Are you a 20-40 year old who’s desperately clinging to happy childhood memories? Do you think that things used to be better and find yourself saying the phrase back in my day a lot? I try to avoid the allure of such nostalgia, but I must admit I loved Shovel Knight, a mostly uncompromising revival of 8-bit platformers.
It evokes the warm fuzzy memories from the era of cartridges and cathode ray tube televisions with excellently composed chiptunes, beautiful character sprites and backgrounds, and pixel-precise controls. It feels like what I remember those games played like, but in reality improves upon them in many ways.
If nothing else, it proves that we weren’t crazy to obsess over primitive, two-button games. As the Knight who Shovels, you can jump, shovel, jump and shovel at the same time, or jump and then shovel for a downward, pogo stick-like attack.