Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with memorable characters and an 8-bit retro aesthetic created by Yacht Club Games. You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this valley with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. He wields a ShovelBlade; a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly. However, between Shovel Knight and his beloved stands a cadre of villainous knights. These terrible foes, known as The Order of No Quarter, have been dispatched to prevent Shovel Knight from reaching the Enchantress at any cost. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jun 30, 2014
    Shovel Knight is, at the risk of repetition, brilliant, beautiful stuff.
  2. Jun 26, 2014
    If you have any love or affinity for NES-era gaming, you’ll find Shovel Knight is an experience worth having.
  3. Jun 26, 2014
    Shovel Knight is more than just a great platformer; it's a celebration of classic gaming.
  4. Aug 6, 2014
    If you love platforming, this is almost a must. Level design is really well crafted, and it'll take you back many decades from now, in a good way.
  5. Jun 26, 2014
    Dig out some eShop credits: you're not going to want to miss ye olde Shovel Knight.
  6. Old and new in almost the best ways. [Sept 2014, p.78]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Jun 29, 2014
    Shovel Knight is the type of game that comes once every 20 years or so. The last time I played a game which was able to invoke such awestruck wonder and emotion from me was back in the early '90s when I played Mega Man 3 for the first time. This game is what we would call a masterpiece. A masterpiece that will certainly be talked about decades from now, as titles such as Mega Man 1-3, Super Mario World and Zelda A Link to the Past are talked about today. Not only does Shovel Knight exceed all expectations, it actually manages to go toe to toe with the Capcom and Nintendo classics of old. Had this game released back in the late '80s or early '90s, it would most likely be regarded as one of the greatest video games of the retro era. What more can I say?

    NOTE: I found the 3D effect of the 3DS version really elevated the game above its Wii U and PC counterparts. All are perfect 10's in my book, but if I had to choose one platform, 3DS would be it.
  2. Jun 27, 2014
    This is coming from someone who doesn't like retro games. My theory has always been what in the past should remain in the past. With that said, something about the way this game looked from the very beginning caught my eye. From the character design to the weapon of choice!

    Now having played it I can clearly say this is what a great nes game should play like. This is the modern way to do retro gaming imo and I hope everyone else takes notes here and follows suit.

    Great game that everyone retro or modern gaming fan should try for themselves.

    This is truly a love letter from a company that loves the Times gone by!
  3. Jun 28, 2014
    Having missed the era of NES and SNES games, it's simply impossible for this game to impress me on nostalgia alone; it's just damn good.

    I've been with the YCG Kickstarter of this game since the beginning, and the developers showed their passion for this game as both it's own entity and as a homage to the games of their childhood. Not only is the result a game people want to play again and again, but it's an experience the team would have wanted to play some 20-ish years ago as well.

    The gameplay is simple, and allows for epic game design where every screen is a new challenge that feels immensely satisfying to conquer. Armor and weapon (shovel) are upgrade-able, and acquired money can be spent on additional weapons or tools for added variety. The humour throughout, is also incredibly appreciated, as well as the secrets lying about in every stage/village that sometimes require a little re-visiting.

    Checkpoints are added just enough to extremely helpful, but not too far to allow a cakewalk, and for platforming veterans that find it too easy, the checkpoints can also be destroyed to yield extra treasure (if you're confident you won't be needing it). While getting to a tricky part may mean losing a bunch of cash upon each death, the cash bags are retrievable, and cash is generally easy to come by.

    The music is glorious. Each stage, boss fight, and village area has it's own accompaniment, lovingly put together by Jake Kaufman. You may often find yourself humming these retro masterpieces as you play, filling the adventure with the necessary emotion, be it spooky, sorrowful, or exciting. The soundtrack is available for download on Bandcamp for a "name your price" model if you wish to, or wish not to, pay back this amazing composer (I really do implore you to donate).

    The game will also be receiving FREE DLC updates in the future for it's Kickstarter Stretch Goals, that includes playable Bosses (each with their own respective storyline), Battlemode, and etc, all view-able on their Kickstarter page.

    Do not mistake this game for those "retro" indies, that are only "NES-inspired" because of lack of time/effort. The story for this game is high-caliber, the character designs are spiffy and indicative of their environments and fighting styles, the 3DS' hardware is used for Streetpass features and tasteful stereoscopic 3D, and also... the game is just a whole bunch of fun. The New Game + mode and additional save slots can justly accommodate a ton of playtime after one playthrough, and you will certainly take advantage of it.

    Even while I consider myself a baby at platforming and was often a little frustrated with certain segments, it made for a very rewarding experience on completion, and I have absolutely no problems with the game.

    This is a game that restores my faith in the video game industry. At a time where graphics must be so good that you can see goosebumps on people's skin, here's a game that proves you can deliver a perfect gaming experience at a fraction of the cost. If you love 2D platformers like Megaman or Castlevania, or even if you missed out on them (like me), I would highly suggest you try this game. ALL HAIL THE TROUPPLE KING!
  4. Jun 30, 2014
    I didn't grow up with the original Nintendo. Looking back, without those nostalgia shades, there are parts of those games that feel clunky and just not as good as games today. However, there is a certain charm to the simplicity of those games.

    Shovel Knight is a modern NES game. It takes the best parts of a variety of 8-bit games, and the features expected of a game today, and combines them into something amazing. The Mega Man boss fights, Mario 3 over-world, and Duck Tales bounce physics just to name a few major ones. It's a must have for NES veterans and younger gamers.
  5. Aug 18, 2014
    It's hard NOT to love this game, actually. The controls are simple and precise, the puzzles are clever but not too challenging, and it has a simple but emotional plot. It's definitely a hard game, and not one I'd recommend to laid-back or beginner gamers, but that's what retro gaming was and what it is now. The side quests and bonus items are touching, but you don't feel pressure to go back and collect them all. The mechanics of the game are genius, not only using your shovel to attack but also to dig up gold, and the items are not required but help majorly and are tons of fun to use. Expand
  6. Jun 26, 2014
    How can you make a 8 bit game look modern ? How to use the best design practices today while maintaining the same "retro" fell of a old Mega Man game?

    Shovel Knight is the answer.

    It's a game that can be appreciated by it's own, not only by nostalgia.The levels are fun, well balanced, and rewarding. The presentation (the 3D on this version is fantastic), music and dialogues are very well made.
  7. Aug 6, 2014
    While there is some value I'm certain many of those reading this can find I cannot this is due to a) me being a new gamer and not having an idea of what this is based off if making it seem like either a total rip off to something heavily inspired I can't connect to b) graphics like these tend to make me nauseous this is something of an issue I have and can take me out of the game a lot c) this was overhyped and for reasons I've mentioned above did not deliver c) the difficulty is inconsistent making a lot of the already rather awkward controls and level design feel more well awkward I would go on but this short game isn't really worth my time and please note my actual score would be a 2 now if you notice this is a copy paste of my comment for the PC version that is because I have already tried the 3ds version and the only differance is the even more awkward control Expand

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