Shovel Knight Dig (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Lina Elias 17.10.2022

Review for Shovel Knight Dig on Nintendo Switch

Jumping into the roguelike genre, Shovel Knight Dig brings back a cast of familiar faces and somewhat new controls. Drill Knight and his group of Hexcavators decide to steal Shovel Knight's treasure on their way down into the Earth's surface. Lucky for the hero that uses a shovel as his blade, the premise for Shovel Knight Dig is a simple one. There are many secret paths to unlock, treasures to be found, and boss battles that are never quite the same twice. Whether a fan of the franchise or retro gaming, prepare for an ever-changing adventure, catchy tunes, and new challenges.

Shovel Knight Dig presents more of a challenge than blindly burrowing down towards the goal. With no way to dig back up, a run through can easily be ruined when knocked off the path by a floating enemy nearby. The same is true when discovering hidden rooms marked by either a crack in the wall or even a small pebble. Spending too much time in one area will also trigger the Omega Saw, a one-hit kill machine, to attack. Once the room starts to shake and rocks fall from above, that is the clear sign to hurry on.

Oftentimes this can create a sense of panic or urgency that quickly manifests into disappointment when finally forced to flee. Tempting fate does also yield rewards since the Omega Saw will not pursue Shovel Knight into any of the side rooms, and fortunately the extra time allows more breathing room to explore to the heart's content. Admittedly, the looming sense of dread that the saw brings is a fun challenge to try to explore as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Screenshot for Shovel Knight Dig on Nintendo Switch

There are a variety of shops along the way that can offer temporary upgrades such as extra health or magic. Relics can also be purchased with gems that provide abilities to make the descent much smoother. The only catch is that all items and bonuses will reset after death. Thankfully only a small number of gems are lost as the rest are saved to be used back on the surface. The left-over cash can allow for extra relics to be purchased above ground but not for the player to keep on hand for the remainder of the game; these new relics must be found and bought (again) underground. There are more permanent upgrades available, however, including better armour and a bag that allows more items to be held. The only fault to this system is the fact that all the relics can easily be unlocked within the first few hours and unlocking armour feels more of a chore and unnecessary.

Each run through never presents the same path twice and this same rule applies to the boss fights. The battles are reminiscent of the original Shovel Knight and play quite similar. While repetition can easily teach how to avoid the same mistakes repeatedly, some patterns force tactics to be changed. Spore Knight will become a familiar face to many, and depending on the layout of the room, the fight might go by quickly or take a few more swings than usual. Being at the mercy of the layout creates a fun new challenge and makes the battle feel almost new each time. Almost! Finally landing the last blow in what should have been a shorter battle can feel invigorating. Losing that supposedly easy battle is just embarrassing and will sadly happen. It's a great test for those that memorise patterns quickly.

Screenshot for Shovel Knight Dig on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

There is a lot to enjoy with the new challenges brought on by Shovel Knight Dig. Gameplay is fast paced, the music is just as catchy as its predecessor, and the quirky dialogue between the NPCs brings back the nostalgia from the original. Although the environments are repetitive, losing a run never feels like a typical game over; it is just a quick regroup and back into adventure. The only major drawback of Shovel Knight Dig is that it is relatively short. Unless trying to get the perfect run, it ends just as quickly as it begins. Still, Yacht Club Games has managed to make a fun new genre and chapter for its fans and new players alike.

Developer

Yacht Club

Publisher

Yacht Club

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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