“TWRM GOTY 2018” – Hollow Knight

The TWRM GOTY 2018 Collab has begun! This special event consists of multiple writers making their best cases for their picks for GOTY 2018. Check out each article posted daily from the 1st through the 15th and listen to their points, then on January 16th you will have the opportunity to vote on which game you think should be crowned TWRM GOTY of 2018!


Hollow Knight

Developer: Team Cherry
Publisher: Team Cherry
Release Date: June 12, 2018 (Switch)
Platform/Console: PC, Switch, PS4, XBox One
Genre: Single-player Metroidvania platformer


bluemoonThe following is a contributor post by The Blue Moon Mage.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Hollow Knight was released for PC in 2017! How can it be a contender for the 2018 game of the year?!” But that is simply a technicality, my friends. A mere trifle. And I thumb my nose at it.

You see, 2018 is the year that Hollow Knight was ported to all three current gen consoles, thus making this the year that everyone, regardless of their platform of choice, was able to enjoy this incredible game. Therefore, 2018 is the most appropriate year for it to be considered for the GOTY.

I know, I know, you’re not convinced. But indulge me, if you will, just a few moments longer. I realize that you are a busy gamer, and so I promise not to take up too much of your time. I’ve pared down my 12,000 word manifesto into a few convenient points for your perusal.

Now…allow me to present to you the reasons why I believe Hollow Knight is the true GOTY of 2018:

Gorgeous Music

I’ve purposefully put this item first so you can hit play on the above video and enjoy the sounds of Hollow Knight while you read. The haunting, beautiful score by Christopher Larkin sweeps between rousing adventure, whimsical curiosity, and heartbreaking melancholy, yet it never lingers on any one mood long enough for you to feel like you know what’s coming next. I listen to this AT LEAST once per week (skip ahead to 37:41 if you want to hear “The Resting Grounds,” my favorite track).

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Stunning Artwork

Hollow Knight is a humble 2D platformer, yet JUST LOOK at the depth and detail in this game! Every frame provides layers of things to gaze at, and it’s all bathed in a blue/black color palette that is simultaneously gloomy and utterly brilliant. This is not a title that was rushed out to market, half done and full of shortcuts. You can truly see the care and attention that went into making this game.


Fun Gameplay

At its core, Hollow Knight is simple to play. As the titular knight, you must hack, dodge, and dash your way across the ruined bug kingdom of Hallownest. As you go, you will defeat bosses, gain new abilities, and gradually uncover the mystery behind Hallownest’s downfall and missing king. Best of all, the quick, agile knight feels more than capable for the job.


Immersive World

From the unforgettable NPCs to the unique language spoken by the bugs, Hollow Knight is dripping with lore and mystery. Each map area has a unique look and feel. Every character occupies an important place in the story. There is drama and death and hope and even humor. Despite the bug-sized stature of the characters, Hollow Knight is every inch a grand epic.


A Worthy Challenge

Yes, Hollow Knight is as difficult as everyone says, but it is not unfair, nor is it impossible. Anyone who was raised on the old school, trial-by-fire, retro platformers of ye olde days will be familiar with what it takes to succeed in this game (and dare I say that’s most of you reading this?). In fact, beating Hollow Knight is all the more satisfying precisely because it takes effort, and yet I can soundly attest that the feat is not out of reach of the average gamer. With patience, persistence, and a bit of cleverness, you too will be able to conquer Hallownest and all its foes.


Free DLC

Unlike basically every single other game studio, Team Cherry has included four DLC packs completely free with the purchase of Hollow Knight. In fact, it’s hard to believe that this content-stuffed game (which is an absolute steal at $15.00) was made by only a three person team!


Two Minor Points

The Well-Red Mage has instructed us to include both pros and cons, and so, in the interest of honesty, I now present the cons:

1) Because the world of Hollow Knight is so vast, fast travel is essential. There are two main methods of fast travel in the game: by riding either the Stag Beetle or the Tram Line. The problem is that the stations for both of these are few and far between, which means you will often be stranded approximately a million miles from where you need to be with no convenient way to get there. Better start walking.

2) To save your game, you must rest on benches that are spread throughout Hallownest. However, these benches are not always located next to big bosses. This means more walking should you fail to beat the boss on the first try.



I would never presume to tell you, dear reader, how to vote in the Well-Red Mage GOTYs, but I would ask you to think twice. You could go for the obvious choice in God of War or Marvel’s Spider-Man. You could go for the popular choice in Pokémon Let’s Go or Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Those games were produced with enormous budgets and armies of developers and are all excellent in their own right.

Hollow Knight is neither the obvious nor popular choice. It was crafted with loving care by a talented three person team, yet I would honestly put it up against any AAA title out there. Voting for Hollow Knight is the equivalent of supporting the mom & pop diner with the killer meatloaf and handmade pies instead of the dozens and dozens of slick national chain restaurants shouting at you for attention (and seriously, does the world really need more potato skin appetizers??).

But you must vote with your heart, and I know you will. Therefore, I implore you: if you’ve not yet played this fantastic game, please give it a try. If you do and feel that I’ve steered you wrong, you can totally @ me. Because I stand 100% behind my claim that Hollow Knight is the true GOTY of 2018.


+ Completely gorgeous music and art
+ Fun gameplay in a unique, immersive world
+ Content-packed game made by a talented three person-team

– Too few fast travel stations
– Save points are not always near bosses


The Blue Moon Mage, aka Blue Williams, is a nerd of many layers: games/anime/film/books/dogs/coffee/seriously so much coffee You can find her on Twitter at @wrytersview or at her other writing locales: The Loot Gaming, Gamerheads Podcast, The GamerHot Cars, and


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6 replies »

  1. I absolutely agree with you in many regards. As much as I love God of War and Celeste, Hollow Knight would be a real contender for the throne in 2018. That is, if it came out in 2018.

    Unfortunately, PC is a thing, and though I too experienced this game on consoles this year, we cannot discount the fact that it was still released completely (not early access) in 2017.

    Thus, I call shenanigans.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it says a lot about how creative and innovative the indie scene is that so many are bagging these GOTYs. And Hollow Knight is fabulous – really damn tough. Insanely difficult. But all rather enthralling.

    We can let you off for the 2017 thing. One of my games of the year is Dead Cells, and that sort of got an early access release in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

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