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 isn't just a nostalgic act. Yes, nostalgia plays a big part in its charm, but it's an expertly crafted action-platformer that's just as enjoyable to play as Mega Man or Castlevania. Old school gamers will love Shovel Knight's retro sensibilities, but they'll also appreciate its modern touches.
Shovel Knight works well because it knows exactly what it wants to be. The people behind it have a clear love of retro games, and that collective passion has created something great. So often we play games that try to prey on nostalgia in the cheapest ways possible, whether it's half-hearted HD remakes or blatant ripoffs. Shovel Knight is one of the few games that not only honors the past, but something we may be reminiscing about for years to come.
Shovel Knight -- in all of its old-school glory -- is arguably the best game released so far in 2014.
Shovel Knight is the kind of game people write love letters about
Many games try to use nostalgia to lure you in, but few of them are as well-made as Shovel Knight.
A fun action platformer that remains incredibly frustrating by taking a few too many cues from Castlevania's jerkiest moments, Shovel Knight is satisfying and infuriating in equal measure. It's also a damn fine callback to the days of yore in a world where callbacks are a dime a dozen, and rarely this well done.
There is gold in these old genres, and Shovel Knight is a successful dig.
Yacht Club Games has a hit on its hands with Shovel Knight. With brilliant game design, charming presentation and a ton of content, this is a wonderful first title from the fledgling developer. It will only get better with post-release content, and if Shovel Knight becomes the hit it deserves to be, gamers will hopefully be seeing much more of Yacht Club Games — and its plucky mascot — in the coming months and years.
Shovel Knight recalls, but doesn't rely on, many greats from gaming's past, but lacks the inventive spark that could have elevated it to classic territory.
In a sea of throwback, nostalgia driven pixel-art platformers, Shovel Knight is a fantastic modern take on the genre, and worthy of play even for those who never owned Nintendo's grey and black box