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Gleamlight: What Fans Think About This Hollow Knight Clone Now That It's Out

When developer DICO revealed Gleamlight at Nintendo's Indie World Showcase in December 2019, the game drew a mixed reaction. While producer Hidekazu Nakajima described the title as "an original game that tells a quiet and mysterious story in an artistic world with a stained-glass motif," viewers noticed an unsettling resemblance to Hollow Knight, the hand-drawn, 2D action platformer and indie darling from 2017.


So many people noticed the similar characters, tone, and movement styles that the trailer received plenty of dislikes, along with comments that accused DICO of ripping off Hollow Knight. DICO and D3 Publisher denied the connection. According to Polygon, a DICO representative stated at the time that the game was not final. "The dev team is aware of Hollow Knight but the game has nothing to do with that title," the rep said.

Gleamlight released nearly eight months later on Aug. 20, 2020. Given the initial controversy, you might wonder how the alleged Hollow Knight clone has fared in the eyes of gamers. Were trailer viewers right to call foul? Take a look.

It appears Gleamlight won't find redemption any time soon

Most of the reviews for Gleamlight on Steam skew negative. Multiple players addressed the lack of story context and dialogue, and noted the game feels unfinished. While many people like the graphics, music, and atmosphere, the combat mechanics received mixed reactions at best. Players also point to boring and repetitive levels, clunky menus and controls, and confusion about credits running long before the game actually ended. At the time of this writing, less than 25 percent of the reviews were positive.


If you'd like to check out Gleamlight for yourself, you can pick it up for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo, and PC at $19.99. Just don't get your hopes too high. Alternatively, if you'd rather wait for the real thing, Silksong, the sequel to Hollow Knight, is currently in development and will release "'When it's ready,' and 'When it matches the quality and scale of Hollow Knight.'"