Shovel Knight Dig and you will find an amazing treasure like this.”/>
Zoom in / Dig deep enough Shovel Knight Digand you will find a great treasure just like this.

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Shovel Knight Dig has been on our radar since its announcement in 2019 – when games could be revealed and immediately demoed at physical game shows. many years ago, dig was one of the few planned series spinoffs, and its demo at this year’s PAX West filled me with dungeon-digging excitement.

This week, the series’ third official spinoff finally goes on sale on PC, iOS and Nintendo Switch, and in great news, dig easily the best Shovel Knight shoot more. What’s more, it stands out from other arcade, action-focused roguelites, and the result feels like a depth-filled mod for the mobile classic Downwell.

A new pit stop on the randomly generated road

A lot of silly chatter surrounds a massive new chasm in this otherwise peaceful village.
Zoom in / A lot of silly chatter surrounds a massive new chasm in this otherwise peaceful village.

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Shovel Knight has reasons to dig with his eponymous weapon in search of treasure, secrets and revenge. If you are interested in this character-filled story, digThe interactions with the beautifully drawn and animated animals are as fascinating as the plot in the main series’ four campaigns. Or you can press buttons to skip the dialogue and get to the satisfying mining.

Controls in this new 2D side-scrolling game also resemble the main series: Use an action button to slide your shovel left or right (or down if you hold the D-pad) as your character lands jumps and falls with his shovel is facing down, which not only hurts vulnerable enemies, but also causes the knight to bounce up from most things it touches, except for certain types of ground. Instead of running left or right towards an objective, Shovel Knight now digs down through randomly generated levels (with a few exceptions left and right, usually found in the game’s abundance of hidden challenges).

Thanks to so many action games roguelikes and rogueelites from the past 10 years, we’ve been down this randomly generated path before. Yet the Nitrome development team (Super high day) is quickly establishing its skills on how to pump variety and fun into randomly generated depths. One of its best differentiators is its application of gravity. While the popular game Downwell constantly drops players with high speeds and forces quick reactions, dig it often gives your knight a chance to land, explore its immediate depths, and notice what its pesky jump ability will and won’t reach.

Each descent is divided into smaller stages, and each stage includes an important treasure chest at the end of it. If you find the three golden gears in each stage, you can unlock this chest’s bonus item, which includes run-saving goodies like extra health and special abilities. (As with other roguelites, health can be scarce, and too much damage can ruin a run in an instant.) Run past these golden gears, and the enemy-filled stages ahead become more difficult to survive. As you dig through destructible terrain and drop down to lower platforms, each level’s gold gear, along with other useful pickups, will appear in tricky, hard-to-reach corners. These will require you to selectively leave some terrain and enemies intact in order to achieve a high enough bounce.

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