PAX East 2014: Second Impressions – Shovel Knight (Wii U/3DS)

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the upcoming Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games, and there’s a reason for that! The company came to PAX East with their 3DS version of the game, though it will be released for the Wii U with a few minor modifications around the same time (or at least that’s the hope). This is our second time taking a look at the game, so we were eager to see what’s been done to it since its showcasing at PAX Prime 2013.

The developers for the game were a friendly lot who answered questions readily, and it’s clear that they feel personally invested in this title—which makes sense, considering the level of community support that’s come through for this title, especially through the Kickstarter campaign. The present goal is for the title to be released on all platforms simultaneously.

As for the game itself, it’s a title that will appeal to fans of classic action games. It has an old-school feel—we’re thinking Castlevania or Mega Man—with a modern appeal. It’s the best of 8-bit graphical styling, combined with the modern sense of tongue-in-cheek, “random” humor.

The game is a classic, side-scrolling action/adventure game, where players control Shovel Knight—literally, a knight with a shovel—who needs to defeat the evil Enchantress and save the princess. Oh, I mean, his “lady love.” The character hacks and digs his way through the levels using a multi-purpose Shovel Blade, which on the 3DS version, is controlled by the buttons you’d expect. Movement happens with the D-pad or Circle Pad, which should make fans of both quite happy.

Slashing one’s way through baddies from The Order of No Quarter is quite enjoyable, and dare we say it, just plain fun. It’s a real throwback to play an 8-bit visual game that’s been crafted with such care and precision, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it translates from small to big screen.

The difficulty level is as you’d expect for this type of game, so at this point, the appeal is going to be based around your appreciation for the genre and for what the developers have created .

According to the developers, the 3DS version will have one major difference—StreetPass capabilities! This will enable players to challenge anyone they pass on levels inside the game, which in the Wii U version will simply become challenge mode.

Head over to for more info on the game—and stay tuned for our updates on the game’s release date!


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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