Pronty (Switch) Review – Let’s Go for a Swim

    Title: Pronty
    Developer: 18Light
    Release Date: March 7, 2023
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: 18Light
    Genre: Metroidvania

The deep sea is full of wonder and mystery, as there is so much to discover and observe. In Pronty, the ocean’s secret resides not only within the potential forms of life but the story of the fictitious city of Royla. You play as a Pronty, a creature fabricated to protect the denizens of this underwater society from the horrors of the mutated sea life. In order to complete your mission of keeping Royla safe from further harm, you must explore the surrounding areas and face the threatening sea animals. 

Pronty is an underwater metroidvania that plays similarly to a twin-stick shooter, albeit with plenty of notable differences. As a Pronty, it’s your first day as a Protector, and you are ready to set about your duty. To accompany you is Bront, a javelin-like robotic swordfish that you control to fight enemies, remove any barriers, and act as a spinning shield. You aim Bront with the right control stick, giving it the twin-stick shooter feel but with more flexibility as you still move your character to avoid obstacles or enemies. 

Though it may take some time to get used to, the combat is fluid and feels out of the ordinary. As you continue your journey, you discover supplemental abilities to your attacks that you can equip via the memory board at each save area. These abilities can be exchanged anytime as your number of slots is limited, meaning you can utilize different tactics for various scenarios. 


That being said, the combat can become repetitive, especially for the enemies you encounter as you traverse the waters. Enemy variety is great since the mutated monsters range from quirky and silly to downright horrifying. But constantly swinging Bronty around doesn’t feel as satisfying as time passes. Luckily, Pronty’s best moments come from the boss battles, which are challenging and entertaining. 

The bosses are epic and fearsome, making you feel alarmed and tense. Their attack patterns are also solvable over time, so long as you pay attention. Still, despite their challenge, they never become frustrating, barring the slight roughness from the Switch controls. As they enter your screen, they do so grandly and menacingly, keeping you on your toes. The imposing designs they share reel you in, making them a sight to behold. However, the character design of the standard Pronty is questionable. Luckily, there’s a female Pronty that looks significantly better aesthetically, so it’s best to roll with that one.


Generally speaking, the art style presents an eerie yet magnificent atmosphere. The backdrops are detailed, keeping your eyes engaged as you become immersed in this underwater terrain. Whether you’re in the grandiose city of Royla or a whale’s grotesque inner stomach linings, the environmental design delivers with aplomb. There’s even a Bioshock-esque look to much of the city and the paraphernalia scattered throughout. However, one qualm I have about the art style regards the animation. Some enemy movement and attack patterns felt a bit static compared to the rest of the scene. Regardless, most moments were smooth and flowed well.

The immersion is sustained with the sound design, albeit it isn’t as strongly done. Don’t get me wrong; there are some really impressive moments, such as the heightened intensity during the boss battles. But much of your exploration will be accompanied by a bleak and solemn emptiness with subtle noises such as air bubbles escaping. Though this desolate ambiance is fitting, it can become quite dreary, especially if you’re exploring for a while. This is perfect if you like a calm and mellow atmosphere throughout your adventure. For me, it was a tad uneventful, though.


As you continue to explore, you’ll come upon save points that act as your rest area. In each save point, you also open passages to other waypoints, so long as you acquire enough currency from enemies, which is fairly easy to do. Also, you can equip passive abilities via the memory board, allowing you to diversify your attack patterns slightly. While these areas are fruitful, finding one can be difficult as your map is not indicative of where you should go next. This can lead to plenty of situations where you’re in dire need of recovery and desperate to find another safe area, especially if you’ve made a lot of progress. Keep that in mind as you go about your subsurface journey.

You’re tasked to save the city of Royla, but what’s the story behind this underwater utopia anyway? The intro gives you a glimpse into the monstrous entity known as the Raksha, the main force behind all the chaos and danger in the city. Pronty provides the more critical aspects of the plot via comic-style cutscenes. Outside of that, most of the lore can be found in hidden documents and collectibles dispersed throughout the sea. The overarching narrative is simple to grasp. While these collectibles can provide random snippets and insights into the utopian society, much is wordy and dull. It’s a shame because, visually, the setting seems like one I’d love to learn more about, but it fell flat each time I got more context.


Pronty grows well in a giant garden of metroidvanias, though it doesn’t fully blossom. It presents flaws that can dampen the experience yet is unique and innovative enough for those familiar with the genre. The challenges of the various boss fights are fun to tackle, even though the standard combat can be mundane. Further, the introduction and narrative may be lackadaisical, but the pacing picks up to keep you engaged. And the style of the game is remarkable, even if the ambiance can be dim. Regardless, this is a solid and enjoyable metroidvania that excites me to see what potential future lies for the developers at LIGHT18.  

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Semy Rahman

Spicy food enthusiast who also happens to love and adore video games. They just both season life so beautifully!