Shovel Knight Showdown (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The next new Shovel Knight game we’re going to look at is a multiplayer fighting side-game.  It features characters and locations from the game and Smash Bros. style gameplay.  It comes with Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove on the Switch, which we looked at last time, but it’s also a game you can download separately on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Most of the characters you can play as keep their signature moves from the main game, but sometimes they had to change things to make it more balanced.  For instance, Plague Knight’s explosive jump has been changed to more of a charge upward jump that doubles as an attack.  If you are familiar with the characters from the other titles, you should be able to jump right into this one.  The requirement to win battles can vary each time.  You may have to defeat a certain number of foes, collect a number of gems, and more.

There are two main modes of play.  Battle Mode lets you play a single match with up to four local human or CPU players and set the rules.  The Story Mode has you fight a string of opponents with various rules until you reach the last boss.  You can also unlock secret characters here, too!  One thing I like is that they finally put a selectable difficulty mode for this one.  The only main problem I had was that sometimes the random nature of battles made things impossible to win.  Like once all players were turned into little fairies, and made it hard to see who was who.  Another time I had to collect gems and compete with all eight combatants from the Order of No Quarter, and that was neigh impossible with everything going on the screen!  Plus the game still uses the same graphics from the other titles.  But otherwise it’s still a fairly competent fighter in short bursts.

Kid Factor:

Shovel Knight Showdown is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You can hit enemies with weapons and magic, and downed characters just fall over, disappear, or run away when defeated.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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