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 (2,578 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 26, 2014

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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 (8)

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.

•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!

•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

October 8

Shovel Knight - Now Available on Linux!

Hey! You there! Shovel Knight is now available on Linux! No longer must you brave the perils of emulators, virtual machines, dual booting, or what-have-you to do battle against the forces of evil. Now that Windows, Mac and Linux are all released, you can play Shovel Knight on your system(s) of choice!

If you're using a controller but it's not being detected on Linux, or any platform, you can help out by submitting your device information. It's easy! Just check out this page.

Version 1.2.1 also includes a few minor changes:

•Clarified cheat activation text to be a little less scary.
•Fix: Gastronomer forgetting to serve remaining meals if Shovel Knight leaves just as a sequential meal was being served. Ah, the old dine and dash and then dine again trick...

Not all that much, right? That's because the team is hard at work on some exciting big new updates! First up is playable Plague Knight! It will be a transmutationally fun time!

14 comments Read more


“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!


  • 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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
821 of 891 people (92%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
I've kickstarted this game the very second I saw it and I was not let down.

This game really brings back the memories of how games were when you and I was only children.
The nostalgic "8/16 bit" look makes you think of the old NES/SNES and MSDOS days when you sat up hours straight because you could not save or you just could not stop (just one more level). This has all that and more. Remember the annoying sounds and music that some games had due to the very primitive soundboard. Well forget about that with Shovelknight because the music is just beyond awesome. Everything about it screams well done, and there is also a person in the very first town that you can talk to if you want to change the music in case you find it repeatative. Just gather more notepages and he can play more songs.
This game is filled with hidden treasure, fun jokes, awesome characters (a horse in a dress!), lovely artwork, great enemies and very well done boss fights.
The game is like a combination of Duck Tales, Super Mario, Mega Man, Faxanadu and many more epic titles + more. If you are looking for anything to tickle the old nostalgic nerve this is the game for you. Even thou I have tried words can't describe how awesome this game is. Try it for yourself. You won't regret it.

TL;DR 10/10 this game is awesome go buy it!
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2,644 of 3,017 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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1,274 of 1,497 people (85%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Dig a hole, throw in Zelda 2, Mario 3 and the ghost of Mega Man. Fill that whole with gorgeous 8-bit graphics and sublime chiptune music. Then jump in the hole, point your shovel to the sky and rejoice, my brothers and sisters, REJOICE!!
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3,318 of 4,178 people (79%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
The idea of a Knight with a Shovel is, ground-breaking.
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663 of 833 people (80%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Mega Man + Duck Tales + Mario 3
This game is terribly charming and pure joy to play.
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177 of 198 people (89%) 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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1,490 of 1,988 people (75%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
I dig it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
69 of 76 people (91%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 21

Shovel Knight

Digging for success


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

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.
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.
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.

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.
***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***

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73 of 87 people (84%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
"Shovel Knight." I think it is safe to say this is one of the most hotly anticipated indie titles coming out this year... I'm trying to figure out how Yacht Club Games did it. Did they boil a vat of nostalgia stew using "Dark Souls" bones for flavoring; a stew Carl Weathers and Samwise Gamgee themselves would be proud of? No. Did they lock "Dark Souls" and "DuckTales" in a candlelit room with Barry White blasting? Maybe. However they have done it, they did it. The crazy ♥♥♥♥ers did it. They made a fun game, an homage to why we started gaming in the first place. This is not the greatest game in the world, no. It is simply a tribute. A great tribute nonetheless.

It is a simple premise: Shovel Knight and his warrior BFF Shield Knight got their pixelated butts whooped. Shield Knight is MIA and Shovel Knight took an early retirement. But now a new and evil force is out in numbers - the Enchantress and her Order of No Quarter. Shovel Knight heads out on one last quest, to restore goodness to the land.

You travel from level to level, dispatching enemies and platforming very similarly to "Ducktales," complete with treasure collecting and atypical weapon use. You have two attacks (along with some magics) to deal a variety of enemies, each with their own weaknesses and tactics. It is deceptively challenging. Not "tear your hair out and sacrifice your firstborn" challenging, but a fun challenge. There are secrets to find as well, so keep an eye out for things that look out of place.

The levels are wonderful... each one is unique and beautiful to boot. I am getting tired of pixel games, honestly. All these RPG Maker games... hideous and same-y. But "Shovel Knight" is gorgeous. It reminds me why pixel-style art made a comeback in the first place. Everything flows and you'll find yourself taking dumb damage because you are busy staring at the background and stages.

The gameplay,charming story, and excellent levels are great but the soundtrack, to me, is the star. I equate the "Shovel Knight" soundtrack to that of the "Halo" soundtrack. It is integral. It is inspired. It is catchy as a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the boss fights. Amazing. Think "Dark Souls." Every boss has his or her own special style, one that you have to master. Expect a challenge.

This game is cute. It has heart. And it wears its influences on its sleeves, from the bonfire checkpoints to the treasure chest brimming with pixelated treasure. "Shovel Knight" is not a risky game; it is not doing anything new. It is doing something tried and true. But it does it honestly and with its own unique charm. "Shovel Knight" is a blast.
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52 of 57 people (91%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30

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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92 of 121 people (76%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
I dig this game.
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51 of 61 people (84%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
I just played through an unforgettably groundbreaking adventure that was all at once Mega Man, Duck Tales, Zelda II, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Castlevania, even a little Dark Souls, all wrapped into one rich and fertile package with the raw, earthy gameplay refinement of a Treasure game, (Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy) and prepared by the fine green thumbs of Game Design at Yacht Club Games (Previously employed at WayForward and responsible for some truly awesome stuff) and all graced by the glory that is Jake Kaufman's golden rays of musical sun, as well as a couple tracks from Manami Matsumae who was responsible for some of the classic Mega Man series soundtracks.

In other words, this is some of the best, most delicious, fresh-grown and ripe-off-the-vine gaming goodness $15 can get you at this moment in time. I couldn't sling dirt on this game if I tried, I just dig it that much. If any of the above made you want to enjoy some sidescrolling platformer goodness in spades, or excavate a hole in the ground just to escape all the digging puns, don't hesitate reading silly reviews, don't bury yourself in doubt, (oops sorry I did it again) just see for yourself how tasty and wholesome this Shovel Knight stuff is. You won't regret it.

P.S. Just watch out for the 'pits' ;)
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66 of 89 people (74%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
This is the greatest oldschool game anyone has made in years. The graphics, the gameplay, the story, the humor, the dialogue, the soundtrack. Everything is as perfect as I could ever hope. I highly recommend getting this game. If you're on the fence, JUST TAKE THE PLUNGE AND BUY IT!

There's only one problem. Shovels are the only gardening tool that appears in the game. Where the hoes at?

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22 of 24 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.


Smooth gameplay
Tight controls
Changable controls
Satisfying kills
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

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32 of 42 people (76%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
I already have shoveled my way through this game in an entire night, since Yacht Club Games let Kickstarter backers play the game early. I may have missed some stuff, but main game-wise, I've dug up about what's offered here.

As a fellow Kickstarter backer, what do I think of this game? Well, to put it shortly...I ♥♥♥♥ING LOVED THIS GAME! I'm really glad that this game saw the light of day, unlike some other Kickstarted projects out there, and I am content with how it turned out. Yacht Club Games, I applaud your efforts here.

Shovel Knight is pretty much as if someone took Mega Man, DuckTales, and the Metroidvania concept and threw it together in a 2A03 blender set to VRC6, threw in some modern enhancements, and released it out to the world for everyone to try. This game really feels like it could have been on NES, from the graphics to the audio all the way down to the core gameplay. Yes, I know that there are instances of proof that part of the game can't be done on NES, but who cares? I felt like some of the added changes helped with making the game much better, in the long run.

The story itself is pretty much like other NES games: Forgettable. But come on, you're not here for the story. NES games were never recognized for that. The dialogue spoken throughout is also pretty cheesy and full of puns, which I think adds to the charm of the game. You can probably get a good laugh out of it, or at least a smile on your face.

In contrast to that, the gameplay is just excellent. As I said, it's a mix of Mega Man, DuckTales, and Metroidvania stuff. You can slice at enemies with your sharp shovel, bounce off of them to inflict damage and reach higher terrain, and use an assortment of side weapons. The side weapons are definitely built for combat, but most of them are also coded to aid in exploration. There definitely will be levels where you need to use a certain item to advance through, which I think is excellent...though I wish there were more levels/areas in the game that did that, too. But aside from that, you can go through the whole game with just the shovel, like how you can go through all of a Mega Man game with just the Buster.

I think that the difficulty is fairly set. With how the levels are designed and how the gameplay is handled, it's really your fault for failing, which I appreciate with games like this. It also makes you learn the game's mechanics instead of giving you an unnecessary tutorial, which I also like. You can also give yourself a better challenge by destroying the checkpoints, which give you more gold in exchange of having to start from a previous area of the level upon death. With New Game+, you start with your previous equipment/upgrades, but you take more damage, can't find food in the levels, and you have less checkpoints in the level. Definitely for those who want it NES hard.

The level design is superb. Yes, they are linear in nature, like with every NES game. But all the enemies/platforms/items are fairly placed out across the place to synergize with the gameplay. There are also plenty of secrets hidden in each level, which gives an excellent risk vs reward feeling of finding and completing each secret area. They also provide a nice place to test out any relics that you find, if you do find any.

While difficult, I think that the game is also rather forgiving. You don't have a lives system, and you don't get a game over for dying so much or for any other condition. That said, you do lose some of your gold upon death, which you can recover in the same area that you died in, akin to Dark Souls. I like this...but I have a bit of a gripe with it, too (explained at the bottom). I think that the checkpoints are properly spaced out throughout the levels, which aids with some of the forgiveness that the game offers. Either way, if you fall, just get back up and try again. It's not game over unless you make it game over.

I like how the bosses are handled. They don't really have a pattern, but a set list of moves that they choose to execute depending on the situation. These moves are pretty easy to pick up on, and they definitely fit the theme of the boss.

The graphics for the game are just nostalgic glory here. I know that some of the colors in the palette in this game could never show up on a NES game...but I don't care. These added colors really help with the mood and design of the levels/enemies. Yacht Club Games did amazing with making sure that they would work on the NES, similar to how Capcom could get more than three colors on a single sprite. Just great authenticity. The animations are buttery-smooth, too.

The sound...OH MAH RAWR! It's just...too good. The music done in this game was composed with Famitracker, but uses an expansion chip called the VRC6, which was only available in some Konami games for the Famicom, notably Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania 3). I consider this one of the best expansion chips for the Famicom, and I really was excited to see it being used for this game. Oh, unlike some indie retro games out there, the sound effects in this game really do sound like they could have came from the NES, so kudos to that, as well.

If I had one complaint about this game, it would be how the money bags are sometimes spawned upon death. I've had moments of not being able to reach any floating bags, all because they would be in an area that's impossible to return back to safety, especially over bottomless pits. I hope that a future patch can resolve that.

One play session will vary on your skill level. For me, I beat the game in a bit over 7 hours with 84% item completion for my first playthrough, though it seems like it's an average of 4-6 hours for everyone else...and less than 1 1/2 hours if you're really that good at the game. There's New Game+ for those who want to extend their time with the game with a better challenge. But either way, with the quality of the final product, I say the price is justified.

Overall, as a PC gamer, a NES gamer, and a Kickstarter backer, I really enjoyed this game. It's by far one of the greatest games I've played this year, and I'm really happy that this game was completed. I can't wait to see what else Yacht Club Games has in store soon, either for this game or for another. If you're a fan of retro games (especially the NES), you owe it to yourself to pick this game up.
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27 of 34 people (79%) 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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24 of 29 people (83%) 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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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
16.2 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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



+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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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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16 of 20 people (80%) 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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