I Have No Pants Because Shovel Knight Charmed Them Off

It looks far less generic in motion.

Retro platformers are pestilence. They’re a lighting rod for cheap nostalgia, a familiar smile with mountains of mold sandwiched between rotten teeth. That is what I would say if I were prone to over-generalizing, which I’m absolutely, positively not – except when I am. Yeah, the modern gaming landscape has more retro platformers than ye olde days back when these tropes were actually invented, but that doesn’t necessarily render all future additions redundant. Hopping is fun. It has been fun for 4389295732 years – ever since man invented legs. But something’s always been missing. Shovel Knight asserts that it was – yep – shovels¬†the entire time. And goodness me, I have never been so delighted by crude tools used primarily for digging (well, except that one time MF Doom said, “Can you dig it like a spigot?”).

There are also words about this game. Encouraging words:

“Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. It’s a hot mashup of new and old that may remind you of Mega Man, Castlevania, or Dark Souls! You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this valley with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. He wields a ShovelBlade: a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly.”

Nothing insanely original, in other words, but plentiful personality (“SHOVEL JUSTICE”) and the fact that the whole thing looks like a massive labor of love mean that my interest is piqued.

It’s also worth noting that Shovel Knight did absurdly well on Kickstarter, climbing from a modest-ish $75,000 goal all the way up to¬†$311,502. In the process, it gained multiple modes, playable bosses, and multiplayer, among many other things.

Shovel Knight will be out this winter. Can you dig it in much the same fashion as one might a spigot (or equivalent dirt displacing interface)?


  1. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    I have no pants and I must scream.

  2. Low Life says:

    How the hell did they get $300k for this? It’s just shovelware.

    • NailBombed says:

      You’re just digging yourself deeper with that comment.

    • noom says:

      No need for such trenchant criticism

    • Keyrock says:

      It was indeed quite a lofty sum for such a down to earth quarry.

    • The Random One says:

      People just dig nostalgia, even if it’s got no depth. No wonder they’re buried in money – way more than what I think that idea is wearth.

  3. Anthile says:

    I hope there will be a Shovel Knight/Knightwasher crossover.

    • Detocroix says:

      That would be kinda cool. Shovel knight could dig the dirt and Knightwasher could wash that like gold diggers do with plates and river streams! :)

  4. Turkey says:

    I’ve been waiting for this forever now. It’s been greenlit for ages.

  5. blackguard says:

    Because somebody has to say it:

    Every day I’m shovelin’

  6. Rhodokasaurus says:

    Looks really fun! I will be playing this on 3DS.

    However, deducting a few points for the absolutely gratuitous comparison to Dark Souls, which has somehow become the new hip thing to be like, even when your game is nothing like it whatsoever. Racing game? Inspired by Dark Souls! Match 3 puzzler? Just like Dark Souls. First Person Military Shooter? Dark Souls. You guys still like Dark Souls, right?

    • Narvius says:

      Just pointing out, people have been pointlessly comparing games to Castlevania for waaay longer than DS. :P
      And besides that, just because genres don’t match, doesn’t mean games can’t have similar design philosophies.

  7. Spoon Of Doom says:

    Am I the only one who’s reminded of Ducktales by this jumping technique? Not that it’s a bad thing, but I’m surprised that it wasn’t mentioned in the article nor the comments.

    • Niko says:

      Yep, it’s certainly Duck Tales. I wonder what constitutes Dark Souls elements in it – that one scene with the knight sitting by the bonfire?

  8. Keyrock says:

    The folks at Yacht Club Games are former employees at WayForward, so they have a good bit of 2D platforming pedigree on their team. They should do a crossover with Mighty No. 9 in the future, seeing as this game was obviously heavily inspired by Mega Man (Multiple levels that can be done in any order. Take powers from defeated bosses).

  9. Totally heterosexual says:

    It looks the cutest.