Parents' Guide to

Shovel Knight Dig

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Old school arcade game is fun, gets repetitive quickly.

Shovel Knight Dig title screen

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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.

Game Details

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