Pronty Video Game

We need more games like Pronty. That’s to say that we need more games that feel good to play and are just an absolute delight to experience. Metroidvanias are everywhere, and they should be — it’s a great genre that, when done right, envelops you in deep, engrossing worlds. Pronty does that, too, but it changes the script a little by taking place entirely underwater. Other games have done this before (one being Song of the Deep from Ratchet & Clank and Marvel’s Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games).

Pronty follows a small sea creature who takes on the role of guardian, as appointed by the ocean’s higher council. You play as the titular Pronty, and it’s up to you to defend the ocean. It’s a nice concept, though the plot sort of takes a backseat to the action. That’s kind of okay, though, because Pronty borrows from the school of storytelling that titles like Dark Souls, Elden Ring, and Blue Fire employ. Though you won’t get huge cutscenes and scripted moments, there’s some interesting lore tucked away to discover if you’re so inclined and know where to look.

What’s interesting is that there was a time when underwater stages damn near ruined games. Obviously that wasn’t always the case, but even great titles received mixed reactions when it came down to their deep sea levels. The original Super Mario Bros. did these levels pretty well, but some folks still dread playing World 2-2 and the subsequent underwater stages in that game, if only because these levels significantly change up the physics and formula of how it plays.

That sort of issue isn’t the case with Pronty. Because the whole game is set in an underwater world, it’s designed to feel good to play in these scenarios — and it pulls this off quite exceptionally. Everything is a little floaty, sure, but it’s supposed to be, and thankfully, the way the game controls is quite smooth and feels great despite the slower pace.

Pronty - Underwater Metroidvania

Interestingly, Pronty often feels like an arcade twin-stick shooter. You have a robotic partner named Bront to help you along the way, and you use Bront to attack enemies directly, launching your mechanical buddy into foes large and small, as well as the game’s bosses, which are never frustrating but can be fairly challenging to battle.

In terms of progression, Pronty follows the standard formula by which Metroidvanias are known. Exploration and discovery is a big part of this genre, and Pronty follows suit in much the same ways that other recent titles like Infernax, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Carrion have.

The big difference here is that this game is set within the waters of the deep blue sea. As such, it just sort of feels different and has a completely different aura about it. The underwater realm has always had a somewhat mysterious and eerie vibe to it. So even though Pronty has a nice, cheery, hand-drawn look, its setting gives it a somewhat dark mystique, which is actually pretty cool.

Speaking of which, the game looks great, both graphically and tonally. The hand-drawn look of the world is great, and the stunning stage designs will easily pull you in.

Pronty Gameplay Mechanics

At about seven or eight hours, Pronty isn’t the longest Metroidvania you’ll play, but it still provides an enjoyable underwater adventure. Plus, it includes multiple difficulties and lots of secret lore to discover if you enjoy digging deep into your games.

It was about time for another underwater Metroidvania like this to come along. Pronty promises a memorable experience underwater, and it manages to deliver on that promise. It doesn’t necessarily experiment too much outside of its core concepts, but this one is still a good time, and a worthwhile game for any fan of the Metroidvania genre.

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for Pronty on Nintendo Switch, but the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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