Shovel Knight is a simple concept that plays like a love letter to your past. It takes a certain skill to create a retro-themed game and not have it play like every other action platformer out there. This past weekend at PAX East I got my hands on this new title from Yacht Club Games right when the convention opened. For the rest of PAX East I couldn’t get Shovel Knight out of my mind, so I went back to check it out some more.
Sure the concept is simple enough but it’s the gameplay that’s so entertaining. It’s the character designs and the fact that your enemies are from “The Order of No Quarter”. There are two gameplay elements that stick out in my mind the most after playing Shovel Knight. The first is the timing of your jumps and how fast paced this is. It’s fairly easy to mess up a jump, moving from chandelier to chandelier just to reach a treasure chest. The other mechanic is your shovel, and how you can either swing it or use it with a down thrust.
The demo ends with a boss fight against another knight. It all came down to timing my jumps and hitting him in the head with the shovel. But so much was going on in the battle that it kept me on my toes and it was simply entertaining. I can see myself having a blast playing this on a 3DS or Wii U and I’m sure others will too. It looks like Yacht Club Games will be streaming the level they showed at PAX East this Friday 3/29 on their Twitch channel at 5:00pm PST.
Shovel Knight is currently 83% funded on their Kickstarter page.