Strike the earth!

About seven years ago, a small indie studio comprised of some ex-Wayforward staff began the Kickstarter campaign for Shovel Knight, a delightful love letter to fans of 8-bit gaming. The project was a fairly big deal at the time, but few could have guessed just how much staying power it would prove to have. Several spinoffs and sequels, each more ambitious than the last, have sprung up in the years since, and Shovel Knight himself has gone on to become a modern gaming icon, making cameo appearances in countless other games. All this success wouldn’t have happened, however, if the initial release proved to be a disappointment, as many similar Kickstarter projects have proven to be.

That initial game, now given the retronym Shovel of Hope, still stands to this day as one of the finest examples of modern retro platforming. It strikes a near-perfect balance between traditional and modern game design, giving players a tightly-designed and deeply engaging platforming campaign that retains much of the challenge of traditional NES games without any of their archaic frustration. In short, Shovel of Hope is an absolute must-have classic, and if you haven’t already picked it up in some fashion, you owe it to yourself to give this new standalone release a shot.

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