Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Indie Nation #29: Knytt Stories

4:38 PM on 08.22.2008 // Anthony Burch

The original Knytt is, as much as any two-year-old game with an intentionally low-res graphical style can be, an indie classic. It combined the isolated feeling of Shadow of the Colossus with the large-scale exploration of Metroid, all within an aesthetically lush framework. In Knytt, the player could never attack, but could also never lose. It was a game of exploration and relaxation. That, and the controls were absolutely perfect.

Knytt Stories is like that, but even better.

While Knytt was pretty good for what it attempted, its map was a little too labyrinthine, and there wasn't really that much to do apart from jumping around and collecting random, essentially meaningless parts of your spaceship. Knytt Stories, apart from providing an awesome open-source engine which resulted in more than a few badass user-created levels, improves upon all these flaws.

Get the game here, then get some more stories and levels here. Or, hit the jump as I try to hide the fact that I couldn't beat the original Knytt.

Knytt Stories has a pretty minimalist narrative, though nowhere near as minimal as Knytt's ("oh crap your ship crashed now go find all the pieces"). You play as Juni, a legend to the Knytt creatures, who is charged to save her world from an evil machine which sucks the life force out of nature.


Though that sort of plot summary may conjure bombastic, Final Fantasy VII-esque images of evil corporations and a chick with a sword, Knytt Stories takes a much calmer, more transcendental approach: you've gotta stop an evil machine, yeah, but the only real difficulty comes in finding the damn thing. Once you reach it, you've just gotta flip a switch to turn it off. There are enemies which can kill you, yes, but you cannot do any damage to them and even if you do die, you'll simply respawn a screen or two back at the last save checkpoint. Death is only a slight hiccup before you try again, and the ending is beautifully low-key: the pleasure is in the journey, not the destination.

My main issue with the first Knytt was the game's overwhelming size. The game world, which can only be viewed screen-by-screen (think Oddworld or the original Prince of Persia), was enormous and there were just too many damn things to collect. Knytt was just too big, too spatially confusing, and too time-consuming for me. Knytt Stories, on the other hand, is of a perfect size for people like me who hate backtracking and get lost really easily. It takes an hour or less to finish the entire game (which, compared to Knytt, is so short a running time that the creator, Nifflas, actually refers to the main campaign as a "level"), but it still includes all the calming, rewarding exploration and discovery Knytt was known for.


Knytt Stories really differs from its predecessor in that rather than having most all your abilities (climbing, high jumping, etc) at the beginning of the game, you must gradually find both old and new abilities as you progress. As in, say, Metroid, certain areas are impossible to access without exploring elsewhere and finding a new ability. Locking off parts of the world (but doing so very subtly -- there are no Big Red Doors you can't get through without a Big Red Heat Missile so much as you'll just find a chasm too big to jump over, which necessitates a highjump upgrade) keeps the player's potential paths small, and again lessens the possibility of getting lost or confused.

Not to say that the entire game is hellishly straightforward; it just finds a wonderful middle ground between indulging the player's lust for exploration and discovery and confusing the hell out of him with too many potential routes.


Aesthetically, the game is beautiful. The graphics are very low-rez -- these screenshots are more or less the game screen's actual size --but they have a minimal, graceful quality to them which I find inexplicably appealing. The music is also ethereally beautiful, changing appropriately with every new location. In a game so focused on relaxation and interestingness rather than hellishly difficult platforming or action (though there is a lot more action-y platforming in Stories than in the original), it's important that the game just be pleasant to look and listen to. You'll want to spend time in the world of Knytt Stories simply because it's a sensually pleasing place to be.

I haven't yet played the official new levels or the user-created ones, but I really appreciate that they exist. The user mapmaker community is surprisingly still active even a year after the game's release, and given the incredibly small file sizes, you could hypothetically be playing both official and user-created levels for months after the initial Knytt Stories download. What more could you want from a friendly indie time-waster than a thriving mod community?


Anyway, go here and download the game. It's really good.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Archelon avatarArchelon
Well, Destructoid. I did it. I jumped ahead.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Flawed but fun favorite game sorter. Post top 30 in the comments. [url][\url]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I am tired of random players. I need to enlist some help with Triforce Heroes challenges. Would anyone like to pair up with me?
El Dango avatarEl Dango
[img][/img] fun...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night I had to clean projectile liqiud dogshit off of the sides of my puppies kennel. Pity me. Read my blog.
techsupport avatartechsupport
Taking a break from Fallout 4 to try out Twitch Creative. Catch me painting Chun-Li while listening to an eclectic mix of Alex G, DJ Shadow, and Modest Mouse. [img][/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So far from first impressions of my Freedom Planet indie box its 100% more worth it than lootcrate. Whereas lootcrate you get a bunch of stuff you may or may not like, indie box gives you indie games, and stuff related to that game, such as the soundtrack
maycausecancer avatarmaycausecancer
When one game is rated 7.4 and another 7.6, Are you telling me one game is 0.2 worse than the other. WHAT!?!
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I think Microsoft takes the cake for worst console updates. The XBone UI is worse and the fucking controller had an update. What the hell has gaming become?
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Well, that's a wrap for the Bloodborne DLC. I liked it. More thoughts and maybe spoilers in the comment section.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
a rainy afternoon, and too sleepy for games. Time to go to the animal shelter and try not to fall asleep, surrounded by kittens.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Following from yesterday's Community Question, how would you feel if reviewers began assigning two scores to a game? One specifically for the technical aspects/performance of the game, and the other for their own personal enjoyment?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I went back to Persona 4 Golden this weekend, asked Chie to be my girlfriend but then accidentally maxed out my social link with Yumi, changed my relationship status to "It's Complicated" on Personabook. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -