Shovel Knight is a 2014 action platformer video game developed and released by independent programmer Yacht Club Games for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and personal computer platforms. The game was released globally for the PC on June 26, 2014 it was released for the 3DS and Wii U in North America on precisely the same date. A date is yet to be announced for European launch. Shovel Knight was directed by former WayForward Technologies member Sean Velasco, and includes music composed by Jake Kaufman and Manami Matsumae.
Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scrolling platform game. The game features 8-bit graphics designed to resemble classic games. The color scheme used adheres to the Nintendo Entertainment System’s first colour palette, and includes visual touches such as parallax scrolling. The player controls the eponymous Shovel Knight character, who wields a sharpened spade that is used to attack enemies, destroy barriers, and dig up treasures. As a homage to the game DuckTales, the player can use the shovel as a pogo stick to bounce off obstacles or the heads of enemies.
Ahead of the match, adventurers Shovel Knight and Shield Knight fought alongside one another, journeying across the world and seeking treasure. But when the two investigate the Tower of Fate, the two fall to the dark magic power of a cursed amulet. When Shovel Knight reawakens, the Tower has been sealed and Shield Knight is nowhere to be seen. Grieving for his love, Shovel Knight gives up adventuring and secludes himself. Yet, during his absence, the Enchantress climbs to power, spreading evil across the land. Upon hearing the Enchantress has unsealed the Tower of Fate, Shovel Knight takes up his shovel again and enterprises towards it, hoping to locate and rescue Shield Knight. So as to do thus, Shovel Knight must fight the eight members of “The Order of No Quarter,” who’ve been dispatched by the Enchantress to impede him.
Shovel Knight is the first video game developed by Yacht Club Games, directed by Sean Velasco. Velasco has stated that the game draws significant sway from NES games, specifically Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, DuckTales, Super Mario Bros. 3, and the Mega Man titles. The game also draws influence from U.N. Squadron and Dark Souls. The game was declared on March 17, 2013 alongside the launch of a Kickstarter effort to fund development, with a minimum capital goal of $75,000. The campaign reached this aim in late March and went on to accumulate a total of $311,502, executing all announced reach goals for additional attributes, by its end on April 13. The game was originally slated for launch in September 2013, but was delayed into early 2014. Yacht Club Games announced on January 19, 2014 that development of the game had reached the alpha phase, and then declared on January 22 that the game would be released March 31, 2014. On March 12, the developer declared the game was delayed on all platforms by “a few weeks.” Yacht Club shovel knight Games announced on June 5 that the game would be released on June 26, 2014.
Added features earned through Kickstarter stretch goals include a four-player battle mode, a mission-based challenge mode, an added mode that swaps all the characters’ genders, and playable story campaigns for boss characters King Knight, Specter Knight, and Plague Knight. These features will be added as free upgrades to the game throughout the year.
To promote the Kickstarter, Yacht Club distributed copies of their initial Penny Arcade Expo demo to several dominant gaming personalities on YouTube, including Two Best Friends Play and Game Grumps. Shovel Knight will also be appearing as a playable character in the Wii U and PC game Hex Heroes.