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Mina the Hollower is the new game from Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games. It is a throwback to Game Boy Color classics like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, and it has the gorgeous, stylized visuals to pull off that homage. Yacht Club has launched a Kickstarter as part of an effort to build an early support community for Mina. That campaign has already raised nearly $1 million with about two weeks left with a goal of delivering the project by December 2023. I’ve spent some time with a demo version of Mina, and it definitely has me excited as someone who loves Shovel Knight.
The first thing I noticed is that the visuals are even more effective when you’re playing. Like Shovel Knight’s NES-style graphics, Mina the Hollower obviously couldn’t run on actual Game Boy Color hardware. Instead, it borrows from that aesthetic while also filling in some of the gaps. Yacht Club is paying extra attention to the animations, for example.
For me, however, the best part of playing Mina is controlling the titular mouse. You can activate her hollowing ability by holding jump. This will have you dive underground like Scrooge McDuck in his pool of gold doubloons in Ducktales. Mina then gains a satisfying amount of momentum while hollowing before bursting back above ground with a higher and faster jump.
Hollowing is both a platforming and combat tactic. It helps you cross wide gaps, of course. But it also enables you to avoid the most aggressive attacks from enemies.
The team is giving Mina lots of love and care between now and December 2023. But the studio is also planning extras like a fishing minigame if it reaches its $1.2 million goal. But even if it comes out as it is now, the foundation is already strong. I cannot wait for the full game.