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 is a loving homage to an era we left behind long ago. The graphics, gameplay, and soundtrack are all pitch-perfect for an NES game... all you're missing is the original cartridge. Yacht Club Games has crafted an amazing experience from beginning to end.
Play Shovel Knight. It is a damn delight.
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.
With some of the tightest controls and game mechanics I have seen in years, Shovel Knight acquires an excellence that I seldom experience in games nowadays, making this game a class act well worth the $15 price tag whether you get it on Wii U, 3DS, or Steam. With a phenomenal soundtrack to accompany the thoroughly crafted lands and lovely 8-bit visuals, there's a lot to love and help you become enthralled in this retro-style world.
Maybe you missed the great games of the 8-bit era, or maybe you're a parent who wants to subject your children to the punishment of Castlevania, Battletoads, and Mega Man that you went through. For you, I think Shovel Knight goes beyond being a polished, fun, challenging experience. It's a curation of gaming history in a package that's palatable to today's audience.
[W]hatever version you have access to, I can't recommend Shovel Knight any higher.
Overall, Shovel Knight is a brilliant game. Everything is does it does well and everything works. It's balanced and challenging and constantly offers up new surprises. The controls work perfectly, the levels and enemies are well designed and there's a nice chunk of humour in there as well. This probably is it for the 8-bit retro styled platformer as to beat this would really take something. We tried and tried but it simply cannot be faulted. It's just a magnificent game.
It's hard to find something to complain about in Shovel Knight because it does everything it sets out to do perfectly - to an impeccable standard. It just proves how community input in the form of both ideas and funding can go a long way to help make such a fantastic experience. Thanks for scratching that Mega Man itch, and for also pushing to get the game available in both Europe and Australia, Yacht Club Games! Now, for those who are still on the fence about this one: Get on the eShop and buy it!
Shovel Knight is, at the risk of repetition, brilliant, beautiful stuff. "Retro" may not be the right word to describe it. It is fun not because it evokes memories of 1989, but because it is self sufficiently excellent, here, today, in 2014. It rises to levels of technical and artistic achievement not often seen in the industry, and it has done so within a strict 8-bit structure. If Yacht Club can keep up this kind of quality and creativity, they have a long, productive future ahead of them. Here's hoping so, and here's hoping for more games as good as Shovel Knight.
Shovel Knight is one of the best platformers I've ever played, period. As I sit here with the theme song stuck in my head, I'm realizing that Yacht Club Games has created something truly special, and it was absolutely worth the risk to start their own studio. In addition to a potential Shovel Knight 2, I can't wait to see what they have in store for us down the road.