Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 74 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: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jul 9, 2014
    It deserves wholeheartedly to be on a list of nominees later this year. Play Shovel Knight. It is a damn delight.
  2. 100
    But more than anything else, Shovel Knight oozes personality and charm more than any game I’ve played in recent memory.
  3. Jun 26, 2014
    Shovel Knight is one of the best platformers I've ever played, period.
  4. Jun 26, 2014
    Yacht Club Games has a hit on its hands with Shovel Knight. With brilliant game design, charming presentation and a ton of content, this is a wonderful first title from the fledgling developer.
  5. Jun 26, 2014
    Shovel Knight isn't just inspired by 8-bit classics, it is inspired in and of itself.
  6. Jun 26, 2014
    Indie throwbacks to video games of the early ‘80s are a dime a dozen, but Yacht Club Games successfully rises to the top. The tried-and-true game design principles and elegant checkpoint system make Shovel Knight worth a try no matter which era of gaming you prefer.
  7. Jun 26, 2014
    Shovel Knight is a memorable re-imagining of what I grew up with, but doesn't have the longevity or inventiveness to be great in its own right.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Jul 2, 2014
    Definitely my favorite game of 2014 so far. The 8-bit inspired graphics look amazing, they wouldn't be able to run this game on an original NES for sure. The gameplay is outstanding, it combines the aspects of great games into one, but creating something completely original. It is also very hard, but in a good way. No deaths because of unfair controls or something, it just take your skill in account. The story and characters are also amazing, and in my opinion in the Wii U version is the best one since the nintendo d-pad is perfect for platformers and the dual-screen mecanic works really well. If you like old-school games,you'll love this game. If you're don't like old-school games, you'll still enjoy this a lot. Shovel Knight will definely be a candidate for game of the year. Expand
  2. Jun 26, 2014
    YES YES YES just YES this is indie gamming prime. thanks to all the backers who made this possible, even tough it got delayed it now delivers a full, rich experience with 8+ hours on the first playtrough. Expand
  3. Jul 5, 2014
    GREAT GAME. Seriously. If you are a retro gaming fan and have any liking of Megaman at all, you owe it to yourself to get this. Just do it. Trust me on this one. Expand
  4. Jul 17, 2014
    Este juego debe ser considerado el heredero de toda una generación de videojugadores. Como nunca este juego es el más grande homenaje a la NES. Definitivamente se puede considerar como una legítima secuela de juegos tan clásicos como duck tales, megaman, castlevania e incluso zelda y mario bros 3, así de grande es este juego independiente, gracias Yacht Club. No sé si sea tan encantador para aquellos que no nacieron en la gen de 8bits. Expand
  5. Jun 27, 2014
    This game is good and you should buy it.

    Actual Review:
    I feel like there may be some criticism of this game on the basis that
    the second play through does not offer much. However, I am still going to give this game a 10 for the 5 to 8 hours that it does provide. I felt thoroughly immersed in Shovel Knight's quirky world and I really felt like I was on an adventure; this is a sensation I may have never before felt in a 2D platformer with the possible rose-tinted nostalgic exception of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

    It is the little touches that does it: the themed level designs, the weird villagers, the goofy dialog before boss fights, certain playful enemy designs, and the little camping scenes after levels that give you a concept of the passing of time. It all serves to draw you into the world and gives the game a distinct tone and ethos.

    All that aside, the fundamental gameplay is rock-solid if perhaps a little on the easy side for a veteran. The new game plus ratchets up the difficulty a little bit, but I still could beat any section of a stage within 3 tries in general or 6 tries in the one or two most extreme cases (the boss rush and another section of the last few stages). I was still enjoying myself though, so I hesitate to even call this a drawback exactly.

    I just wish there were more game. I look forward to the Order of No Quarter play-throughs as Plague Knight, King Knight, and Specter Knight. I feel like that more or less addresses any problems I have with replay value. And frankly, I feel like the most negative reviews I have seen for this game, neglect considering the prospect of additional content when admonishing the game for lack of replay-ability (though I do recognize that it is their job to review the product at hand). Perhaps I am being overly optimistic, but it is hard not to be optimistic about those expansions having seen the quality of the content already present.

    So yeah: This game is awesome and I am excited for more shovel knight in the coming months.

    If you like 2D platformers then this game is a must buy in my book.
  6. Jun 26, 2014
    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 Megaman/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 (Megaman 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.
  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 3 now please note I have played the 3ds and PC versions of the game (all PC but only tried 3ds) the reason I'm putting this on the wii u is because this game is extremely overhyped and needs to be taken back by quite a bit Expand

See all 22 User Reviews