SHOVEL KNIGHT: One of the Best Games 2014 Had to Offer

So, it’s not going to be a retro look back for this article. No, instead I’m going to take a look at something I thoroughly enjoyed in 2014. Something that has dug its way to the core of my heart and won me over the instant I saw the title screen with all its 8-bit glory — Shovel Knight.

Back Story (History)

Kickstarter project developed by Yacht Club Games, Shovel Knight released on June 26, 2014 for Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC. This was their first game project and, thankfully, was received well.

Directed by Sean Velasco, the game draws heavy influence from the good ol’ NES days. Do you need more reasons to love this game? Well, the titles it specifically draws inspiration from are Mega Man Series, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Super Mario Bros. 3, and DuckTales.

For Shovelry Not Story

Now, what’s it about? Well, Shovel Knight  is about a knight who wields a shovel, thus the name, and his quest to save his beloved Shield Knight. Yes, she wields a shield. And that’s all the premise you need. The game doesn’t bombard you with a nonsense convoluted story saying how you are a chosen hero that needs to fight his twin-clone brother in order to stop the La-li-lu-le-lo from destroying the Disney universe.

In a sea of games that just love to conjure a story, but just fail by putting in too much for a person to follow for more than 20 hours; it’s nice to see a game just bring it back to simpler times, where games just had one simple objective — save the princess, or in this case a knight with a shield for a weapon.

Let’s Get Shoveling

Enough about story, let’s get to the main hook of Shovel Knight: the gameplay. The first level you play is a giant tutorial, but done right. It’s similar to the introductory level of Mega Man XAs you play the level you are basically learning how to play the game and how the rest of the game will play out. There’s a part in the level where to progress you have to hit the wall blocking your path and there’s a little hint there to let you know the wall will explode. Along the wall there’s a tile that seems out-of-place. So if you hit that, the wall disintegrates. Brilliant!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg on the gameplay. The controls are tight and responsive, levels are diverse and full of variety, Boss battles are different and fun, and there’s a New Game+ for all you hardcore people that may find it a bit too easy. It has everything. Even a trout and apple hybrid that dances to give you potions. Shovel Knight everybody.

Another Castle’s full Shovel Knight review is available via.


Cover image courtesy: Yacht Club Games; Nintendo


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Categories: Video Games

Author:David Rix

I believe that, one day, I can become Spider-Man. Read more of my dumb ramblings here: or follow me on Twitter @Epiawestastic.

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