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Hollow Knight and Celeste inspire promising Metroidvania set for Steam

Blending the platforming of Celeste with the style of Hollow Knight, Constance finally has a release window and a Steam demo as well.

Constance Steam: a young cartoon girl with purple hair holding a giant paintbrush

Drawing inspiration from other videogames can be a double-edged sword. You set up an immediate understanding of what you’re trying to make while inevitably fighting that gold standard at the same time. Creating something that exceeds those inspirations, or even just offers up something new enough, isn’t easy. After playing some of Constance ahead of the new release date announcement though, the Hollow Knight and Celeste-inspired Metroidvania clearly wants to springboard off these games into something fresh – and it’s working.

While playing the Constance demo it’s very clear how and why it borrows from the likes of Hollow Knight and Celeste. But even with those two giants propping it up, there are some really great ideas in here.  Instead of dodges and special moves consuming stamina, they use paint, for example. When this runs out you don’t lose access to special moves and evasive techniques though – you instead use your health. This creates a really smooth risk and reward system, where staying in the fight can directly harm but also bring combat to a much swifter end.

It also helps that Constance is a stunning Metroidvania game to look at. The broad strokes of its style feel inspired by Hollow Knight, but there are plenty of original enemy designs and biomes to make it feel less like Hallownest and more like a dreamscape. The titular Constance has built the world around her own declining mental health, which is where the game’s Celeste inspirations lie alongside the general feel of the platforming.

You dash, wall jump, and propel yourself through the air with incredibly tight controls, with the game feel some of the best for a platformer I’ve played this year.

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When you die you can also choose to return to a checkpoint or spend some of your resources to spawn back where you perished, continuing Constance’s push and pull between using valuable commodities and risking harm. It’s a simple mechanic, but one that rewards exploration by letting you use excess resources you find, and asking you what you think is more important: time or currency?

The platforming also feels great, and the demo itself has some inventive ideas (that I don’t want to spoil) that quickly start to push your speed and skill. It’s not overly difficult, but the team at btf clearly has some ideas in the chamber for Constance’s full launch that’ll keep the challenge going.

Constance is coming to PC via Steam in late 2025. You can wishlist it right here to be kept up to date with announcements and also try the demo.

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