Shovel Knight is out and players are digging into their own adventures in Yacht Club Games new 8 bit epic!  Now it is time to give everyone the scoop on what Pure Nintendo thought of this retro styled adventure platformer on the 3DS!  Shovel Knight on 3DS is very similar to the Wii U outing but with obvious differences.

The 3DS version of Shovel Knight features the same retro 8 bit styling as the Wii U and looks great on the 3D handheld.  The 3D effects in Shovel Knight are found everywhere in the game and look fantastic!  Those who yearn for a good dose of nostalgia will also appreciate the sound effects and collectible music tracks, which are all styled like the classic game’s from the 80’s and early 90’s.  Shovel Knight has a huge cast of characters and is full of humor and charm.  Any fan of retro/classic games, should put Shovel Knight at the top of their wish list and add it to their collection as soon as possible.

shovel knight map

Shovel Knight is a difficult game but not in a bad way.  The difficulty of the game is not attributed to the controls or platforming as they are tight, simple, and very high quality.  It is some of the environmental puzzles that can be a bit tricky at times and also some of the levels will require good platforming skills on the players part to overcome some of areas.  But fortunately Shovel Knight is very forgiving and players will have multiple chances to retry from the last checkpoint after dying.  Shovel Knight does not have a ‘life or heart system’ but rather a player’s loot or gold will be subtracted from upon death.  This is where Shovel Knight becomes a little more lenient on players.  Dying will result in a few bags of the lost gold to float in the area where a player dies, so if players can at least reach that point in the level again, they can recoup the gold that was lost after dying.  There are also quite a few optional checkpoints throughout the levels so players will not have to restart at the beginning every time they die.  So even though Shovel Knight can be a little difficult for some, the game is nice enough to go easy on those who’s skill level may not be that high.

Yacht Club has also shoveled in a few features that wouldn’t ordinarily be included in an indie game.  Streetpass and Play Coins are used in Shovel Knight on the 3DS.  I was not fortunate enough to try the Streetpass feature prior to this review but look forward to meeting some other Knights with Spades in my travels.  Streetpasses will result in the ability to ‘battle’ them in a special arena and Play Coins can be traded in for gold.  These features, portability, and the 3D effects are the main selling points for the 3DS version of the game but I’m sure that both players on the Wii U and 3DS will like Shovel Knight regardless of what version they decide to purchase.


Even though Shovel Knight is a retro styled game, I could see gamers of all ages and generations enjoying Shovel Knight.  There are a ton of secrets to uncover and digging into these secret areas uncover lots of gold and some of the music sheets that players can collect, so the soundtrack from the game can be listened to at a later time.  Achievements, or ‘Feats’ as they are called in Shovel Knight, are also included for those completionists out there.  Yacht Club has also included New Game+ which encourages players to take on the adventure with the Spaded Knight a second time after completing the game.  New Game+ replaces health power-ups, which is food, with bombs, enemies hit with more power, and there are fewer checkpoints.

Overall, Shovel Knight is up there with some of the best eShop titles available on 3DS and is a grand adventure for any gamer brave enough to take up a shovel and take on the challenge.  Yacht Club Games has put together an incredible retro styled masterpiece that I’m sure any gamer would have a blast playing.  So now that this pun filled review has drawn to a close, go pick up your 3DS or Wii U GamePad and dig into some Shovel Knight!