Shovel Knight was actually released some time ago now, in April this year in fact, but we're only previewing it now as the game has become such a success as a downloadable title that it's now going to get a physical retail release as well to satisfy the many gamers that still prefer to purchase at retail rather than through digital means. Huzzah to that we say!
In Shovel Knight 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. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly!
Traversing a lush, green, forest environment.
In this platform game you will dig, run, jump and explore your way through the stages, each of which is filled with enemies known as the Order of No Quarter, as you look to complete your mission. The game is filled with narrative filled with humor and levity while the levels are also filled with relics to discover while it is also possible to upgrade your armor and weapons.
This retail release will also include the the Plague of Shadows expansion which adds a new Plague Knight who uses bombs instead of shovels. These bombs can be customised with different types. Also, as with the digital release the PlayStation version of Shovel Knight includes an exclusive boss battle with none other than Kratos from God of War fame (the Xbox version includes a boss battle with Battletoads). Besides the main game the developers are including a Challenge Mode as well as a New Game+ mode which mixes up the original game to add some longevity.
Checking out the map of travels.
Perhaps the biggest question most people will have about this retail release is the price. While the game sells for $22.95 on the PlayStation Store this retail release will sell for $49.95 - probably a bit cheaper if you shop around. Even if it is discounted at retail, that's still a bit of a premium over the digital release, but of course the physical copy can she shared, resold and comes with a neat case and full manual (not just a 2 page one either, but a proper booklet!). As expected there is no online multiplayer mode in the game however there is a 4-player Battle mode.
Taking on a pretty fired up boss!
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots this game has an aesthetic like an old-school platformer and that brings with it a charm that older gamers such as myself will remember from the golden era of gaming (well, many would consider it the golden era at least in the 8-bit and 16-bit days).
Shovel Knight isn't a game for those that like the latest, flashiest, graphics, but that's not what the game is about. It's the gameplay that has seen people the world over falling in love with this title and this physical release will only increase the audience for Yacht Club Games' title.
Below is a trailer for Shovel Knight which gives a great idea what to expect. Does it excite you?