in the Woods is great if you're looking for a slower paced, story driven game to play.
Hollow Knight is the opposite of Night in the Woods. If the latter is driven by character and story, the former is driven by mystery and gameplay. Hollow Knight puts you in the role of an insectoid knight exploring the world. What a world it is too. Everything seems to be made from insects as well, which is part of the reason the art style in this game is wonderful. It makes everything memorable and gives a very distinct but a feeling which is hard to describe.
You'd better get used to the world quickly though. Hollow Knight doesn't give you any guidance -- the only map you get is one you fill out as you go, so you're going to have to tread through this dreary world with little to no support. Which is actually a very appealing, with the game being a metroidvania style, it makes it feel like the older Metroid games. You are lost in an alien world with no real direction to go but forward, or upward, or downward. Okay there's a lot of directions to go, but not all of them lead to progress.
If you're looking for an action packed metroidvania style game with a unique world, Hollow Knight is for you.
Honestly, I think both games are wonderful. So if you pick up either you're making a good choice. My own personal preference though leans towards Hollow Knight. I'm a sucker for action packed adventure games that give me a world to explore. Plus, Hollow Knight is $5 less on Steam. So maybe you can save that extra fiver for when something else goes on sale?