Shovel Knight is a colorful platforming throwback to yesteryear. You take the role of Shovel Knight, a shovel-wielding hero who leaps across chasms and defeats enemies on his way to the Tower of Fate. After playing the first couple stages, I think the game has a lot of potential.

I’ve had my eye on Shovel Knight for a while. The game scored a sweet 90 on metacritic. My general stance on video games is why play something old and crappy when you could play Metal Gear or Zelda BotW? I’m not sure why I decided to give the blue knight a try in lieu of either of those games, but I’m glad I did.

Retro story
The story follow Shovel Knight after he awakens from a long slumber.

The basic premise of the game is to get to the Tower of Fate and defeat the Enchantress and her minions, the Order of No Quarter. And somehow that should bring back the red Shield Knight. You can view a one-minute overview of the lore on YouTube.

Everything in the game seems to be distilled into easy-to-digest elements. The hero is Shovel Knight. So far I’ve fought Specter Knight and King Knight. Spoiler alert, you’re fighting a lot of knights.

Overland map
The overland map has you choosing levels Super Mario Bros 3 style.

You choose the stages you want to tackle via an overland map, and can stop in the village between levels to upgrade your health, magic and to purchase magic items. My favorite relic was a fishing rod, which allows you to drop a line in any of the insta-death chasms on levels and haul up a tasty fish to replenish your health. I have also acquired a green combat orb and a wand of fireballs so far.

Fire is Bad
This baddy makes you dodge fireballs while you are waiting to whack him on the nose with your shovel.

Each level seems to include a handful of enemy types, a couple minibosses and a final boss to fight. The platforming sees some variety as well. In one level, large swaths of the screen are completely dark, except for when lightning flashes across the sky, briefly illuminating the moving platforms you need to leap to.  Another board sees you activating platforms by smacking a magic book. They give you a limited amount of time to get across obstacles before they disappear.

All in all, Shovel Knight feels like a pretty fun and challenging game. If you are looking for a nostalgic adventure with some solid platforming, you should check it out, and let me know what you think! You can tweet me @tom__awesome, or hit me up by email.