Shovel Knight is an indie 2D platform game made by Yacht Club Games in 2014. The money needed to make the game came from Kickstarter. It first came out on the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Microsoft Windows. It later came out on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, OS X, and Linux. The game's gameplay and looks are based on other 2D platformers from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
The game has received many good reviews, has won many awards, and often shows up on best video games of all time lists. The game is even responsible for expanding the indie game market for Nintendo consoles. Before Shovel Knight, Nintendo mostly released first-party and mainstream video games on its own consoles, but since the Wii U was struggling to sell, it allowed Nintendo to be more open to playing indie games on their own consoles. Shovel Knight's success on Nintendo's consoles them more popular to make indie games for.
The game later added four more campaigns, or separate stories and/or game modes within the game, which are Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment, King of Cards, and Shovel Knight: Showdown. These all were sold together as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. The first campaign was later renamed Shovel of Hope.
Gameplay[change | change source]
The play plays as Shovel Knight, a knight who carries a shovel rather than a normal weapon like a sword or a spear. The player will use the shovel for fighting enemies, jumping on platforms, and digging up treasure and secrets. There is no game over if the player dies in a level, but they will return to the last checkpoint they turned on and lose about one-fourth of all the Gold they have, the game's currency. Like in Dark Souls, the player will have one life to take back the Gold they lost, but if they die before taking back their lost Gold, the lost Gold will disappear forever. The player can destroy checkpoints to get more Gold, but in turn, the player will have to start at an earlier part of the level if they die. At the end of the main levels, the player will have to fight a boss, usually an enemy knight, to complete the level.
Gold is used to make the player's armor and shovel better, buy more health or magic, or buy Relics (useful items that use magic). Most of the main levels (the levels that have an level-end boss and are needed to complete the story) have a Relic hidden in the level that the player can buy. Relics can help with platforming, protect the player, or help the player fight enemies.
The game has a game world similar to that of Super Mario Bros. 3 where the player can play some levels in an order they want, but must complete certain levels before they can unlock more parts of the game world. Also like SMB3, there are some bosses called the Wandering Knights who can walk around the game world, and they will start a boss fight if you walk into them. There are main levels, levels that teach the player how to use a Relic, and towns similar to those in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. In towns, the player can shop for upgrades and Relics, and talk to villagers for tips on how to play the game.
Plot[change | change source]
The game's story begins with Shovel Knight and Shield Knight, who is Shovel Knight's partner and love interest. When they went to the Tower of Fate to take a magical amulet, Shield Knight disappears. Afterwards, Shovel Knight mourns the loss of Shield Knight and retires from being a knight. This leaves the land defenseless and allows an evil sorceress called the Enchantress and a group of evil knights called the Order of No Quarter to take over the land. Shovel Knight then comes out of retirement to defeat the Enchantress and the Order and save the land.
After every knight of the Order Shovel Knight defeats, he sleeps by a campfire. Sometimes, he dreams of catching Shield Knight falling from the sky while fighting off enemies.
As Shovel Knight travels the land to defeat the Order, he sometimes meets and fights his rival, Black Knight. Black Knight is not part of the Order, but he wants to protect the Enchantress, who Shovel Knight later discovers to be Shield Knight. She became the Enchantress because she was being controlled by the evil amulet from the Tower of Fate.
During Shovel Knight's fight with the Enchantress, Shield Knight is set free from the amulet's control, but the amulet takes on a stronger form. Shield Knight then helps Shovel Knight fight the amulet. However, the amulet hurts Shovel Knight badly and Shovel Knight passes out. Before the amulet could kill Shovel Knight, Shield Knight blocks its attack with her shield. Black Knight then shows up and warns Shield Knight to escape, but she tells him she must destroy the amulet even if she must die doing it. Shield Knight requests Black Knight to take safely Shovel Knight out of the tower. Black Knight does not want to save Shovel Knight, but he obeys Shield Knight because of his own love for her. As the tower is falling down, Black Knight places Shovel Knight by a campfire. As Shovel Knight is sleeping, the cutscene that Shield Knight survives the fight with the amulet. The game ends with a hurt Shield Knight slowly walking towards the campfire and lying next to a sleeping Shovel Knight.