Before I was praising Hollow Knight like the second coming of Christ, I was praising Shovel Knight in that same way. I remember buying this game in the first week, wondering what in the world this game was. All I knew is that it was a platformer and it was supposed to be difficult, which is more than enough for someone like me. Then I played it and realized that I’d gotten that along with some of the best level design, bosses, and writing I’d seen in a video game. Since the release of the original game, Yacht Club Games have only made the game better with the release of two expansions revolving around two of those amazing bosses with a 3rd on the way. Given that yesterday was their 5th year anniversary, I think we can talk about this game and sing its praises once again.
Now, I don’t need to tell you that Shovel Knight is a good game. But have you noticed how much of a indie icon he is now?? I love Shovel Knight the character and Shovel Knight the game. I feel like I don’t need to hammer that home as much because chances are, you’ve played this game or seen it. But since its creation after its very successful crowdfunding campaign, Shovel Knight has not only proven itself three times over with Spectre Knight’s and Plague Knight’s expansions, but it has become a household name for indie enthusiasts like myself.
Did you know that Shovel Knight appears and is references in 30 other games? All indie. With the most recent being Bloostained: Ritual of the Night where you can collect his armor. Why? I couldn’t tell you. In some games he’s just armor. In some, he’s a playable character, in some he’s merely referenced or is a NPC and in some he is a secret boss character. Imagine playing Azure Striker Gunvolt and you see Shovel Knight standing in your way. I think that’s pretty amazing, honestly. As one of the most successful releases in indie history, I’m glad to see other games pay homage to Shovel Knight. I would even go so far as to call it a classic at this point.
Besides Shovel Knight’s obvious influences and impact, I wholeheartedly think the game is amazing. I’ve bought it across four platforms and each time I have dived in, I’ve enjoyed my time with it. The lowest point for me would be the Plague Knight expansion, but that doesn’t stop it from being amazing. And the Spectre Knight DLC? If you wished Shovel Knight had more mobility, then that is the DLC for you. I loved just being able to dash and fly across the screen with his scythe slashes as well as getting a hang of his wall running and other movement tools. But if you want the pure Shovel Knight experience, I say do it now. Five years later and it more than holds up against its contemporaries as well as some of its upper level competition.
I considered making a whole paragraph be just “play Shovel Knight” but I think I’ll refrain from that. I will only implore you to take a look if you’ve somehow never heard of it. If you don’t like platformers, this won’t completely change your mind. For everyone else who likes a challenge that isn’t too overbearing, give this game a try so you can see what the hype is about. Besides, it’s only about $25. For all you get, that’s a pretty sweet deal.