Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scrolling platformer. You play as the Shovel Knight, trying to defeat the Order of No Quarter and rescue Shield Knight from them.
Pro A unique experience
Shovel Knight has 2D pixel art, a simple gameplay, and a retro feel. It stands out in an era dominated by 3D titles with super detailed graphics and convoluted gameplay because of its influences from classics like Zelda, Castlevania, Duck Tales, and even Super Mario Bros. It’s not just trying to cash in on the nostalgia of older players because it’s a game that can be enjoyed by anyone thanks to its polish.
Pro Feels great to play
Shovel Knight has very colorful pixelated graphics, a decent chiptune soundtrack, excellent 8-bit sound effects, and the controls feel really fluid and responsive. So whether you’re just running through a castle, shoveling away at gems in a tunnel, or even jumping on a dragon’s head, Shovel Knight is a blast to play.
Pro Pretty fun risk versus reward system
In each stage, there are multiple checkpoints you can revive at if you die. The twist is that you can destroy the checkpoints for extra treasure. Doing this also means you’ll have to start from the beginning of the stage if you die. It’s a pretty cool way to increase difficulty and add tension to a playthrough, especially because it’s never forced on you.
Con Can be frustrating
While Shovel Knight captures a lot of SNES era’s good parts, it also brings back some of the bad parts. It's mostly the hidden enemies that attack you as soon as you approach their hiding spots, causing you to take needless damage or even die. This adds a really tedious trial and error aspect that forces you to memorize all enemy placements just so you can beat a stage. In addition to dealing with the enemies, the timing of jumps or using special skills at the right moment adds to the frustration. Press the button too early or too late and you'll end up back at the start of a platforming section or worse, dead.