Summary: Shovel Knight is an excellent throwback to the classic NES era platformers. With its charming 16-bit aesthetic, its solid gameplay, genuine love for the genre and its innovation of it, Shovel Knight is a must buy for lovers of retro games and newcomers.
Top Critic Average
Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope is an excellent game you have to play today on the Nintendo Switch. The fact that this is the 3rd version of the game I've played (with Wii U and 3DS before it) and that I'm still having fun and didn't stop until I beat the game speaks volumes to its quality. If you're new to Shovel Knight, you're in for a treat! Grab Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and you'll have plenty of content to keep you busy for a while.
The game may look old, but it's got plenty to teach you! Try it and you won't regret it.
Shovel Knight perfectly encapsulates what is so great about playing modern-retro games inspired by the 8-bit era of the 1980s and early 90's without being derivative or trapped in the past.
All in all, Shovel Knight is just plain awesome. The game aimed high and hit the mark. Yacht Club Games were obviously out to honor some of the classics, and they did a damn fine job of it.
The game also has an incredible soundtrack that is a joint effort between Manami Matsumae from Megaman fame and Jake Kauffman. Both of these have created a soundtrack that is perfect fit for the game. The fast-paced songs fit the mood perfectly and are a joy to listen in the game.
Shovel Knight is a modern classic that takes the 2-D platforming genre and modernizes it. There are minor complaints here and there, but they're easily overlooked when you're having so much fun playing the game. The PlayStation 4 version runs perfectly, and since it's a cross-buy with the Vita version, it helps to make it feel well worth the $14.99 price tag. If you're a fan of Mega Man-style platformers or are looking for something that's both challenging and fair, Shovel Knight is a worthy purchase.
I would say it's a must play for anyone old enough to remember blowing on a cartridge, but that would be selling it short. Nostalgia certainly enhances the experience, but this is a great game for anyone.
It can be challenging, frustrating and cause unwanted headaches, but despite all that you'll keep wanting to come back for more. Not everyone will be drawn in by an 8-bit, side-scrolling death fest in this day and age of gaming that seems overwhelmed by retro aesthetic titles, however, Shovel Knight rightly deserves a place among modern games. The amazing soundtrack and rewarding gameplay will spur you on right to the end, and even then you'll probably want to go back for another round of smacking things in the face with a shovel. The inspiration from 8-bit games of the past has caused a great feeling of nostalgia for many, and Shovel Knight is well worth the money and trip down memory lane if you prefer to be challenged on a regular basis. The game is proof that, although 8-bit side-scrollers look old, they certainly aren't outdated.
When we reviewed Shovel Knight at its initial release back in June 2014, we were amazed by its impeccable design, rock-solid mechanics and loving homages to classic games. All of those aspects still ring true on PS4, and Yacht Club Games has without a doubt successfully replicated one of 2014's finest experiences on Sony's flagship console.