Shovel Knight was released in 2014 for various platforms followed by additional platform support in 2015, and with the addition of the Plague of Shadows as DLC Sept. 17, the game has practically doubled in size. Plague of Shadows isn’t a re-skin of Shovel Knight, the new playable character has entirely new mechanics, a few tweaks to stages, and a new story line.
When Shovel Knight was released in 2014 after its Kickstarter campaign, it was received as a tribute to classic Nintendo games with its 8-bit aesthetic. Many of Shovel Knight’s abilities draw from the classics such as Duck Tales’ pogo jump and Ninja Gaiden’s sword slash. Shovel Knight truly feels like a game from the 80s; the balanced challenge will keep beginners and veterans to platformers for quite a bit.
Shovel Knight is a platforming game with an over-world map selection screen where he must defeat the Knights of the Order of No Quarter and the evil Enchantress to find his beloved Shield Knight. Along the way, collect relics to receive additional skills and uncover treasure and secrets. The characters have plenty of personality and the memorable music is scored by Jake Kaufman and the original Megaman composer Manami Matsumae.
The newest addition of Plague of Shadows allows the game to be told from the perspective of Plague Knight. The customization of Plague Knight’s attacks can change the flow of battle quickly. Instead of throwing black powder that roll across the ground, switch to lobbing sparkler powder that explodes on impact. Although Plague Knight is restricted with his jumping abilities, once becoming used to the new double jump with the blasting charged jump, platforming takes a new direction. Many bottomless pits will be the downfall of players with refusal to learn the new jumping mechanics.
If finishing Shovel Knight proves to be a problem and the urge to play Plague of Shadows is pressing, Yacht Club Games offered a solution on Twitter to bypass completing the game to play the DLC. On the Title Screen while holding the attack button, press up, up, right, down, left, left, and then release the attack button.
Upcoming DLC includes King Knight and Specter Knight as playable characters. These additions are sure to increase the replay value of an already excellent gaming experience.
Shovel Knight is rated E and available as a digital download for $14.99 on Windows, Steam, 3DS, WiiU, Linux, PS3, PS4, Vita and Xbox One.