[Preview] Shovel Knight: King of Cards

Written by Nintendad

Official mumbo jumbo

  • Tackle enemies and obstacles head on with your signature bash attack and finish them off with a dazzling spinning strike! King Knight’s play style is all about bashing, bouncing, and bounding!
  • Collect tons of new weapons, armors, abilities, and followers to look your dandiest as you pummel foes with radiant skill.
  • Had your fill of glamorous adventure? Unwind and sharpen your strategic mind by competing in card battles with future subjects from across the land.
  • Test your skills with Feats and Challenge Stages featuring Boss rematches, platforming challenges, and more.
  • Yacht Club Game’s beautifully authentic style bridges the gap between yesterday and today. Design, art, and audio hearken back to the days of 8-bit.
  • Awesome soundtrack by Jake “Virt” Kaufman!
  • Balanced gameplay is a warm welcome to newcomers, and an old embrace for experts.
  • Lovable characters and bosses!
  • Take on a new challenge and uncover all of the world’s secrets with New Game+!

Shovel Knight: King of Cards is the final campaign in the Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove saga, and it’s bigger and grander than ever! Step into the regal shoes of King Knight, the Gilded Goon himself, as you shoulder bash and spin jump through all those who would oppose your reign! Travel through 4 new worlds and more than 30 all new courses, all on a journey to best the “Three Kings” who lord over the land.  Discover what it takes to become a true monarch, meet a friend or two, and amass a King’s ransom in items and loot! Refined platforming, exquisite visuals, story with heart, action-packed courses, glorious new bosses and more await in Shovel Knight: King of Cards!

Crossing Swords at Gamescom 2019

During my recent time at Gamescom I was offered the chance to spend some hands on time with the Nintendo Switch version of this regal delight, and suffice it to say, I left the media booth both delighted with what I saw and somewhat giddy. Although, it is entirely possible the latter was caused by the extortionate amount of Red Bull I consumed at the event.

King Knight controls a little differently to previous Knights (as you would expect) and his dash attack can be utilised to navigate chasms and gain height via a bounce back mechanic. As we have come to expect of Yacht Club Games, the platforming is tight and unforgiving and offers challenge and ultimately, reward.

The levels this time around will be shorter, and the world map was described more akin to Super Mario Bros. 3, in a sense that it contains smaller, more fractured levels. This gives the DLC a slightly fresher feel than previous Shovel Knight Campaigns as it makes everything feel shorter and much more fractured. This is in no way a bad thing. What it means is levels never become a chore, instead the need to go back for ‘just one more run’ is repaid with the sweet gratification of the end of the level.

Billy Connolly is the King of Cards. Wait…

As well as two levels of the new campaign, I also tried out the new card mini game, which in it’s own right, was an absolute blast. The basis of the game seems to be to capture gems by having your cards land on them. Cards have varying directional values and you can bump your opponents hand off of their square with a well placed card. All of this takes place on a 4X4 grid. As well as this, there is now the showdown mode to contend with too. Showdown mode offers 2,3 or 4 player Shovel Knight goodness and it was actually because of the inclusion of it, that the game has been delayed from its initial April release window.

Shovel Knight: King of Cards will release later this year. Check back soon for a more specific date. It’s shaping up to be another triumphant title in the Shovel Knight franchise and will release as the final part of the Treasure Trove DLC pack, as well as a standalone release. It will also be included on the cart when the complete physical release drops, alongside the full set of amiibo.

Thanks to Michael Herbster from Yacht Club Games for taking the time to show me the game.

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