Knytt Stories is, as you can probably guess, a pseudo-sequel to the original Knytt. While the gameplay and atmosphere of the game are very similar to their predecessor, there are numerous refinements that put this a step above the original. Rather than starting out with all your abilities at once, you’re forced to acquire them as the game progresses. There are several entirely new abilities, too, including an umbrella, which will slow descent, and a double jump.
However, the biggest change is the addition of expansions. The game comes prepackaged with a tutorial and one level, The Machine. It’s a very good level, but to get the full experience you need to download Nifflas’ expansion packs. As of now, there are five official levels you can download. Four of these come in the “A Strange Dream” pack (Sky Flower, This Level is Unfinished, An Underwater Adventure, and A Strange Dream), as well as one additional level you can download separately (Gustav’s Daughter).
Each and every one of these levels is unique. Sky Flower is a beautiful, surreal level that has you climbing up into the heavens. This Level is Unfinished is a humorous adventure through a landscape drawn on notebook paper. An Underwater Adventure is an alternate-reality retelling of Nifflas’ own Within A Deep Forest that actually manages to succeed as horror. Gustav’s Daughter uses Metroid-style backtracking to progress through areas on a world map. A Strange Dream is easily the highlight of the package, however; an epic, world-spanning adventure, it might even be larger than the original Knytt!
All these levels would make a fantastic game on their own, however, Nifflas has bundled a level editor in with the game. Once a user has finished creating their level, they can upload it to the internet, and other players can download and play it. While I find this effort commendable on Nifflas’ part, most of the user created content is...disappointing. While some of it is certainly good, none of it has the sheer polish that Nifflas’ own levels have, and I tend to stay away from this aspect of the game.
Still, Knytt Stories is a fantastic game. While some may argue that it’s too complex compared to the original Knytt, all of the changes are for the better. You should play this game immediately.