Hollow Knight (2018) is a game where you run, jump, and battle your way through the underground kingdom of Hallownest. It’s not uncommon for platform games to invest in the environments through which you pass, but the haunting depths in this game contain more than a veneer of ancient mysteries. Rendered in simple 2D visuals, the world bristles with lore and backstory to the point that this becomes as much as a driver for exploration as powering-up your abilities or defeating enemies. This simplicity also enables Hollow Knight to create a huge labyrinth of interconnected spaces, each with their own enemies, hazards, and history. This over-delivery of world-building is more than any platform game requires, but it transforms the experience from a power fantasy to an investigation into this otherworldly civilization and alien history. Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Hollow Knight 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 7 months ago.
This is an Action and Platform game with Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Traversal elements. This is a single-player game.
Play Time: This game will take between 20 hours and 30 hours to complete. You can finish the main campaign of the game in 20 hours, but more than other games this varies depending on ability and how focused you are. Many people play the game for over 70 hours before they are finished.
PEGI 7 for mild violence to fantasy characters and pictures or sounds likely to be scary to young children. When attacking various bug-like creatures, they do not react realistically. There is a flash of orange and the creatures jump backwards. After a couple of hits, the creatures fall onto their backs or disappear. There are several boss characters that are scary and may be disturbing to young children. These include a battle with a large fly-like creature which, when killed, has smaller fly-like creatures come out of its body. Another scene involves a large armoured creature with a mace. When killed, the creature hits the floor and its head rolls off.
11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it’s important for parents and guardians to ensure they understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up. Although the content is fine for younger players, this is a difficult game that requires considerable skill and perseverance. Some younger players may find the exacting challenges too frustrating.
Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.