Unplugged: Shovel Knight Exceed Card Game

Shovel Knight is one of the most beloved and prolific indie games in the past few years.  It’s gotten several spin-off games and cameo appearances, and now you can play a card game featuring the characters.  Exceed is an existing card game with fighting game mechanics.  In fact, they did a version of it with Street Fighter characters that I reviewed last year.  So how does it fare with Shovel Knight themes?  Read on and find out!

Here is a larger picture of the box of cards.  The game is for two players and each box comes with four character decks for you to try.

And here is the back of the box that describes the character decks and how they are played.  There are other sets with the other Shovel Knight cast as well.

Here are the boxes you put together to put the decks in.  The characters you can play as in this pack are Shovel Knight/Shield Knight, Tinker Knight, Propeller Knight, and Mole Knight.

Attacking is how you win the game, as whoever runs out of hit points first, loses.  You can also lose if you reshuffle your deck once and run out of cards, but the way the game is played, I imagine this would rarely ever happen. When you choose an attack from your hand, it’ll have numbers on it.  The range number tells you how close you have to be to your opponent for the attack to work.  The power number tells you how many hit points to take from your opponent.  But you’ll have to subtract points if they block with a certain number.  And the speed number tells who attacks first.  Certain attacks also have special effects like knocking back your opponent a few spaces, or stunning them, preventing their attack.  So you have to watch out or your attack will be negated completely.  When you take a hit, or cause a hit of your own, you can put your used cards into the gauge meter.  You can then use these cards as currency to do even more powerful moves or upgrade your character to “Exceed Mode.”  And that’s really the game in a nutshell.  Here’s a picture of a game in progress.

They did some neat and unique things with the decks for this game.  For instance, if you play as Shovel Knight and Shield Knight, if Shield Knight is in between Shovel Knight and your opponent, Shovel Knight will take less damage.  And if you play as Tinker Knight, you start out weak at first, but when you go into Exceed Mode after losing all your hit points, you can play as a great big card and have better range (but can be hit easier).  See that big mech card in the picture above?  That’s Tinker Knight’s mech form, just like how you fight him in the game!  But you have to plan ahead and get a bunch of cards in your gauge meter to win as Tinker!

The only problem I had with this game is that I felt the rules are a bit complicated.  But then, anything more complicated than Hungry, Hungry Hippos and my eyes glaze over.  My friend who I played the game with is more experienced with these kinds of games and said he didn’t think it was that complicated, though.  I also felt the rule book could’ve been written better.  My friend and I both agreed that the text on the cards was too small sometimes.  So I think it’s best for older kids.  But if you like Shovel Knight and card games, you may want to check this one out anyway.

2 Responses to “Unplugged: Shovel Knight Exceed Card Game”

  1. Jeez, Shovel Knight is infinite.

  2. I love those character designs.

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