Shovel Knight

 
Vintage-style adventure digs up the right dose of nostalgia.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The hero, known only as Shovel Knight, is on a noble quest to save the love of his life at all costs. The stereotypical story line doesn't offer much of a compelling message, but there are standard themes involving the good guy overcoming all odds.

Positive role models

Shovel Knight is the quintessential hero, taking on a horde of enemies to save the kidnapped girl and restore peace to his land.

Ease of play

As in most side-scrolling games, controls are simple, but the game will take a lot of effort to master. Players need to solve puzzles on the fly, employ perfect timing, and not take a wrong step. The game feels more challenging and aggravation-inducing than classic titles in the genre, so players should brace themselves for starting levels over repeatedly until they master the necessary coordination for each round. The game is built to be difficult, but most players with enough patience should be able to overcome its challenges.

Violence

This retro-style game involves a lot of jumping on and bouncing off enemies. For the most part, foes simply disappear when defeated. There also are a handful of drawn-out "boss" battles in which players will need to attack larger creatures repeatedly to progress in the game. But overall the art style is simplistic and the game lacks gratuitous violence.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Shovel Knight is a downloadable game designed to look and feel like a video game from the early 1990s, an era in which gameplay quality and fun were more important than stellar, highly realistic graphics. As in those older games, this title involves an endless cycle of smacking, jumping on, and bouncing off enemy characters. Players wield a sword as they travel through enemy-filled environments, but the simplistic art style makes it very difficult for parents to take issue with this content.

What's it about?

SHOVEL KNIGHT's story revolves around a hero who must defeat all kinds of enemies to save the girl of his dreams. It's perfectly fine that the story is so predictable, because that's what the game is designed to be. Players will dash through a seemingly endless array of dungeons, mazes, and claustrophobic rooms in which they're trapped with large fantastical creatures. They'll be focused on pressing buttons at the right time, trying not to fall onto a floating block of flames or down a bottomless chasm. The game doesn't take itself too seriously and is in many ways a parody of different franchises from the golden age of cartridge-based video game consoles.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Shovel Knight will easily strike a nostalgic chord with any gamer who remembers the days before high-definition graphics, surround sound, and cinematic story lines. Younger players may not relate to the dated visuals, but the fun factor, gameplay, and sense of accomplishment after beating a difficult level are timeless qualities for everyone.

What's unique about this game is that it uses several classic gameplay styles. It's not only a 2-D adventure game, run-from-point-A-to-point-B side-scrolling action game, or a mind-bending puzzle-solving game. Instead, it has elements of all these genres wrapped into a nice, cohesive package. Players of any age should be able to appreciate what it has to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Shovel Knight's retro style. In this day of high-definition graphics, virtual reality, and motion-based gameplay, why is a game such as this still so appealing?

  • When you fail to complete a level, do you get upset and frustrated, or do you strive to do better next time?

  • If you were a video game hero, whom or what would you risk your life to protect at all costs?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U
Price:$14.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Available online
Developer:Yacht Club Games
Release date:June 26, 2014
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E for Mild Fantasy Violence (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U)

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old July 16, 2014
age 9+
 

Pixelated Adventures Slightly Lacks Original Nintendo (NES/SNES/etc.) Pixelated Adventures Great Quality

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/users/epic-waffles Shovel Knight is an ok game on the Nintendo eShop that is ok for ages 9 and up. There is violence, Shovel Knight hits enemies with his shovel.---------- I saw this game's trailer the day the trailer came out and I couldn't wait for it. I'm an extreme gamer, and it had been the first time in a while that a pixeladventure had been released since the latest Nintendo system pixeladventure, 1,001 Spikes, had been released. So I couldn't wait. I forgot about. But after 3 days of its release for the 3DS, I bought it for $14.99 on the Nintendo eShop. Bad news is, it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. It just lacked original pixeladventure quality. They should drop the price to $11.99 or $9.99. I can't complain too much. It's a good game, just a tiny bit overpriced.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byngauthier404 August 15, 2014
age 9+
 

Great adventure platformer with high difficulty

This game is fantastic! It is a "8-bit" style platformer with the style of a Mega Man game. The story is looked over by the main review, but you play as the hero Shovel Knight, running through the world attempting to save his partner Shield Knight. To do this, he has to defeat the Enchantress and the eight knights of the Order of No Quarter. This part is familiar to Mega Man players. You have to defeat all of the eight knights, go to the Tower of Fate, fight all of them again, and then fight the Enchantress. The presentation of the game is where it really shines. The graphics are reminiscent of the old NES era. The music matches the graphics, and you will be humming the music all day long, because it really does set the mood. That being said, this game is extremely hard. You start off with four hearts, and that is increased every time you defeat three bosses. This makes for some frustrating first few levels, as if you are not the type to be playing Mega Man or Dark Souls, you will find this game very challenging. However, with this game's difficulty, deaths are handled fairly. Checkpoints are scattered throughout the level. Players gain gold when the dig blocks or kill enemies. When you die, you drop a quarter of your gold. You respawn at the last checkpoint you touched. When you get to the part you died on, your money will be floating in bags that you can pick up. This way, if you get all the money bags, there is no penalty for death. This game is a fantastic game, and everyone should check it out. But, if you are not the hardcore type, try it before you buy it.
Parent Written bysupercookieclub! June 25, 2015
age 5+
 

YOU'RE WRONG!

Shovel Knight wields a shovel. He's called SHOVEL KNIGHT. NOT SWORD KNIGHT! Your review isn't educated. Anyone with COMMON SENSE would realize SHOVEL KNIGHT WIELDS A FLIPPING SHOVEl!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use

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