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90

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 109 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 evilShovel 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: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jun 30, 2014
    100
    Shovel Knight is, at the risk of repetition, brilliant, beautiful stuff.
  2. Jun 26, 2014
    100
    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
    90
    Shovel Knight is more than just a great platformer; it's a celebration of classic gaming.
  4. Jun 26, 2014
    90
    Dig out some eShop credits: you're not going to want to miss ye olde Shovel Knight.
  5. Nov 14, 2014
    90
    Shovel Knight is the ultimate retro game. It takes all the good parts of old classics and improves on it with current technology. Truly a joy to play.
  6. Old and new in almost the best ways. [Sept 2014, p.78]
  7. Dec 4, 2014
    80
    The portable version Shovel Knight is in any ways as good as the others, even better as the both the graphics and the mechanics works perfect on a small screen. On the negavition side there are some badly designed levels and to many trial and error moments, but for the most part Shovel Knight is a good reminder that games were a bit more rewarding back in the days.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Jun 28, 2014
    10
    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.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!
    Expand
  2. Jun 26, 2014
    10
    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 MegaHow 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.
    Expand
  3. Aug 11, 2014
    10
    This game is simply beautiful. The amazing chiptune soundtrack immediately transports you back in time, and the visuals perfectly capture theThis game is simply beautiful. The amazing chiptune soundtrack immediately transports you back in time, and the visuals perfectly capture the look and feel of the NES era. The game is heavily influenced by Mega Man, Duck Tales and other great classic games, but still manages to create its own unique identity that is dripping with charm and humor. It's difficult enough that it feels rewarding, but with checkpoints that allow you to infinitely respawn and retry, does not become too frustrating. With plenty of NPCs to talk to, secrets to find, treasure to unearth and things to collect, I spent 10 hours on my first playthrough and look forward to doing it again on new game+ and seeing what I missed. Accomplishing some of the game's feats (such as finishing the game without dying or destroying all checkpoints) should provide a challenge for even the most hardcore players. I'm already satisfied with the game, but knowing that there are going to be free content updates that include playable bosses, gender swap, 4 player battle mode, and challenge mode, I'm even more excited for the future of this game. Expand
  4. Jun 30, 2014
    10
    I didn't grow up with the original Nintendo. Looking back, without those nostalgia shades, there are parts of those games that feel clunky andI 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.
    Expand
  5. Jul 15, 2014
    9
    This a platformer that you MUST GET! Its so much fun and plays great on the Nintendo 3DS. In my opinion its a combination of Dark Souls II,This a platformer that you MUST GET! Its so much fun and plays great on the Nintendo 3DS. In my opinion its a combination of Dark Souls II, Megaman, Zelda II, Ducktales and The Shoveler from Mystery Men. It's a stellar platformer that is challenging and everything feels like an accomplishment. Ex: I died a bunch of times and each time I got my gold back it felt wonderful. This is a hard game and needs a lot of time and devotion. It feels like an RPG. Maybe its a platformer RPG. You have to get this game. Its $14.99 on the eShop and on Steam. Shovel Knight gets a 9/10 Expand
  6. Jun 26, 2014
    9
    THE BEST MEGA MAN GAME EVER MADE
    Each year there are a plethora of indie titles, many of them which are naturally described as “a love letter
    THE BEST MEGA MAN GAME EVER MADE
    Each year there are a plethora of indie titles, many of them which are naturally described as “a love letter to classic gaming”. These games, like Mercenary Kings or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Videogame, try their best to recreate the magic of the NES or SNES era. However, while these other titles attempt to mimic the unique style of these classic titles, Shovel Knight is one of the only ones able to systematically reimagine and perfect the experience. In short, Shovel Knight is a must-get if you are or have ever been a classic gamer.

    Shovel Knight Campfire

    Shovel Knight began as a Kickstarter campaign by Yacht Club Games in March of last year. The crowdfunding drive was immediately met with critical praise internet-wide and was quickly funded, surpassing most every stretch goal. The obvious question quickly became “Is there any way that Shovel Knight can meet the hype surrounding it?”

    I’m here to answer that question today with a resounding “Yes!”

    Shovel Knight is of course the tale of blue, spade-toting warrior who is pitted against the major villains of his world: The Enchantress and The Order of No Quarter. The game could easily be described as a Mega Man/Metroidvania-esque platformer with a lot more up its sleeve.

    While this is Yacht Club Games’ first title, they clearly are fluent in the basic mechanics of classic games and what people loved about them. For instance, just like some of the most noteworthy classics (Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man X), Shovel Knight begins with no tutorial — instead it starts with a quick story and a gameplay-centered learning experience. While most indie titles will bog you down with the “how-to’s”, Shovel Knight knows that any proper way to teach a game is done through gameplay.

    Shovel Knight Intro

    This is only one way where Shovel Knight brings the best components of older games and uses them as it’s own. To name a few extra, the game utilizes overworld maps (Super Mario World), unique collectable weapons (Legend of Zelda and Metroid), hidden secrets and areas scattered throughout every area (Castlevania), and systematic weapon and armor upgrades (Mega Man X). While I can go on for more than an hour about this, I would recommend you take a swing at the game and test it out yourself.

    While Yacht Club Games has been able to meticulously pick out the best characteristics of old titles, they have also reimagined the “classic gaming” experience to near perfection. Instead of having stock lives and game over screens, Shovel Knight takes the modern approach (best described as Rayman Legends meets Dark Souls) where dying is a mere inconvenience — sending you back to the last checkpoint and momentarily docking your collection of jewels unless you are able to get back to the same point and collect them. This acts as a perfect way to constantly keep gameplay rolling while still incentivizing players to stay alive.

    Additionally, the gameplay mechanics of the game are spot on. I am a big critic of platformers with poor mechanics (I’m looking at you Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze and LittleBigPlanet), however Shovel Knight’s mechanics feel fluid from the get-go. Within minutes of picking up a controller, classic and casual gamers alike will instantly understand what each control does and how to use it.

    Shovel Knight Skelly

    Last but not least, I would be remiss without mentioning that Yacht Club Games know how to fully utilize achievements. “But Lou!” you say, “Nintendo platforms don’t have achievements!” Doesn’t matter — Yacht Club Games made sure to add a “Feats” checklist to every version of the game which are unlockable, despite overarching achievement/trophy support. Further, these feats help to incentivize new play styles instead of acting as mere benchmarks of progress in the game.

    The game is worth checking out for more reasons that I can name: pristine level design, the constant awful puns, the beautiful sprite models, the randomly occurring events in the overworld. As I mentioned before, I could go on for hours.

    If you are looking for which system to get this Indie title on, I highly recommend the Wii U. While I played the game on all three platforms (Wii U, 3DS, and PC), the Off-TV play, seamless framerate, quick-select of options, multi-controller support, and Miiverse support [will update as it becomes available] makes it easily the best experience. While the 3DS supports StreetPass Battle Arena and a 3D experience, it doesn’t ever seem better than the PC version. No matter what system you pick up Steam Knight on, you are guaranteed a great experience.

    The Verdict: 9.4 out of 10
    Yacht Club Games has proven that they are more fluent in both classic and current game mechanics than most other developers. Shovel Knight not only acts as a love letter to classic gaming, but also the perfection of it. Whether you enjoy indie titles or not, the $15 price tag is well worth the 10-15+ hour experience.
    Expand
  7. Aug 6, 2014
    0
    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 anWhile 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

See all 20 User Reviews

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