Shovel Knight (Wii U) Review

By Liam Cook 24.11.2014 2

Review for Shovel Knight on Wii U

Shovel Knight is the result of an incredibly successful Kickstarter project, set up by a small team of former developers from WayForward; collectively known as Yacht Club Games. Whilst this is the first game created under that developer handle, the team possesses a great amount of experience due to past projects such as instalments in the Shantae series and the Mighty Switch Force. After a lengthy wait for European gamers, Shovel Knight is finally available on the Wii U and 3DS eShop services and the end result is just as shiny as Shovel Knight's armour - if not shinier! After looking at the PC version and US release on 3DS eShop, it is time to tackle the Wii U eShop iteration.

Drawing inspiration from several NES games such as Mega Man and DuckTales, Shovel Knight puts players in the boots of the titular character, who is on a quest to save his beloved Shield Knight who has been kidnapped by the Enchantress in the opening events of the game. However, the Enchantress has The Order of No Quarter on her side, making Shovel Knight's quest a lengthier and tougher feat.

The eight knights who belong to this troublesome troupe are very similar to the Robot Masters in the Mega Man series as they each have their own stage where they wait for the shovelled hero. The main difference is here that these bosses cannot be taken on in a random order as the world map only allows two to three stages to be accessible at a time, locking the rest away for after certain knights have been trumped.

Each boss stage is made up of a large main portion, with numerous secrets to be found, and sometimes a mini boss is also present - slightly tougher enemies that drop an increased amount of gold on defeat, as well as healing items and a large magic refill. The main section of each stage is broken up into checkpoints, which can be destroyed for gold if gamers fancy taking the risk to gain more rewards.

Finally, at the climax, the boss awaits. These fights can range from easy to hard and there are a lot of items/relics that can make the tougher ones a lot more manageable.

Screenshot for Shovel Knight on Wii U

Relics are hidden in some of the main stages and can only be found in larger blue chests, though still must be purchased from Chester, who just happens to be hiding in each and every one of these chests (how does he even fit in there?!).

There are a variety of relics on offer, which consume some of Shovel Knight's magic when used. Whilst it isn't required to use these relics in order to complete the levels, they do provide a unique and easier approach to the trickier situations encountered. There is also a fishing rod relic that can be cast down pits to obtain potions and large fish, which are worth gold.

Gold obtained can be used to purchase special abilities, new armour and can also be used to purchase health and magic upgrades, increasing the survivability of the shovel-wielding protagonist. It is best to spend as much gold as possible, though, as when the main character dies, he drops bags of it that must be collected before the next death otherwise be lost forever. It's an approach that is somewhat reminiscent to the death system in Dark Souls and also Terraria.

Three different potions can be obtained, each of which have a unique effect and can be used whenever is seen fit. Ichor of Boldness makes the protagonist invulnerable for ten seconds, whilst Ichor of Fortune makes nearby treasure fly toward Shovel Knight, and Ichor of Renewal fully restores health and magic. It must be noted that only two potions can be stored at any given time as they are stored in the chalices that can be bought from an NPC in the main town.

Screenshot for Shovel Knight on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

It's hard to find something to complain about in Shovel Knight because it does everything it sets out to do perfectly - to an impeccable standard. It just proves how community input in the form of both ideas and funding can go a long way to help make such a fantastic experience. Thanks for scratching that Mega Man itch, and for also pushing to get the game available in both Europe and Australia, Yacht Club Games! Now, for those who are still on the fence about this one: Get on the eShop and buy it!


Yacht Club Games


Yacht Club Games


2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


Definitely need to give this a go! Heard so much great stuff about Shovel Knight!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

I'm intrigued how the final version differs from that early PC build you tried, Jorge...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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