Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania-type game developed by an indie studio named Team Cherry.
Most of the game's story is told through the in-world items, tablets, and thoughts of other characters. Many plot aspects are told to the player indirectly or through the secret areas that provide a bit of lore in addition to an upgrade. At the beginning of the game, the player visits a town of Dirtmouth. A town built above the ruins of Hallownest. The players descend down into the ruins to find some answers to his questions.
The game revolves mainly around the exploration of the in-game world, which requires the players to have some platforming skills. The players have to find secrets that are scattered around the level and battle their enemies. There is a certain degree of backtracking in the game as some areas are locked until the player defeats a certain boss or picks up a specific item. Each area changes as the plot advances so it may be surprising to come back in a certain area.
The Protagonist uses a nail which serves as a replacement for a sword. Players can attack in four directions. The nail is upgradable.