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Shovel Knight

aka: Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope
Moby ID: 67038
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$14.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

In ancient medieval times, the land belonged to lords and heroes. In that day there was many a mighty warrior, but undoubtedly, the mightiest of all heroes were Shovel Knight and Shield Knight. Together, they made an unstoppable force of justice and shovelry ... but their journeys together came to a close when tragedy struck the duo in the Tower of Fate. Assaulted by foes, Shovel Knight fell in combat, and when he awoke, Shield Knight was gone. His spirit and will to adventure shattered by the death of his companion, he retreated to live a quiet life of solitude, until he heard word that the Tower of Fate had come to be occupied by an evil sorcerer known only as The Enchantress. With the land besieged by her agents, Shovel Knight hears the call to action and takes up arms once again to defend the land, and return to the place where his friend was felled ...

Shovel Knight is an action platformer. You play as the titular character, a legendary hero who firmly believes in the code of shovelry: "Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly!" It reminds of games such as Mega Man or the older Castlevania games, as it blends combat and platforming together in a similar way. The way the knight attacks with his shovel pointing down is similar to Disney's DuckTales.

In Shovel Knight gold can be found everywhere in the game, and the player will need to pay it in spades in order to buy a multitude of items, including Relics, which can be used to aid in both combat and navigation for the fee of magic points; upgrades to one's maximum health points or magic points; and different sets of armor, each with their own effects. The player may choose to destroy checkpoints for a bonus in gold.

Spellings

  • ショベルナイト - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

118 People (26 developers, 92 thanks) · View all

Credits
Directors For A Day
Production Baby
Special Thanks
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 36 ratings with 1 reviews)

Let's get shoveling... down to the NES era

The Good
Shovel Knight is an excellent retro-inspired platform game that was responsible for indie developers around the world making their own games. Some were good, and some bad. The game started out as a Kickstarter campaign that raked in over $300,000 in funds and meeting all its stretch goals, and was released across multiple platforms.

We are introduced to the titular hero and his companion, Shield Knight. They are two heroes who roam the land and make sure that evil doesn't set its ugly foot. Things turn nasty when they arrive at the Tower of Fate where dark magic originating from the Tower knocks out Shovel Knight and carries Shield Knight away. Knowing that the land is now vulnerable, the Enchantress and her “Order of No Quarter” decided to seize it. After spending some time in a life of solitude, Shield Knight vows to defeat the Enchantress and her army and rescue Shield Knight.

What makes Shovel Knight shine is the gameplay and character development. The gameplay is a mixture of Mega Man and Duck Tales, with a little bit of Zelda thrown in for good measure. You are equipped with a shovel which you can use to knock out enemies, and they leave behind a certain amount of gold which you can use to buy health, magic, or upgrade your suit. You can “shovel jump” enemies to also kill them. This is ideal when there are enemies that are within range of each other, and this is sometimes necessary to reach platforms that are much higher up.

There are checkpoints scattered through each land, and you'll need these checkpoints because the game can be quite hard as you encounter new obstacles that cannot be dealt with in your first go. I remember in most of the later levels, I died about ten times before I finally managed to get through these obstacles. You can conquer every land again and complete it the same way, and if you are able to overcome the obstacles in one go, you can break each checkpoint along the way. But that means if you lose all your health, you go all the way back to the beginning of each land.

At the end of each land, you have to face a member of the Order who has their own attack patterns. The most memorable boss for me is Tinker Knight. He starts running back and forth, hurling spanners at you. It's far too easy to drain his health, and when you do, he starts this huge machine up and starts attacking you with it.

Graphic-wise, each of the sprites (characters and obstacles) are drawn nicely and their animations are brilliant. The backdrops reflect the theme of each land. Most of them are static, while others are animated. The psychedelic colors when you defeat a member is a nice touch.

The music is written to use Konami's VRC6 chip which adds an additional three audio channels to the standard NES sound chip, giving a few extra beats to the music. Most of the game's music is excellent, and fans of Mega Man fans will be glad to hear that Manami Matsumae, the composer for the MM series, made two contributions to the game. My favorite is the land where you have to defeat Mole Knight. (I didn't take any notice of the actual names of the lands.) You can collect music sheets throughout most of the lands and present them to the minstrel in one of the villages and you'll be able to hear some of your favorite tunes.

There are some nice touches to the game, including the way you can turn lava in to green slime so that Shovel Knight can bounce onto a platform. Also, near the very end of the game, you have to defeat all the members one by one before facing the Enchantress.

Shovel Knight was released for as many current platforms that you can think of, and there There are features that are specific for that platform. For example, you get to fight the Battletoads in the Xbox version if you uncover a secret. In the PlayStation versions, you wear this suit that originally belongs to Kratos from the God of War series. It makes me regret playing the Windows version.

Finally, is this game replayable? It certainly is, especially because this game is very good. If you manage to complete the game, you unlock New Game Plus, which is slightly harder than the normal game, along with some challenges. The enemies are more tougher and there are few checkpoints, and there are over 100 cheat codes waiting to be discovered.

The Bad
With the game being super difficult in the later stages, gamer who want a straight out platform game that's not challenging will be turned away.

The Bottom Line
Shovel Knight is a retro-inspired game that many gamers who grew up with a Nintendo Entertainment System will enjoy, as it combine three games that were popular on that system. It has great graphics and an excellent soundtrack, but it can be difficult to get through the lands once without practice. The game was released on multiple platforms, with some platforms getting exclusive content.

There is bonus content that will unlock if you manage to complete the game, and these include New Game Plus, extra challenges, and a DLC entitled Plague of Shadows. Add to that heaps of cheat codes and you get one amazing game. Shovel Knight is so popular, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a sequel.

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2016

Trivia

Awards

  • EGM
    • 2014 - ranked 20 (Top 25 of 2014)
  • The Game Awards
    • 2014 — Best Independent Game — Won

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  • MobyGames ID: 67038
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Dominic Hekashia.

Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. Linux, Xbox One, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Havoc Crow, Rik Hideto, Kennyannydenny.

Game added July 19, 2014. Last modified January 21, 2024.