Another genre that continues to be very popular is that of Metroidvania. It is an evolution of platformers (here is an article on the 5 best ones), where exploration and backtracking are two of the most important components in terms of gameplay. The name comes from the fusion of two games that can be considered the progenitors of this genre: Metroid and Castlevania. The indie market is full of this type of game (for the reasons explained in this article) and choosing just five was not easy at all, but in this article, we have tried to do our best.
Carrion is definitely a game that deserved more success. Although it was appreciated by specialized critics, it failed to establish itself, at least in the media, like other games of the genre. Carrion is a horror-style metroidvania in which we play the bad creature who sows panic in a laboratory and not the hero of the moment. This choice made by the developers is certainly to be appreciated since it has managed to bring some innovation. The cornerstones of the game are the classic ones of the genre: continue in the story to unlock skills that will allow us to explore the settings far and wide. The graphic style is very reminiscent of the old pixel art games and the atmosphere is really fascinating and suggestive.
4. Salt & Sanctuary
Salt & Sanctuary is a metroidvania that also incorporates game mechanics deriving from the soulslike genre. In recent times, in fact, there has been a rapid growth of games that mix these two genres with some exponents who have managed to distinguish themselves from others. In Salt & Sanctuary, the game begins with the protagonist hiding in a ship carrying a princess who will soon have to marry a king of a distant kingdom. The ship will be attacked by a Kraken and the protagonist’s task will be to find the lost princess. It is a game in which there are several game mechanics borrowed from different video game genres, but everything works at its best.
Blasphemous is also part of the metroidvania games in which there are also some mechanics typical of soulslike games. The story of the game takes place in a city where religion is of paramount importance. Players will take on the role of the Penitent, the last survivor who will have to try to defeat the horrible creatures that have begun to populate the city of Custody due to the will of the Miracle, an entity capable of subjecting any human being to it. Blasphemous is certainly not a game for everyone: the game mechanics borrowed from soulslike combined with those typical of metroidvania have created a brutal mix that will put players to the test.
2. Axiom Verge
Axiom Verge has its roots in the great classics of the past. After an accident in a laboratory, the game’s protagonist will find himself teleported to a world populated by aliens. However, the nature of this world is unclear: it is not known whether it is a distant place, a simulation created with the help of artificial intelligence, or even the future. In Axion Verge, players will be forced to explore the game world fighting against different types of mechanical and human enemies. As you progress through the adventure, you will discover new weapons, skills, and items that will come in handy throughout the game.
1. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is probably the best-known modern exponent of this genre. Since its launch, it has managed to carve out a place for itself in the Olympus of indie metroidvania video games. Hollow Knight is known for not being a very accessible title and within anyone’s reach: you will have to be familiar with the genre and certainly not be a newbie. Players will take on the role of a Knight who sets off on a journey that will see him try to fulfill the mission of entering the world of Hollownest in search of new, dangerous adventures.