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Pronty Review (Nintendo Switch)

Life's not always better down where it's wetter......
"Pronty" Announcement Trailer (US)【Happinet Indie Collection】

Pronty is a deep-sea Metroidvania in which the titular hero must save the nautical city Royla from a giant mutant fish. With their AI military-grade weapon Bront, Pronty must explore the ruins of a sunken civilisation and protect humanity from the monsters that have invaded it.


It is the year 2487. The oceans have frozen over and humanity now resides under the sea, protected by mermaid-like androids called Pronties. One such Pronty has just celebrated their birthday and is now old enough to start their combat training. But on their second day of training, a giant mutant fish called Raksha destroys Pronty’s outpost. Raksha is the monster king of the sea, and all of the sea creatures are under its influence.

After receiving a distress call from M.I.N.A (Multi-core Intellectual Neurocomputing Assistant), Pronty evacuates the outpost and returns to central HQ in the subterranean city Royla. However, upon arrival, M.I.N.A informs Pronty that it is unable to communicate with any of the other outposts, so Pronty is the only one confirmed alive that is left to defend Royla from Raksha’s assault.


In Pronty, you actually play as two characters at the same time: Pronty and Bront. Pronty is the protagonist and the one you actually control but Bront is their companion and doubles up as a javelin weapon. Pronty can aim Bront at enemies and breakable items, and Bront will shoot right through them. Bront can also become a shield for Pronty, at which point you are tasked with monitoring its temperature so that it doesn’t overheat – if Bront overheats, it becomes useless for a short while, which isn’t what you want in the fray of battle!

Monsters and smashable objects release Recyclables, which can be spent to unlock fast travel points or to upgrade Pronty and Bront’s abilities. Fast travel points are convenient for going back to previous areas to find secrets you may have missed, or to grind for Recyclables if you want to focus on levelling up. And as this is a Metroidvania after all, there are areas you will need to return to once you’re able to access it with a new skill.

Speaking of skills, there are microchips that can be found throughout the ocean and Pronty can equip them to learn new skills and perks. There are loads to collect, which allows you to create your own version of Pronty that is distinct from anyone else’s. There are also vials scattered across the world, and depending on the colour, you’re able to improve Pronty’s health and stamina, as well as Bront’s damage and overheating capacity.

Level Design

If you’re a fan of the Metroidvania genre, you will not be disappointed. There’s a map that starts off empty, and you slowly fill it out by exploring. Unlike some Metroidvanias though, Pronty can be a little hand-holdy and will stop you from exploring areas you’re not ready to face yet. The map isn’t cluttered with icons, which can be both a blessing and a curse depending on what kind of info you’re hoping to get out of using the map.

Exploring underwater isn’t one seamless experience as sections are divided into smaller areas. This doesn’t feel so bad when you’re swimming through a building because it makes sense for the area to be broken into ‘rooms’ but when you’re out in the open it can feel needlessly segmented. It’s a minor complaint but it can make the vastness of the ocean feel small at times.

Each area has its own colour palette, which helps break the sections up in a natural way. The coloured sections also indicate if there is treasure to be found; if it’s dark, you know there’s something to discover and if it’s light you can relax knowing you’ve found everything there is to find in that area.

No matter where you’re swimming, there’s something unique and beautiful to look at. Whether it’s a retro-futuristic poster, an angelic statue or an array of LED spotlights, it constantly reminds you that Royla was once full of life and activity.

Sound Design

The music that accompanies Pronty and Bront is relaxing. It’s almost as if you’re visiting a spa, or patiently sitting in a dentist’s waiting room. Games that take place underwater can feel claustrophobic at times but Pronty never feels suffocating and the soothing music goes a long way to help with that. Pronty does a terrific job of reminding you you’re underwater too, as everything that moves splashes. This is kind of unrealistic because nothing splashes underwater; water tends to swirl and bend around the things moving in it. The sound effect serves its purpose effectively enough though, so it’s difficult to be mad at it.

Art Design

Pronty does an amazing job of making you feel like you’re underwater. It’s very immersive and claustrophobic at times. There’s a beautiful out-of-focus overlay that creates a wonderful sensation of swimming through a world dense with floating debris and innocent lifeforms who are none-the-wiser of your presence. This simple inclusion creates a degree of depth, and it goes a long way to make this 2D hand-drawn adventure feel three-dimensional. The use of parallax always adds to the experience, and Pronty is no different.

Enemy characters are an amalgamation of fish and garbage, so there’s a menagerie of unique ugly mutants to fight. Each enemy type has its own page in Pronty’s encyclopedia, so if delving into their origin is something you enjoy doing, the option is there on the table.

The Cons

Upgrading Pronty and Bront is slow and feels a bit limited at times. At the start of the campaign, you are quickly introduced to upgrades that make you feel like you’re progressing quickly but in actual fact, most of the time you will be swimming around revealing the map. Most of the vials that improve your health, stamina and strength aren’t accessible until later on in the game, and finding upgrades to increase the number of microchips you can equip didn’t feel advantageous till later on either. This might have been an intentional design choice though, in order to balance out the difficulty, but the severe lack of options throughout the early stages of the game means you’ll probably end up adapting to the same three or four microchips and might not feel the compulsion to experiment with any others.


Should you play it? Yes

Why… Pronty is a great little Metroidvania that doesn’t overwhelm the player with an obnoxious amount of hidden areas. With plenty of fast-travel points, you won’t feel bogged down with exploration. There are loads of lore-building collectables and two endings to unlock, so there’s plenty of storytelling to sink your teeth into. With an interesting setting (underwater) it has an individuality about it that you won’t get from terrestrial-based games.

But… The story is a little confusing if you don’t spend time taking in all the optional content, and levelling up Pronty and Bront isn’t done in a traditional Action-RPG-inspired way, so at times it feels like you’re not making much progress.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch

Developer: 18Light

Publisher: Happinet Corporation

Playable on: Switch, PC

Released: 7th March, 2023

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