Shovel Knight Showdown is A Fun Battle Mode That Seems a Bit Uninspired

Shovel Knight fans will likely love this new battle mode, but anyone else might find a better experience elsewhere.

As Shovel Knight has been a major success, developer Yacht Club Games has continued to follow through on Kickstarter promises and support the title with a slew of additional content. This includes Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment and the upcoming King of Cards campaign in December. However, that’s not all that’s on its way to Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

Shovel Knight Showdown is a battle mode where up to four players can fight each other with the combat system that fans of the series know and love. The only gripe is that it doesn’t stand out from other titles that give a similar experience.

I want to be transparent and say that I only got around five minutes to play this so I apologize for it being so short. Time constraints at events like PAX West happen from time to time. In Shovel Knight Showdown, players can pick their favorite Knight to take into the ring to fight in a number of different modes. During my playtime, I fought in Gem Clash, where the objective is to be the first person with five diamonds. With a variety of different characters, everyone has their own playstyle. I played as Black Knight so I was able to slash and bounce to deal damage against my enemy. Then there are characters like Shield Knight who does very well at protection and is able to throw their shield like a boomerang as it returns to them.

Shovel Knight Showdown is A Fun Battle Mode That Seems a Bit Uninspired

The game is simple to play and it goes by quick. Gems will fly onto the map encased in a bubble. While battling against my opponent I still had to try and break the bubble and obtain the gem. Other items like bombs coming into play made the fight additionally more stressful and competitive. Inevitably, I died making me drop one of the gems I was carrying. With that in mind, through my experience players shouldn’t have to worry about dropping every single gem they carry if they die.

When the new battle mode launches sometime in December there will be over sixteen characters to choose from along with a story mode for each one. In multiplayer, fans can play one-on-one, co-op or free for all. It is all fun, but it doesn’t have anything that grasps me like other titles of its respective genre. I’m sure this will be received with open arms for the hardcore base of Shovel Knight players, but for players outside of that audience, there are numerous better options. Don’t get me wrong, it plays great and looks gorgeous as you’d expect from Yacht Club, but this seems to be for their fans and no one else.

Just like King of CardsShovel Knight Showdown will be free for all owners of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove except on PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS platforms. If you do not own Treasure Trove, but still want to get your hands on Showdown you can purchase it separately for $9.99.