Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. If you love games with perfect platforming, beautiful art, infectious music, crazy bosses, humor and levity, and real heart… Shovel Knight is for you!
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (2,612 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 26, 2014

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Includes the base game and soundtrack DLC

 

Recommended By Curators

"I'm personally not much of a fan of retro platformers, which is why I was surprised that I enjoyed this so much. A tight and enjoyable experience."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (9)

December 19

Version 1.2.3 - Feature Flurry

Winter Greetings! A new patch is here with a bundle of nice additions in store. Whether you fancy yourself a speed runner or consider yourself a completionist, here are some new treats to make your run that much smoother!

If moment-to-moment updates aren't your thing, you should stop by the Update Plans thread inside the forums! We'll continue to update there when we have news on our big Updates.

New: Relic Quick Select! Enable this within the controller options menu to allow quickly cycling through relics without needing to open the menu. Press both relic cycle buttons at the same time to unequip your current relic. Relics can also be switched to instantly with the number keys!
New: Full Screen Effects Toggle. Shovel Knight occasionally makes use of effects which causes a large portion of the screen to change colors to add emphasis to certain events. This setting disables these effects or makes them less intense.
New: Item Totals Menu! Once you have cleared the final stage (or in Game+) you can display your song scroll collection tally for a particular stage with the “Select” button. This holiday, how about getting your favorite local Bard what he’s always wanted?!

•Adjustment: Any map encounter past Reize will not spawn until either Reize is defeated or 1 hour of game time has elapsed. Speedy knights no longer need to roll the dice on map encounter movements so late in a run.
•Adjustment: Missile leading up to Treasure Knight's front door has been slowed down slightly.
•Adjustment: Specter Knight’s opening scythe toss is a bit more predictable.
•Adjustment: Relic button’s default controller binding moved to the upper-most face button of controller instead of right shoulder button.

•Fix: Grammatical errors in text for: French, Italian, and German. Thanks everyone, who contacted us with corrections, keep ‘em coming!
•Fix: Error which caused the in-game clock to not count up while at the Troupple Pond or campfire. Note: This fix makes the “Hurry Up!” achievement slightly harder!
•Fix: “Left Stick/L3” and “Right Stick/R3” not displaying in menus when using a Sony or Microsoft controller.
•Fix: Right direction button displaying a left dpad icon within the controller binding menus when using a Sony or Microsoft controller.

•Windows: Performance improvements
•Mac/Linux: Fix: Render crash on startup when using slightly older software based OpenGL version.

•Added Shane Calimlim to the credits. He's been here for a while -- but welcome aboard just the same! Without his ongoing engine improvements, debugging support, and drastic overhauls to our build system then these kinds of patches wouldn't be happening! Hurray for continuous integration!

16 comments Read more

October 29

Version 1.2.2 - Technical Fixes

Hello again. I hope your week is going well! We have a technical update to share today.

General
•Game-wide performance improvements across all platforms!
•Fix: First gold producing dirt block in Plains would drop two coins on top of one another.
•Fix: Possible crash involving Mr. Hat Boss.
•Fix: Miscellaneous crash fixes.
•Fix: Inching past an open (but not rummaged through) treasure chest with the charge slash no longer snaps Shovel Knight back to the chest. Still hilarious.
•Devices: Linux, Mac and Windows support for SnesMayflashAdapter, Retrobit NES adapter, and Buffalo Famicom Controller. Welcome, native game padders!

Linux
•Game now respects SDL_AUDIODRIVER environment variable. Fixes some setups having no audio at all!
•Fix: Mail of Momentum providing an extra jump for Shovel Knight. Consider it a sneak peak at Plague Knight!

That's all for now! Thanks again for playing!

EDIT: Minor hotfix also going live which fixes an error with the Chaos Orb Relic (introduced just in this patch).

10 comments Read more

Reviews

“Shovel Knight is one of the best platformers I've ever played, period.”
9.5 – Destructoid

“Whether you were weaned on an NES like I was, or don't yet know what you missed in a time before you were born, Shovel Knight is an absolute must-play.”
9.0 – IGN

“Shovel Knight is so much more than a love letter to the genre — it is, in fact, the kind of game people write love letters about.”
9.0 – Polygon

About This Game

Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. It's a hot mashup of new and old! You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this land with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and quest for his lost beloved. He wields a Shovel Blade: 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!

But, 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, and will pursue their mission at any cost. If you love games with perfect platforming, beautiful art, infectious music, crazy bosses, humor and levity, and real heart… Shovel Knight is for you!

Features:

  • Shovel Knight’s beautifully authentic style bridges the gap between yesterday and today. Design, art, and audio hearken back to the days of 8-bit.
  • The systems of today also give Shovel Knight modern touches: detailed animation, multilayered parallax backgrounds, and evolved game design.
  • Perfect your platforming skills as you take down each of the knights of the Order of No Quarter.
  • Flip enemies! Leap over gaps! Duel with foes! Dig up treasure! Find Secrets! Upgrade! Shovel Knight is simple to learn and play, but challenge lies everywhere.
  • Awesome soundtrack by Jake "Virt" Kaufman with additional songs by Manami Matsumae!
  • Master an array of magical Relic subweapons.
  • Amass riches to upgrade your armor and weapons.
  • Detailed, living background and animation! Big, beautiful pixels!
  • Crazy bosses and lovable characters.
  • Balanced gameplay is a warm welcome to newcomers, and an old embrace for experts.
  • A light touch to narrative with humor, levity, and heart.
  • Overworld Map allows your quest unfold in a unique order!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2nd Generation Intel Core HD Graphics (2000/3000), 256MB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 ghz or equivalent
    • Graphics: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 and Newer
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2nd Generation Intel Core HD Graphics (2000/3000), 256MB
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
2,860 of 3,261 people (88%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
I cannot recommend Shovel Knight enough because it fails at being bad so hard. You might as well grab 15€ from your wallet and burn it if you are a fool. You will get no joy from this if you don't have what it takes, you little piece of garbage. I don't want to go anywhere near this game if I don't have enough time to sit back and properly enjoy it again. I assure you that you will feel the same. The 8-bit music will drive you insane with nostalgia, the controls are disgustingly good, especially if you have a decent controller, the art looks like it was made by an 8-year-old prodigy genius blessed by angels. All in all, I rate this game 1 if we're using a simplistic binary rating system where 1 means 'recommend', and 0 means 'do not recommend'. Buy Shovel Knight if you are a sucker for games that are good.
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213 of 235 people (91%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Did you have a good childhood as a gamer?
Buy this game immediately.

Did you have a s***ty childhood as a gamer?
Buy this game to make up for lost time.

Are you still a child yourself?
Beg your elders to buy this game for you.
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77 of 87 people (89%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 21



Shovel Knight

Digging for success

Rating

Personal Rating: "Modern classic that should be in everyones library"
Traditional Rating: 10 out of 10
Genre: Third Person Indie Retro Platformer
Review

There is so much done right with Shovel Knight, a new retro platformer from Yacht Club Games, that you will easily forgive the games merciless plundering of great NES games from years past. Shovel Knight (one of the few successful kick-starter games to come along) is like the proverbial Ghost of Christmas Past that tags along the spirits of Mega Man, Contra, Duck Tales, Castlevania and Legend of Zelda all in one charming and fantastic package. It's a homage and a love-letter for the era all wrapped up in one of the years finest games. Shovel Knight, however, doesn't only get by on its charm or its looking-glass mirror of nostalgia, because while Yacht Club clearly display a fanatical and almost pin-point perfect ability to replicate what was great about all those legends they are also able to display a modern, forward thinking approach to gaming. This is a mash-up of old and new that strikes gold from the get go.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=291530511
One may argue that Shovel Knight is no where near as difficult (although that is not to say the game does not provide ample challenge) as games such as the old Mega Man or Castlevania titles but then that would be missing the point entirely. It's clear from the get go that not only do the developers of Shovel Knight want to drown you in a dippy whirl of nostalgia, most importantly they want you to have fun. Shovel Knight employs a Dark Souls style mechanic where if you die you get a chance to reclaim all your lost gold. Should you die again before being able to recollect these items they are lost for good. Where Mega Man gave you lives and then forced you to restart the level after using them all up, Shovel Knight is more generous by strategically placing checkpoints through each level that will see you re spawn at the last one reached, provided you still have some gold in your pocket. Loose all your gold and you will be forced to re-tackle the level.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=290973571
Shovel Knight is presented in an 8-bit retro aesthetic that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up in the era when these kinds of games were immensely popular. Taking on the role of a tiny knight with, you guessed it, a shovel - your quest is simple - save the land from an evil Enchantress that has enslaved the kingdom using her own macabre version of the Knights of the Round Table who go by the name of The Knights of No Quarter and locate your lost and dearly beloved who appears to have been kidnapped by the evil Enchantress herself. Apart from clearing this forsaken land from each Knights evil clutches, Shovel Knight will also fight a host of random enemies that spawn on the map that are just as equally delightful, charming and incredibly creative to engage with. Shovel Knight oozes character and charm by the bucket-load and it will take something particularly mighty to knock it off my perch for best game of 2014.
Conclusion

I don't award 10/10 to games very often, and I can only think of a handful that have received such high honor, but Shovel Knight hits pay-dirt right from its first dig and it scratches an itch in me that few modern games have been successful at achieving. Do yourself a favor and pick this game up as it honestly deserves all the attention and success it can get so that hopefully we will see some more in the future.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=291203444
***On a side note - this is only the eighth game in my thirty-odd year history of gaming to get a perfect score from me (it's really that good). The first being Mega Man 3 from Capcom, the second being King's Quest VI from Sierra On-line, the third being Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within from Sierra On-Line, the fourth being Diablo II from Blizzard Software, the fifth being ICO from Team ICO, the sixth being Dark Souls from From Software and the seventh being Rayman Legends from Ubisoft***
Disclaimer

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58 of 63 people (92%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
CAN YOU DIG IT, SUCKA?

I'm sorry. I had to.

This is the best Megaman game that's been made in nearly 2 decades.

This game is a very very high-quality tribute to the games were popular during the late 80's/early 90's. The influences are obvious - The character itself, the level design, boss fights, graphical style and music are very reminiscent of the early Megaman games. The level selection pays tribute to the slightly-less-than-linear level select screen of Super Mario Bros. 3, where there is a general direction of progression, but you may be given the opportunity to stray from the path at times. The shovel jump mechanics are a less-than-subtle throwback to the pogo stick in Ducktales. Most importantly, however, is that the controls are both simple and responsive. If you miss a jump, it'll always because you missed the jump, rather than the game itself boning you. As with most 2D platformers on PC, I would strongly recommend a controller (with the Xbox 360 controller being the standard).

The difficulty of this game is often spoken about. The game is fairly difficult, but I do have to stress that this game is NOT Nintendo difficult. The difference is mainly that although Shovel Knight does have challenging sections, there is rarely a point in the game that is strictly unfair. Most of the time when you die, it'll be more of a "dammit, I messed up" than a "this game is ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥" type of thing. Furthermore, unlike many NES games of old, there is no limit to the number of lives you have. Instead, dying causes you to lose a portion of the gold you've collected, which gets left at the point at which you died. You then spawn at the latest checkpoint and have an opportunity to obtain the money that you dropped. This means that there are rarely any parts of the game that require extensive replaying of the same areas over and over again. Seasoned platform gamers (for which this game is most likely targeted at) will probably get through this game without too much of a struggle. Newer gamers however are likely to get stuck and potentially frustrated at various segments of the game. With that said, regardless of how difficult you may find the game, each level you complete will feel like an accomplishment.

As previously mentioned, both the graphics and the music in the game are very much influenced by game such as Megaman. The graphics are, in a sense, "beautifully ugly", in that it is an 8-bit style game done in high resolution. The music is more or less the type of chiptune that you'd expect from a game like this. It's catchy, yes, although I found the music less memorable than the NES titles that inspired this game.

Overall, I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a good NES-style 2D platformer. Yes, the price of this is currently relatively steep for an indie game (as it has never been bundled or, to my knowledge, gone on special for any significant amount to this date). With that said, as PC gamers, we are spoilt for choice. We live in an age where, on Steam, and with the overabundance of bundled games, we are able to get decent-quality games for very cheap. From a value-for-money point of view, I would recommend getting much cheaper-but-high-quality 2D platformers such as Super Meat Boy, Limbo, Braid, Spelunky and a host of other games well before you got this one. However, if you're like me and time is a considerably more limiting factor than money, then Shovel Knight is the best value.

In other words, I strongly believe that Shovel Knight is the best 2D platformer currently on Steam, bar none.
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100 of 134 people (75%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
I dig this game.
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24 of 26 people (92%) found this review helpful
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
So, got this game a day ago, and I did not play a single other game until I beat it. Instead of gushing all over the floor, I made a list of pros and cons of this game.

Pros-

Smooth gameplay
Tight controls
Changable controls
Satisfying kills
♥♥♥♥ING AWESOME SOUNDTRACK
Imitates the 8 Bit era EXTREMELY WELL. This game does it right, and passes through the barrier that indie retro games are stale
Intro that shows off the 8 Bit era PERFECTLY
First level is great, shows off things you can do, not hard, first boss fight is good
World map similar to the Super Mario Bros 3
You can bounce on enemies like in Duck Tales
Has a style similar to Megaman
Hub world where you can buy upgrades and do sidequests
RELICS: Pretty much every regular level has a relic. These relics are a nice way to change up the way you kill your enemies. You can find these in secret areas where you find a chest, containing... a person.... inside. He will allow you to buy the stages relic. However, if you miss him, or do not have enough money to buy the relic, he can be found in the huv world, but the relic is a bit more expensive.
Mana and health system, Buy or find meal tickets after certain levels and take them to a
Gastronomer in the hub world to expand your life meter, easy right? You can buy mana upgrades with gold at the Magician near the Gastronomer. Forgot to mention that relics take mana to use.
Mini levels, these include battles with wandering travelers (Mario 3) Mini relic levels which take certain relics and bases the level off them.
Great level design
Blame nothing on the game. If you die its your fault.
A good challenge
Great Humor
If you get bored, you can use Cheat Codes to make a new file which distracts you from your main one. There are tons of cheat codes, over 200 of them, look them up.
Awesome foreshadowing in the form of dream levels.
All of the 41 stubborn people who negatively reviewed the game only complain about how hard the game is. Its not the hardest game ever. In fact its pretty easy compared to other games that I have played.
Great final battle, will not spoil it.
Great boss battles
More ♥♥♥♥
Way more ♥♥♥♥
There are alot more cool things about this game. I cannot fit them all here. Just ♥♥♥♥ing play it

Cons? I guess?
If you suck at video games this may give you a stroke.
Short, I guess
??? I could have sworn I had at least one more con about this game.


This game is really good. Like really really good. Play it



PLAY IT I TELL YOU
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29 of 37 people (78%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
The most perfected "Nintendo Seal of Quality" kind of game I've played since Megaman 9.
Some guy put NES legendary games together, asked himself "But will it blend ?..."
Short answer : YES it blends perfectly ! And it's pretty freakin' epic !
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25 of 31 people (81%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
There are a lot of video games. Many try to capture a retro style to win over a nostalgic crowd, or try to pull a more unique art style to grab people's attentions. Others tell deep stories that hook you in, make you feel invested, like you have to get to the end. Few try to sell on quality gameplay alone, something that's genuinely fun to play.

Few games do all three. Games like Dark Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Bastion, Transistor, Earthbound... And now, Shovel Knight.

From start to finish, Shovel Knight is a fantastic game. In the first level, it teaches you how to play subtly without throwing it out at you in a text box, much like Megaman X had done years ago. The controls are simple, each move shown to you as you accomplish it on your own without heavy handed guidance. Even the ability to identify an alternate path or a hidden wall is subtly placed into the world, so you always know what to look for. And everything is used throughout the game from then on, in new, creative ways each time, through platforming and combat.

There's more to my mentioning of Megaman. Shovel Knight uses the original color palette of NES... The very limited number of color choices presented is clear in the still vivid scenery. It stays true to its nostalgic feel. Each world is unique in more than just appearance as well. The variation of enemies is absolutely beautiful, new types of critters appearing in every single stage. Even Rats, re-used throughout the game, are fought completely differently each time. From little Helicopter Rats to ones that outright explode when killed.

And finally, the story. The prologue is simple, a tale of fallen heroes... Many more than you'd think at first. But Shovel Knight gets up, and goes to fight the good fight. The story builds up further in short conversations with enemies. It deepens as you fight your rival more and more, until you learn something about him that changes everything. But most importantly, this game is about saving Shield Knight... And when Shovel Knight dreams, there's only one thing he dreams of.

Buy Shovel Knight. Don't wait for a sale. Play it.

Catch her.
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
Shovel Knight might be a better NES game than anything we've ever seen.

It's an homage to 8-bit glory, in love with the past but never constrained by it, taking everything that was ever great about the era and bringing it together with a modern design insight. There's a purity driving the experience, distilling the essence of classic 2D platformers without sacrificing depth or refinement, continually asking you to reevaluated your expectations as it pours out an abundance of creativity. It gave me something I already loved and then found ways to make it better, as I made my way through with a stupid grin on my face like I was rediscovering games again for the first time.

There's this fundamental mechanical understanding at the heart of Shovel Knight that forms this invisible glue holding it all together. Every platform, enemy, and secret area is tuned so perfectly to how the game plays that playing it feels almost instinctual, like you knew before even picking up the control exactly how everything works. And that's likely in large part do to how much Shovel Knight borrows from the games that built the genre it resides in, but there's never a feeling that it's ripping anything off. It's entirely its own creation, with its own quirks and strategies, but playing it is so natural and fluid that it feels like an old friend that's been hiding all these years.

Shovel Knight's understandable nature shouldn't be mistaken for simplicity, as the burden has simply been shifted from interfacing with the game to relentless level designs and boss fights. Progression always feels earned and satisfying, be it a treasure chest at the end, a tricky enemy, or just managing to clear a difficult platform sequence, but Shovel Knight never falls into the realm of being unfair. Its rules are plainly laid out and death is simply another learning experience, as you figure out new ways to tackle a situation. No matter how many times I died it never seemed as if the game was cheating me, and I always wanted to rush immediately back in to try it again.

Where so many 8-bit games feel like they require root memorization, Shovel Knight feels like someone is teaching you how to play better. Success is rewarded and brings with it new challenges such as destroying checkpoints for a bigger reward, or secret areas you couldn't access or weren't aware were there before. It made me want to seek out everything there was to see, to take on the biggest challenge to discover new tools and places, and never failed to have something cool to show me at the end.

Playing Shovel Knight was probably one of the more nostalgic experiences I've ever had with a game. It reintroduced me to that raw joy and excitement I had when I first started playing games as a child, but without the memory shattering disappointment that so often comes with revisiting the things I used to love now I'm older. It stands on its own as a brilliantly executed creation without dismissing that which came before it, familiar yet completely inspired and so unbelievably fun with every swing of your shovel; the sort of game I feel compelled to tell others about and all but force them to play in the hopes they experience what I did from the very first screen.
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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
Shovel Knight is a game that brings back the good old NES days. Truth is, Shovel Knight fails to do one thing: Disappointing me. Shovel Knight is not only easily the best game of 2014 so far, but it's one of the best I've played in recent memory. It's greatness can be rivaled with others like Mass Effect and Minecraft. Shovel Knight is easily one of the best platformers of recent memory, too. The Rayman games, for example, were highly praised with their cute visuals and awesome soundtrack, but Shovel Knight takes these visuals and makes it hardcore nostalgic and the soundtrack into an 8-bit unforgettable masterpiece, thus making it far superior to that series to me. They say that "Nothing is perfect," however they also said, "Nothing is impossible." Where am I going with this? This might just be one of the few perfect games that I could've ever encountered.

Graphics

The graphics take you back to the time when realistic graphics weren't the big thing. Shovel Knight successfully recreates the graphics from an NES game like this and also modernizes it with some new colors and also the amazing animated backgrounds. The characters, and more specifically, the Order of No Quarter, look outstanding. They're all knights, yet the creators were able to make each one unique. To me, King Knight was the best looking of all of them and really went well with his theme. However, they all look nice. Well, besides the Black Knight, who looks pretty ugly. However, you only encounter him less than 5 times in the game, so that isn't much of a flaw.

Gameplay

The gameplay, again, recreates what the NES games, and even games from that time and older did. They had the simplistic controls with no holding hands. Sure, it took a while due to how many last gen games I played since they all hold your hand, but it was easy to get adjusted to them. It also mixes some of the greats, like Mega Man, Zelda, even a hint of Mario. At first, the levels appear to be repetitive, but then you realize that they become more and more unique as they go on, and the bosses were amazing. No one was too difficult at all. There was the occasional rage, but I expect that from a game that wants to recreate the NES era. Speaking of difficulty, this game has been talked about because of its easy difficulty compared to the real NES games. This is true, but like I explained earlier, Shovel Knight does not hold your hand and also the bosses can make you rage when you go against the more notorious bosses like Plague Knight, Frost Knight, and Spectre Knight. In the end, you realize that the difficulty is easier compared to Mega Man and Zelda, however it's harder than the modern games like Call of Duty. It's a perfect balance and I see nothing wrong with it.

Story

The story is straightforward. Shovel Knight had a companion named Shield Knight, who tagged along with him on his journey. However, one day, Shield Knight sacrificed herself to stay in the tower while Shovel Knight could get out alive before the tower seals. Shovel Knight, mourning the loss of his comrade, becomes a farmer and does cheap work. However, one day, the Enchantress, who is the main antagonist of the game, opens up the tower again and the Order of No Quarter, consisting of King Knight, Spectre Knight, Tinker Knight, Mole Knight, Plague Knight, Frost Knight, Propeller Knight, and Treasure Knight, begin to spread their evil throughout the land. Shovel Knight realizes that Shield Knight could be alive in there still, and he also wants to get rid of the evil knights who spread their terror. Overall, I enjoyed the plot and loved the last few minutes of the game. The ending was wrapped up effectively and told a great, yet simple tale that I saw no problems with.

Audio

The audio also highly impressed me with the good old chiptune soundtrack, and even had a few contributions from one of the all-time greats known as Manami Matsamune, who made the Mega Man soundtrack. The music is cheery, fast paced, and also unforgettable. The boss themes especially peeked my interest and made the bosses even more terrifying. Tinker Knight's theme 'The Schemer' also made you think that there's more than meets the eye. The sound effects are simplistic and hardcore nostalgic. You will not be disappointed.

Replayability

The replayability is very strong in this game. You can play different playstyles with the armor selection towards the middle of the game, beat Shovel Knight on New Game+, defeat the bosses without dying, and go achievement hunting. The achievements can keep you busy and the New Game+ makes it even more rage-inducing. You will get quite a bit out of this game unless you're a one-and-done kind of guy. In fact, if you are one of those kinds of people, why are you reading this paragraph?

Verdict

Shovel Knight stands out among the crowd as one of the best games I've played in such a long time. Platformer fan, nostalgia fan, medieval fan, whatever you are, this is a must-buy for anyone on Steam and is one of the games you NEED in your Steam library, along with Garry's Mod and a few others. This game does something few games have ever done, and that, my friends, is have no significant flaws that ruin the experience. You NEED this game. You will not be disappointed.

Graphics- 9.5/10
Gameplay- 10/10
Story- 8.5/10
Audio- 10/10
Replayability- 7.5/10

**GANDHI GAMING PERSONAL PICK**

.:10/10:.

+Amazing chiptune soundtrack
+Awesome characters
+Floors it on the nostalgia pedal
+Simple controls
+Balanced difficulty
+Strong replayability
+Difficult achievements
+Modernizes the NES visuals
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
+ Fantastic high definition retro graphics
+ Funny and charming
+ Plenty of secrets
+ Music is great
+ Lovely (but cliche nevertheless) story (and that ending; loved it !)
+ The controls feel exactly right
+ Implements and mixes some good features originally used in games like Mario Bros. 3 and Zelda II

+/- Not as difficult as old school (S)NES games

- I frequently fell into a pit because I honestly thought I had to go down there (could be just me, though)
- Short (but maybe that's because I was having way too much fun with it)

[Rating: 91/100]
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Shovel Knight is fantastic. I'm sure you've already heard that a million times by now because this game has been hyped up by just about everyone that has played it. Well, there's a good reason for that. The reaosn is... it lives up to the hype. It's one of the best games made in year. Perhaps one of the best game EVER.

Shovel Knight is a 2D platformer where you run and jump around swinging your shovel at enemies and objects. You can also use your shovel to bouce off of enemies and objects as well. The gameplay is very similar to that of Mega Man and Ducktales. You also get some pretty cool powerups along the way, by them secondary items that use magic, or just upgrades to your main gear. You get them by buying them with gold. You get this gold by collecting gems throughout the levels. When you die, you lose some of your gold and get sent back to your last checkpoint. However, if you get back to the place where you died, you can reclaim your gold as it is separated into three floating sacks. Pretty nifty way to punish you for dying without limiting you to a number of lives. The levels are picked from an overworld map very similar to the style of Super Mario Bros 3. There are even some enemy encounters on the map that aren't associated with specific levels or locations. There are also a few towns to visit, which is the root of a lot the game's humor along with serving as the main hubs for shops.

The great thing about Shovel Knight is how it really commits to the retro style. It's all pretty faithfully 8 bit in visuals, sounds, music... almost everything. It also controls like a dream. It might be intimidating at first, and you might assume it will be classically NES hard. Well, it's not too tought. Believe me, there are harder games out there. I may not be able to beat most Mega Man games, but Shovel Knight wasn't too much of a problem. The game can get tricky, even a little frustrating at times, but it keeps things interesting by constantly throwing new things at you and I never found any part of the game to seem hopeless. Whenever I had trouble with a part, I knew it was because I was doing it wrong, not necessarily because it was just incredibly tasking. The balance is great and is only further aided by the tight controls. There are also a good number of secrets for you to keep your eyes peeled for.

The presentation is wonderful. The 8 bit art style is very charming, and the setpieces are very detailed. Not to mention all the pretty colors used. The sound effects are very satisfying, from jumping, to hitting enemies, so collecting treasure. The music is amazing. Just listen to the title theme and try not to get totally pumped for this game! (SPOILER ALERT: It can't be done.) Everything just comes together in one glorious package of pure awesomeness.

Complaints? I guess I have a few, though they are very minor... but... well no game is perfect, Not even this masterpiece. For as retro as most of it is, a few things are modernized. The scrolling background and some of the colors and sound capabilities... plus a lack of slowdown... most of that might have been a bit much for an old NES game to handle. Also, there are lots of checkpoint, which isn't very classically inspired. You CAN destroy them for gold so that there aren't checkpoints but... they are there by default. There's also autosaving and achievements which can't be turned off. These things aren't bad. In fact, they are all here for a reason, but they DO break the retro style a tiny bit. That's all. Also, there's no multiplayer options. I mean, online would also be breaking the retro style, but local mutliplayer, co op, or switching off on deaths or something... that would've fit just fine. However, I assume the game would need to be made a lot differently if two players were involved in the quest, so I can't really complain for something the game didn't do and honestly didn't need to do. Perhaps in a sequel, eh? ;)

Overall, this game is great. The controls are so tight and are coupled with fun and intersting gameplay. The difficulty curves quite nicely. The presentation is incredible. Even little details are well done, giving each boss knight their own personalities rather than just having them be generic themed bosses at the end of themed levels. There's a certain cohesiveness. This game is amazing. It costs $15, and is well worth it. It's worth even $20, honestly. In fact, if this game had a physical copy, I'd be willing to pay $30 for it! It's THAT good. It's a must have, and even now is making me reconsider what my favorite game on Steam is because it's just so great. Buy it now. Don't bother to wait for a sale. The sooner you get this game and start playing, the sooner you will be happy. You're welcome.

10/10 Would shovel again.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Shovel Knight pays homage to Zelda II, Castlevania, and Mega Man so well that you get nostalgic playing it. Its controls are so tight that you're reminded that it's a modern platformer.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Most certainly not shovelware. This is a groundbreaking game that has a sharp edge on the competition.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Tight controls, decent soundtrack, varied enemies and bosses. funny classic jokes. worth a playthrough if mega man means anything to you.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
A piece of nostalgic Nes Game.
Worth buying.


-Justice in Spades-
-Sharpen Thy Shovel-
-It's shoveling Time-
-Get Digging-
-For Shoverly-
-Strike the Earth-
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
This game has 1 of the best soundtracks ever.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
One of the best 2D platformers I've ever played!

If you like retro games, platformers or shovels, you need to play this game! even if you don't... play it anyway, it's that good.
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
10/10, best game of 2014 hands down
this game digs every other game a grave
it's really ground-breaking
this game has creativity in spades
it gets very down to earth at times
all in all, i really dug this game.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
So, another retro-style 8-bit game pops up. Many may think that the style is horribly overdone today and will pay no attention to Shovel Knight.

I have a message for those of you - if you like platformers at all, DO NOT IGNORE THIS GAME.

Shovel Knight takes place in an unnamed kingdom, under threat by the Enchantress and the 8 Knights of her Order of No Quarter. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Yeah, the Mega Man comparisons can be pretty plentiful, especially since the Mega Man series is what I usually see as the best platformers ever made.

STORY:

The story is pretty run of the mill, protagonist (Shovel Knight) and his companion/lover (Shield Knight) roamed the land in search of adventure, until one day, Shield Knight was taken from him by the dark power of a magic amulet. Don't roll your eyes just yet, because it gets good. While the story is simple, it deepens as he game goes on, through little bits of dialogue you may come across here and there.

-----MINOR SPOILER - KEEPING IT AS VAGUE AS POSSIBLE-----
There's a sequence near the end that shows that Shield Knight is not a flat, boring character used just to provide a love interest for the main character - she has her own merits, and is an equal, and that sequence shows just how well they work together and how much worse off Shovel Knight is without her. All that is shown through gameplay that lasts...about 3 minutes, 5 tops.
----------

So, the story actually stands up pretty well.


MUSIC:

Holy hell, this soundtrack is incredible. The tunes are extremely catchy, and, strangely enough, I would actually encourage you NOT to listen to any of the music outside of the game until you've heard it inside. That's right, I'm counting music as spoilers for this game. Jake Kaufman has done an amazing job as always.

Mega Man 2 always had my favourite 8-bit soundtrack. Up until I played this game.

MINOR SPOILER: There is one track in the game that has taken my place of best sad 8-bit song from Mega Man 3's Proto Man Theme - Shield Knight Requiem. You'll know which track this is when you play the feels inducing sequence it goes with.


GAMEPLAY:

The game plays brilliantly, the jumping is precise, the controls, while a bit weird at first (A and D for left and right, W and S for up and down, J to attack and K to jump) work very well once you get used to them. The level designs are all done very well, with specific mechanics and enemies being used in each of the Knight Lairs, and in each specific Lair alone, keeping the game fresh and interesting and, most importantly, challenging, as you have to learn new adversaries and mechanics to deal with. Almost all deaths in the game feel like your fault, something you can improve on.

The bosses work differently than most bosses I've seen in platformers like these. In other platformers, the bosses will have an attack pattern, performing attacks in a pre-determined sequence. Learn the pattern, and you can take the boss down with ease.

Not the case here - the bosses in Shovel Knight have set attacks, but completely lack any pattern. This makes the bosses do their job MUCH better - testing the player's skill. You have to learn their attacks, not the pattern - you need to learn their attacks and make sure you know how to counter them.

The checkpoints are a point of interest, because, save for in the first level and the final level, checkpoints can be broken to yield vast amounts of money, rendering the checkpoint beyond use. Death does not punish you by knocking off a life, leading you to an inevitable and frustrating Game Over. Instead, dying takes away some of your dosh, which you must then recover in the next life if you want it back. Sometimes these flying bags can end up in awkward or downright unreachable places, which, while annoying, could be viewed as punishment for messing up, encouraging you to improve. This checkpoint system means skilled players can receive a large monetary bonus if they so decide. Of course, getting cocky and then messing up after destroying checkpoints can send you from any length through the level all the way back to the start, so choose wisely.


LENGTH:

The game lasts around 5 to 6 hours, depending on your skill, on the first playthrough, an ample length, but it's packed full of secrets to find, one of the most notable being the Music Sheet collactables. 46 sheets are out in the world, hiding wherever, which can be returned to the village bard, who will pay you 500 gold for each, who can then play them for you - the music sheets in question form the game's soundtrack, so you can listen to your favourite tracks (provided you found the sheet) while scurrying about the village.

On top of that, there's a New Game +, unlocked after beating the game for the first time. This makes checkpoints much more scarce, about 2 per level, where once there may have been 3 times as many, healing items are almost never found, the most healing you'll get is the Ichor Of Restoration (given by the Troupple King (I could explain what a Troupple is, but you're better off finding out for yourself)). Trying to beat the game like this is even harder, and would probably add a fair bit of length to the game (I say would; I've not actually been able to finish New Game + yet.)


VISUALS:

The design of the levels and foes, aesthetically, is brilliant, with each stage's looks, features and enemies having their own style, keeping the game looking new and interesting. The game was designed with a limited colour palette, to mimic the NES's restrictions. Of course, not all parts of the game, such as the parallax scrolling or a few colours the NES's limits prevented here and there, but overall, the game stays very close to the 8-bit era it's based on, with the UI looking like it's come straight out of Castlevania, and the overworld map being very reminiscent of that from Super Mario Bros. 3.


OVERVIEW:

Shovel Knight is an 8-bit platformer that has elements from previous games of the era, and uses them magnificently. it excels in all areas. It's not just a retro 8-bit platformer aspiring to be like the classics - it's better than the classics.
It's challenging but enjoyable, and has enough of its own merits to stand tall, without needing to use nostalgia as a crutch - the NES era was not my childhood, that was the PS1 era. So if Shovel Knight's not sucking me in with nostalgia, then it must be something else giving me this rampant love for the game.

The early Mega Man games used to be what I considered the best platformers.
That title now belongs to Shovel Knight.
This game is EASILY worth the £11 (or reigonal equivalent) price tag.

If you enjoy platformers, are looking to get into the genre, or are a veteran of platformers, you owe it to yourself to buy this game.
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