Shovel Knight Review

Capture16Shovel Knight is a classic side scrolling platformer like Mario and Mega Man combined with that childhood lust for beating the other kids in the sandbox with your plastic trowel. In other words, it’s a retro styled nostalgia trip that has the fun and excitement of an old school game with the added bonus of digging tools. Don’t get too excited about burrowing though. This isn’t a medieval Dig Dug or Minecraft. No, your undying crave for tunneling through the ground will have to find a fix elsewhere because, Shovel Knight does more pogo stick bouncing and spear-like thrusting. Though, there is definitely a fair share of digging in the form of block breaking, treasure hunting and campfire extinguishing.
Contrary to how dull a shovel wielding warrior sounds, it is far from such crude remarks. Shovel Knight is not only fun and exciting, it’s also quite challenging at times despite its easy controls. Nothing is more infuriating than the shameful death of missing a platform, falling to your demise and having some of your hard earned gold fly into the sky. Yet, at the same time, nothing is more satisfying than finally getting past part of a level that was giving you a hard time.Capture11As mentioned the combat in Shovel Knight basically revolves around two mechanics; bouncing and poking. Repetitively crushing the skulls of your enemies on your magic pogo shovel is pleasing and the assortment of power ups you get through the game give unique playability that keeps the world and its enemies fresh. However, even with your increased abilities, enemies can still trip up a player. Bosses, for example, on top of being well designed, put up an ever increasing challenge as you progress. Shovel-Knight-Dragon-1024x576Along with baddies putting up a fight, the levels themselves can cause mischief too. Basic spikes, vats of smoldering oil, tricky gaps, lack of light, lava, etc. While being a royal pain the levels have an aesthetic that any retro game lover will thoroughly enjoy and if you aren’t too busy hoping your way through obstacles, you may end up dying from an unseen trap while sightseeing.
With everything about Shovel Knight being a tip of the hat to the classics, the music tops it all off. Each level gives you a brand new feeling that is heavily influenced by the awesome beeps and boops of the score. There were many times in playing that a sacrifice to the level timer was made in order to really listen and appreciate the music. There’s nothing quite like a well composed chip-tune.
Overall this 8-bit platformer was deftly executed by Yacht Club Games, bringing a solid gaming experience together with simple yet lively combat, an outstanding musical score, quirky animations and exceptional game design. So, if you’re looking for something to satisfy your 8-bit action platforming needs, Shovel Knight is worth taking a jab at and is available on 3DS, Wii U and PC for $15.

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About Derek Byron

Derek Byron aka Poprawks is a passionate creative writer and Pokémaniac obsessed with more than just Pokémon. While he typically plays video games on his Nintendo consoles and handhelds, he also spends a great deal of time gaming on his PC. Graphic narratives are often his go to source for literary entertainment but, he is not afraid to crack open a large novel. He also thoroughly enjoys music of all kinds and will dance to just about any tune.

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