Impressions: Shovel Knight Dig is my new roguelite gaming addiction


Enlarge / Dig deeply sufficient in Shovel Knight Dig, and you will find trippy treasure identical to this.

Yacht Club Games

Shovel Knight Dig has been on our radar since its announcement in 2019—back when games could be revealed and immediately demonstrated at bodily gaming expos. That many years ago, Dig was one of some deliberate collection spinoffs, and its demo at that yr’s PAX West present floor filled me with dungeon-digging pleasure.

This week, the series’ third formal spinoff lastly goes on sale on PC, iOS, and Nintendo Switch, and in nice information, Dig is definitely the best Shovel Knight offshoot but. What’s more, it stands out compared to different arcadey, action-focused roguelites, and the end result looks like a depth-filled mod for the mobile classic Downwell.

A new pit cease on the randomly generated road

Lots of silly chatter surrounds a new massive chasm in this otherwise peaceful village.

Enlarge / Lots of foolish chatter surrounds a new large chasm in this otherwise peaceable village.

Yacht Club Games

Shovel Knight has causes to dig together with his namesake weapon seeking treasure, secrets and techniques, and revenge. If you’re fascinated in this character-filled story, Dig’s interactions with fantastically drawn and animated animals are as charming because the plot found within the mainline sequence’ 4 campaigns. Or you can mash buttons to skip the dialogue and get to the satisfying digging.

Control on this new 2D side-scrolling game resembles the mainline sequence, as nicely: Use an action button to swipe your shovel left or right (or downward should you maintain down on the D-pad) while your hero lands from jumps and falls with his shovel dealing with downward, which not only harms vulnerable foes but also makes the Knight bounce upward off most stuff it contacts, besides sure ground types. Instead of running left or proper to a objective, Shovel Knight now digs downward through randomly generated ranges (with a quantity of left and proper exceptions, often found within the recreation’s wealth of hidden challenges).


Thanks to so many action-driven roguelikes and roguelites from the previous 10 years, we have been down this randomly generated street earlier than. Yet the event group at Nitrome (Super Leap Day) rapidly establishes its savvy on tips on how to pump selection and fun into randomly generated depths. One of its finest differentiators is its software of gravity. While the popular sport Downwell constantly drops players at high speeds and forces speedy reactions, Dig frequently provides your Knight an opportunity to land, survey his instant depths, and spot what his pesky leaping capacity will and will not reach.

Each descent is broken up into smaller stages, and every stage features a crucial treasure chest at its conclusion. Should you discover every stage’s three golden gears, you’ll be able to unlock this chest’s bonus item, which includes run-saving goodies like further health and special skills. (Like in other roguelites, health could be scarce, and too much injury can spoil a run instantly.) Speedrun previous these golden gears, and future, enemy-filled stages turn into trickier to survive. As you shovel via destructible terrain and drop to decrease platforms, every ranges’ golden gears, along with different useful pickups, will seem in difficult, hard-to-reach corners. They’ll require that you just selectively leave some terrain and enemies unspoiled to nail a high-enough bounce.


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