Shovel Knight: the King of Kickstarters
Bow to Yacht Club's magnum opus
Yacht Club's Shovel Knight saga is about to reach its assumed end, with the final Kickstarter-backed expansion King of Cards releasing today. Of course, I haven't actually played it yet, but I thought its launch was an occasion worth marking. Shovel Knight was Kickstarted to the tune of $311,502, along with copious stretch goals which I find myself wondering if the developers ended up regretting. Happily though, this is one campaign that has delivered, even though it took in excess of six years.
If you backed that Kickstarter (which I'm ashamed to say I didn't), you'll have had half a decade's worth of steady content now for as little as ten dollars. Other than the excellent standard campaign (now christened Shovel of Hope) starring the titular Shovel Knight, Yacht Club brought us the wonderful projectile-focused Plague Knight campaign (Plague of Shadows), the even better athletic re-imagining starring Specter Knight (Specter of Torment) and now finally bring things to a close with (the best of the lot…?) King of Cards starring everyone’s favourite of The Order of No Quarter, King Knight! Well, he’s my favourite and I’m very tall, so shut up.
This last expansion brings a redesigned world map filled with shorter, more bite-sized levels to the fray, with King Knight’s dashing pirouette move apparently adding a degree of platform puzzling to the mix. There’s also an (apparently mandatory) card battle game called Joustus thrown in, hence the Cards part of King of Cards. Normally I’d be wary of this kind of forced gameplay change, but after all these years of kept promises and terrific content, I trust Yacht Club with every aching fibre of my being. They told me to stop telling them that, but I won’t. Not even legal action can quell my passion.
Well done, Yacht Club, for making Shovel Knight so bloody excellent. I would have been happy with just the basic campaign, but you went above and beyond. I suppose I should end this on some sort of apt shovel/digging pun. But I can’t think of any. Erm… I like it a hole lot? (Sound of readers booing, throwing things)