Shovel Knight is a 2014 action platformer video game developed and released by independent developer 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 the same date. A date is not yet been announced for European launch. Shovel Knight was directed by former WayForward Technologies member Sean Velasco, and comprises music composed by Jake Kaufman and Manami Matsumae.
Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scrolling platform game. The game features 8-bit images designed to resemble classic games. The color scheme used adheres to the Nintendo Entertainment System’s first colour palette, and contains visual touches such as parallax scrolling. The player controls the eponymous Shovel Knight character, who wields a sharpened spade which is used to attack enemies, destroy hurdles, and dig up treasures. As a homage to the game DuckTales, the player can use the spade as a pogo stick to bounce off barriers or the heads of enemies.
Prior to the match, adventurers Shovel Knight and Shield Knight fought alongside one another, journeying across the world and seeking treasure. But when the two explore the Tower of Fate, the two fall to the dark magic power of a cursed amulet. When Shovel Knight reawakens, the Tower was sealed and Shield Knight is nowhere to be seen. Grieving for his love, Shovel Knight gives up adventuring and secludes himself. Nevertheless, during his absence, the Enchantress grows to power, spreading evil across the land. Upon hearing that the Enchantress has unsealed the Tower of Fate, Shovel Knight takes up his spade again and enterprises towards it, hoping to locate and rescue Shield Knight. In order to do thus, Shovel Knight must fight the eight members of “The Order of No Quarter,” who have 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 said the game draws significant sway from NES games, especially 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 start of a Kickstarter effort to fund development, with a minimal funding goal of $75,000. The effort reached this aim in late March and went on to collect a total of $311,502, fulfilling all declared reach targets for additional attributes, by its end on April 13. The game was originally slated for release in September 2013, but was delayed into early 2014. Yacht Club Games declared 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 programmer declared the game was delayed on all platforms by “a few weeks.” Yacht Club Games pronounced on June 5 that the game would be released on June 26, 2014.
Additional features earned through Kickstarter stretch goals comprise a four-player battle mode, a mission-based challenge mode, an additional 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 updates to the game throughout the year.
To promote the Kickstarter, Yacht Club distributed copies of their initial Penny Arcade Expo demo to several leading gaming characters 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.