Yacht Club Games, known for the Shovel Knight franchise, brought their newest IP to the PAX East show floor: Mina the Hollower.
Take control of Mina, a renowned Hollower hurtled into a desperate mission to rescue a cursed island. Burrow beneath hazards and monsters, whip foes into oblivion, and gear up with an arsenal of sidearms and trinkets.-Yacht Club Games
Boss Rush was fortunate enough to demo Mina the Hollower alongside one of the game devs. Eli stated that this demo added two additional weapons, leaving the little warrior with three options: dual daggers, whip, and hammer. As soon as we launched the demo, we could immediately identify the graphical art style seen in Link’s Awakening; however, looks are only skin deep. The dev continued to explain that they wanted Mina the Hollower to be more action-oriented like Castlevania and focus less on the labyrinth-like navigation required in many of Zelda’s dungeons. Additional callbacks to Castlevania include the use of sub-weapons, which consume magic, and candles in the world that you can break.
In Mina the Hollower, you can approach several of the dungeons in any order, although some present more simply than others. There is a hub town and overworld. Each dungeon is expected to play approximately one hour in length (unless you’re a speed runner!). The art style and music strongly reminds us of the Gameboy era, which beckons feelings of nostalgia while engaging us with clean gameplay.
Although holding strong onto its own identity, the demo showed us hints of Shovel Knight. Gameplay is still number one, and Mina is able to burrow (aka. dig) underground and pop up to unearth collectables and currency. In addition, there are Dark Souls aspects. For example, there’s a mechanic where you regain some life force to replenish your health bar each time you vanquish baddies like in Bloodborne. This encourages you to be more on the offensive. Also, when you die, you lose your “spark”, but you can reclaim it when you return to the area you perish. There are some extremely challenging portions, but it is not so difficult that one cannot overcome by understanding the environment and enemy patterns. There are several hidden areas to uncover as well.
Mina the Hollower continues to follow Yacht Club’s values: retro graphics with modern gaming sensibilities. The movement is buttery smooth, from jumping to burrowing, and immerses you in this fantastical 8-bit world. Release date is still TBD, but we will be sure to keep you informed on Yacht Club’s progress.
Thank you Yacht Club games for your time at PAX East 2023!
Curious about Mina the Hollower? Check out the trailer below:
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Source: Yacht Club games