[Beyond PlayStation] Shovel Knight: Shovel Of Hope Review
Shovel Knight is part of the Nintendo Switch’s launch window line up, and it does so in style. You can select between Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove includes all three current Shovel Knight campaigns, now considered as separate release, as well as the upcoming campaign for King Knight. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is the third campaign, focusing on Specter Knight in a prequel to the first game. But before we talk about that campaign, come read our Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope review!
The story goes a bit like this. Shovel Knight is out to save the land from the evil of the Enchantress and The Order of No Quarter. You’ll run, jump and shovel your way through a ton of levels as you take on enemies big an small, searching high and low for relics you can use to fight them and treasure you can loot to make purchases in town.
You’ll learn everything you need to know about the game during its first level which serves as a tutorial that showcases the basics. You’ll shovel thought dirt to uncover precious gems, bounce on enemies with your shovel pounce, use moving platforms to carry on with your quest, and more. As you play each level you’ll run into checkpoints that will save your progress up to that point. Should you die, you will lose part of your currency (which you can recover if you can make it back to where you died and grab the floating bags of treasure), but you will be brought back to the last checkpoint you reached.
Each of the game’s bosses has a specific movement and attack pattern you’ll need to decipher in order to be able to defeat them. There’s certainly a bit of trial and error thrown into the mix as you will probably end up failing your first fight against a boss or two. But once you find your groove and start to make use of the relics you’ve found in your journey you’ll be making short work of the bosses.
The difficulty will ramp up as you finish each set of stages and the game will throw at you harder and deadlier enemies to defeat. On top of this, you’ll find more and more spikes that can end your life in a single hit… unless you land on them during the invincibility window you have after being hit by an enemy. Or perhaps there’s a particular relic that could prove useful for defending you from the spikes?
Once you find your way into town you’ll be able to use your hard-earned treasure to purchase upgrades to your magic points (each time you use a relic you use some magic), purchase meal tickets to trade for increases to your HP, participate in a hidden mini-game or purchase any relics you might have missed during your quest. There’s this fellow named Chester who can be found in each of the main levels of the game – his name is a play on the fact that he hides inside of a very large chest. If you can’t find him in a level to purchase the relic he offers, you’ll be able to find him in town and purchase the relic at a higher price.
There’s several in-game feats for completionist to achieve. They range from easy stuff such as completing a level without being damaged or hearing all the puns a certain frog fellow throws at you in town, to harder things like completing the entire game without falling into a pit even once or by not dying at all. So, if you want to see a full list of feats at the end of your run, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this one!
I played Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope on the TV with the Joy-Con Grip, on handheld mode and even in tabletop mode, and I have to say that the game is perfect for all of them. When playing on the TV the game’s colorful pixel art looks great, and when taken on the go the smaller HD screen is still very crisp. In fact, the game looked so great that I spent half of my time with it on handheld mode.
Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope is an excellent game you have to play today on the Nintendo Switch. The fact that this is the 3rd version of the game I’ve played (with Wii U and 3DS before it) and that I’m still having fun and didn’t stop until I beat the game speaks volumes to its quality. If you’re new to Shovel Knight, you’re in for a treat! Grab Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and you’ll have plenty of content to keep you busy for a while.
[review pros=”Solid gameplay mechanics.
Good amount of content.” cons=”No complaints.” score=95]
This Shovel Knight: Shovel Of Hope review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Yacht Club Games.