Preview: Shovel Knight 3DS @ EGX 2014

We at 3DSBlessed got the chance to try out Yacht Club Games’ platformer Shovel Knight at EGX14.

Shovel Knight at first sight looks like a NES game owing to its retro 8bit appearance, and is in many ways a shoutout to the 80’s and early 90’s. In addition to the fact the graphics were influenced by the NES era, the gameplay is also inspired by games from the past such as Megaman, DuckTales and even Super Mario Bros 3. With 3D effects switched on the background stands out more than usual, but due to its 8bit presentation it doesn’t make a huge difference to playing in 2D.

 

The Shovel Knight logo

The Shovel Knight logo

 

The music is of the same chiptune nature found in other nostalgic-influenced games like Scott Pilgrim and Retro City Rampage DX. As with these titles, Shovel Knight has some very catchy tunes!
One of the ways you can defeat enemies in Shovel Knight is by using your shovel (which takes the place of the sword a knight would usually carry) and use this like a pogo stick. Hence you can bounce on the enemies’ head like in DuckTales. This bounce mechanic can also afford you higher jumps, enabling you to reach certain platforms.

The boss battles are challenging and varied. The levels themselves are packed with secrets! For example you can dig through sand or rocks in order to find treasure. Another nice feature is that there are checkpoints within the levels, handy for some of the more difficult stages. Using coins and gems enables you to purchase upgrades such as health and weapons which will be needed for the later levels.
The controls are simple yet pretty much perfect for this game as you only use 2 buttons. One activates the standard jump command, the other generates a shovel action depending on the player’s context in that moment (so like Scrooge McDuck in the aforementioned Duck Tales you will either swing your shovel or use it like a pogo).

 

Fun with a pogo stick... or pogo shovel in this case!

Fun with a pogo stick… or pogo shovel in this case!

 

Shovel Knight was funded via Kickstarter with an original target of $75,000. In the end it earned 4 times that much ($311,502 to be exact) which goes to show how much people crave this title.
Those looking to play an awesome platformer which gives a challenge and has retro-themed graphics will be pleased to hear that this comes hits the European eShop this November.

 


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