What Are Metroidvania Video Games?
Metroidvania video games are a genre of video game that feature exploratory gameplay mechanics and a nonlinear, interconnected world. The genre is named after two influential video games: Metroid, which was released in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and Castlevania, which was released in 1986 for the NES.
The Metroidvania genre became popular in the early to mid-1990s with the release of Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the PlayStation. These games featured a large open world to explore, with hidden secrets and upgrades scattered throughout the game world. Players could backtrack through areas of the game world they had already explored, using new abilities and upgrades to access previously inaccessible areas.
In a typical Metroidvania game, the player controls a single protagonist who is initially weak and has limited abilities. As they explore the game world, the player finds power-ups and abilities that allow them to access new areas and defeat tougher enemies. These abilities often include things like double-jumping, wall-jumping, and the ability to shoot powerful projectiles.
Metroidvania games also tend to be more focused on exploration than on combat. While combat is still present, it is often secondary to the exploration mechanics. The game encourages players to explore every corner of the map in search of secrets and hidden areas, and to experiment with the various mechanics and abilities at their disposal.
In addition to the exploration and combat mechanics, Metroidvania games often feature a strong emphasis on storytelling. They typically have a rich, complex narrative that unfolds as the player progresses through the game world. The story is often revealed through environmental storytelling, with clues scattered throughout the game world that the player must piece together to understand the game’s story.
Overall, Metroidvania games are beloved by many gamers for their rich, nonlinear gameplay mechanics and their immersive storytelling. Many of the most popular games in the genre, such as Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, have won critical acclaim and devoted fan bases. If you’re a fan of exploration, storytelling, and immersive gameplay, then Metroidvania games are definitely worth checking out!