Nintendo hosted an indie game showcase earlier this week, and one of the games unveiled for the show was an action title called Gleamlight. When I saw the footage for the first time, I thought at first that I would see DLC or a sequel to Hollow Knight. Obviously, I’m not alone: The top answer to Nintendo’s tweet about the game calls it Hollow Knight “rip off,” and almost all subsequent answers somehow mention the existing Metroid-style indie game.
The same applies to YouTube. While the Gleamlight trailer has only been viewed more than 11,000 times at the moment, all of the top comments refer to Hollow Knight. The footage at the moment also has more dislikes than favor.
Some of the comments on Gleamlight reveal the trailer
According to DICO developer, the aesthetics are influenced by the “beautiful stained glass” that traces, but the similarities between the two games are remarkable. The color palettes seem to be similar, the hand-drawn style is similar and the main character has a similar design to the figures in Hollow Knight. The attacks and movements are familiar to me.
In the Gleamlight feature list, it’s worth noting that the player can “navigate independently of the standard UI while keeping track of the mysterious, unspoken history of the world”. Both games also use the darkness to set a dark tone.
Polygon turned to Gleamlight publisher D3Publisher and found that fans rated the aesthetics of the game unfavorably. Was Hollow Knight an inspiration? Is the developers of Gleamlight Hollow Knight known at all?
In response, a representative told Polygon that Gleamlight may still see some changes.
“Gleamlight is still under development and is not final yet,” said the representative. “The development team is aware of Hollow Knight, but the game has nothing to do with the title,” the spokesman continued.
Obviously, no single entity can have an art style or even a particular mechanic. Gleamlight’s hostile design is very different from Hollow Knight, a game that uses bug-like images. And of course, Gleamlight has not appeared yet, so we can not say if the similarities are just superficial.
Gleamlight will be released for Nintendo Switch in early 2020, according to Nintendo.