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Hollow Knight rival drops Steam demo, has me more hyped than Silksong

If Hollow Knight was reimagined as a gorgeous Japanese-inspired adventure, it'd be this Metroidvania - and it just dropped a new Steam demo.

Hollow Knight rival drops Steam demo, has me more hyped than Silksong: A green-skinned monster with black hair leans over a small Japanese-style barrier wearing a pink hair with several candles on it in front of a full moon in a green sky with black clouds

Videogames can take your breath away for a thousand and one reasons. I remember the moment in Diablo 4 where Lilith murders Inarius in cold blood; the time I took my first steps in Final Fantasy 14’s Ul’dah as the gentle piano of Sultana Dreaming tinkled away in the background. When I first saw the trailer for Bo: Path of the Teal Lotus, I felt my breath hitch once again. Fusing Hollow Knight with Japanese folklore and absolutely stunning level design, I’ve been excited to try out Squid Shock Studios’ Eastern adventure – and now, I finally can.

You are Bo, an adorable fox-like Yokai (or, as they’re called in Bo: Path of the Teal Lotus, Tentaihana) that’s been sent to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Armed with your Bo staff (‘bo’ is a common theme here), you’ll navigate gorgeous 2.5D East-Asian environments by bouncing and gliding, using the unique move-and-reset system to explore.

Much like other Metroidvania games, you’ll be able to power up your staff and its inherent abilities, but the source of your upgrades are various different arcane teas, which I absolutely adore. You’ll be able to dash and grapple, or, if you’re feeling feisty, transform your Bo into a Mochi Mallet and whack some bad guys. I have to say, that may be the best weapon name I’ve ever heard.

But you’re not alone in your adventure. As you travel, you’ll come across different Daruma dolls, which can turn out to be complete game-changers. You can upgrade them and deploy them onto the battlefield, where they can cast spells and aid you on your journey.

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While I love the neo-futuristic Japanese aesthetic of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City or Ghostrunner’s Dharma City, there’s something about traditional Japanese folklore that’s just so magical. Bo: Path of the Teal Lotus brings that sparkle to life with its beautiful, hand-drawn environments – they’re the perfect mix of traditional Japanese art styles with videogame vibrance, and they’re what lured me in in the first place.

If you, like me, are enchanted by Bo’s gorgeous world and fast-paced parkour-esque mechanics, Bo: Path of the Teal Lotus has a new Steam demo, playable right now. If you’re looking for something fresh to try out this weekend, then this is the one for you – especially if you’re avidly awaiting the Hollow Knight Silksong release date.

If it’s games like Hollow Knight that get your heart pounding, then we have a rundown of all the best platform games. Or, if you’re looking to save some cash ahead of Silksong, we have a list of all the best free Steam games, too.

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