Shovel Knight Dig
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Shovel Knight Dig
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Shovel Knight Dig is a downloadable arcade game for Apple Arcade, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. This is the latest chapter in the Shovel Knight franchise, which has often featured characters from other games as playable heroes. The story is about a knight who has a magic shovel, which can be used as a weapon to face off against evil creatures, like skeletons, giant flying eyeballs, and deadly machines. There's infrequent and mild cartoon fantasy violence, but it's not gory or graphic. There's also been an announcement of future downloadable content (DLC) added to the game at some point. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content included.
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What’s It About?
The hapless hero of previous Shovel Knight games has returned to fight another day in SHOVEL KNIGHT DIG. This new story begins as Shovel Knight is awakened by a giant drilling machine, piloted by the evil Drill Knight, who steals Shovel Knight's loot. Naturally, Shovel Knight follows his nemesis into the Earth to retrieve his riches, but it proves much more difficult a task than he thought. It turns out Drill Knight and his minions have been working on this pit for a long while, connected to "The Well," and to make matters worse, Shovel Knight discovers a rare and magical gem was in his bag of stolen loot, which might give Drill Knight even more power. Along with drilling lower and lower, much of the gameplay in Shovel Knight Dig involves fighting baddies, collecting gems and other items, and various platforming challenges that require quick reflexes, chained jumps, and well-timed balancing. As you descend, you'll unlock additional parts to the story, new (and familiar) characters, and you'll grow in power and wealth (ideal for upgrading your fighter and your gear).
Is It Any Good?
For the most part, this is a fun, fast, and frantic arcade game for fans of these games, but it gets old pretty fast. It's a good time -- including its quirky "retro" presentation -- but Shovel Knight Dig might not hold you as long as other games in the Apple Arcade line-up, in part because of the repetitive actions throughout the various worlds (even with procedurally generated levels). Like its predecessors, Shovel Knight Dig can be pretty challenging, which is a good thing, but not so difficult that you want to give up altogether. You'll need to study the environment, quickly make decisions on the fly, look for secret passages, and face off against bosses. Seriously, it's fun to evade giant claws on the end of chains from nasty crustacean hybrid creature, hop on mice (who fly using propellers) and purple-headed robotic snakes. And instead of a traditional left-to-right side-scroller, it's refreshing to dig from the top-down.
The humor and kitschy art style are also worth calling out -- capped with a great 16-bit-esque soundtrack. You can spend your hard-earned loot on relics and accessories to customize your Knight, tickets to portal ahead, special armor, and more. But the single-player excitement starts to wane an hour or two in. You can't move up, and you could face one-hit death with an unexpected attack. Jumping on enemies and looking for gems to collect can get a little tiring after a while. As a result, Shovel Knight Dig is a good but not great platformer with role-playing elements -- that pushes your wits and reflexes (and sometimes, patience) as you descend to its depths.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Shovel Knight Dig affected by the cartoonish look of the visuals? Would the impact be intensified if the visuals were more realistic?
Do you feel like this kind of game brings up feelings of nostalgia around classic games, even though this is a newly released title? What would the appeal be to playing older games now instead of newer releases?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid (Part of Apple's $4.99/month Apple Arcade subscription service. Windows and Nintendo versions are $20.)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Yacht Club Games
- Release date: October 7, 2022
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: December 1, 2022
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