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[Nintendo Switch] Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon Review

[Nintendo Switch] Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon Review
  • On December 6, 2022

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon from Vine and Yacht Club Games is a puzzletastic roguelite on Nintendo Switch. Check our Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon review!


Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon from Vine and Yacht Club Games is a puzzletastic roguelite on Nintendo Switch. One day Shovel Knight finds a peculiar cub. Unfortunately, after picking it up, he’s sucked into the cube! Shovel Knight finds himself in an unknown land, but the good news is that he’s quickly rescued by series mainstay Chester as well as the mysterious Puzzle Knight, who welcome you to the titular Pocket Dungeon, a puzzle that is completely unsolvable! At least that’s what Puzzle Knight says.

And yet, for some reason, Shovel Knight is able to collect one of the missing key parts that are needed to escape from the Pocket Dungeon. You must take on a new quest to find the remaining pieces of this magical key so that you can leave the Pocket Dungeon before it’s too late! You can play this one as a roguelite in which you only have one life, and if you fall in battle or the board fills up, you lose and are sent back to camp. There’s also the option of enjoying Shovel Knight Pocket Camp as more of a puzzle game, in which you’ll have infinite lives, so being defeated in battle won’t send you back to camp…. but having the board fill up will!

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon Review - 1

As for the gameplay, after the vehicle driven by Chester runs into a block blockade, it will be time to take on the game’s tutorial. The rules are simple. You’ll control your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you attack the many cube types on the screen. Doing this will deplete their HP until they’re destroyed. Any blocks of the same type that are touching each other will be damaged as one. There are many different blocks to consider, and each one will have its own HP total to keep in mind.


Blocks aren’t the only thing you’ll have to get rid of during your time with Pocket Dungeon. There will also be enemies for you to consider, as they attack you when you attack them. Since they will deal damage to your character as you try to defeat them, you should make good use of healing items, such as the potions you can ingest along the way and the large turkeys that will considerably heal your wounds. Something you should always keep in mind is that in the Pocket Dungeon, time passes at a slower pace when you stand still. It will rush forward as you move around and attack, so make the most of this information as you set up your strategy.

By clearing out blocks and defeating enemies, you will be rewarded with gems. The higher the gem bar and the bigger the chain combo you perform, the more gems you will get! These can be spent during your adventure when you run into Chester to add a special item to your run – such as, for example, a meal ticket to increase your total HP by two points. You can also spend gems at Chester’s shop back at the camp since it will allow you to unlock more items that can then be bought from Chester while taking on each stage in Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon.

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As you progress through each land in Pocket Dungeon, you’ll get a chance to unlock a fast travel option by way of cannon travel. You’ll once again have to spend your gems to unlock each fast travel route and will also need to spend some extra gems to activate the cannon for each trip. This will allow you to save some time after defeating the first boss and entering the second set of stages, but it will mean that you won’t have as many gems to spend with Chester to add more relics for your run.


Speaking of bosses, at the end of each set of levels, you’ll end up running into a boss fight! These play out a bit differently than regular levels since you’ll have to take into consideration the movement and attack patterns of each boss so that you can avoid receiving any unnecessary damage. On top of that, some enemies, blocks, and potions will drop every now and then, so you’ll need to be ready for that so that you can grab those potions to heal your wounds as you defeat enemies to avoid being trapped in a tricky spot.

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon Review - Boss

As has been the case for other games in the Shovel Knight series, there’s a list of feats for you to complete during your time with Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon. There are feats tied to recruiting each of the additional characters that you can play as – which include King Knight, Plague Knight, Specter Knight, Tinker Knight, and more – as well as beating the game with each one of them. You can also work on additional objectives such as purchasing every relic from Chester at the camp, having ten relics on you at once, defeating ten enemies with a single action, unlocking every costume for one character, and scoring 100 points in Mona’s minigame. There are 51 feats in total, so if you want to 100% the game, you’ll certainly be busy for a while!


Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon takes the Shovel Knight we all know and love – as well as its lore, locations, enemies, and bosses – and gives it all a new spin to give us a very addictive action puzzle game experience that is a must-play on Nintendo’s console. You can play this one on your own, take on an opponent in Vs. Mode, and even a Daily Mode in which you’ll be able to take on that day’s challenge as everyone around the world dives into the same journey. Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price.

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon Review - Vs

This Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Yacht Club Games.

Review Overview

Puzzletastic roguelite Shovel Knight action