Shovel Knight Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Shovel Knight RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Best Xbox One Platformers to Play On Xbox Series X https://www.gameskinny.com/ihj1g/best-xbox-one-platformers-to-play-on-xbox-series-x https://www.gameskinny.com/ihj1g/best-xbox-one-platformers-to-play-on-xbox-series-x Wed, 30 Dec 2020 15:13:20 -0500 Daniel Hollis

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Shovel Knight

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Another knight to feature on this list is Shovel Knight, an 8-bit adventure featuring a knight with nothing but, you guessed it, a shovel. Digging his way to victory and using the gardening tool to vanquish enemies, it’s a delightful little adventure.

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Not only that, but the Treasure Trove edition also comes with various new modes, including a multiplayer brawler. It’s a fantastic package and one that undoubtedly deserves your time.

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These are all fantastic platformers you can play on the Xbox Series X today thanks to the platform's backwards compatibility. What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hollow Knight

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Often heralded as a masterpiece, Hollow Knight earns that title. With swift responsiveness that works well with the simplistic combat, exploring its labyrinthine world is full of mystery and wonder.

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It’s certainly a challenging game, but like many others on this list is insanely rewarding once the challenges have been overcome. With a sequel on the horizon, now is the perfect time to dive into the iconic game.

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New Super Lucky’s Tale

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Super Lucky’s Tale was already a fun little platformer, but the re-imagining does so much new it may as well act as a sequel. With brand new level variants, improvements on the original formula and tighter controls, New Super Lucky’s Tale feels like the game that was originally intended and a great inclusion into the Xbox Series X’s library of platformers.

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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

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If Banjo-Tooie and Conker Live & Reloaded weren’t enough Rare goodness then Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible acts as a 2D spiritual successor to the developers previous games. As a chameleon, you’ll utilize an array of powers and venture out into worlds inspired by platformers of yesteryear.

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What makes the Impossible Lair so different is the ability to attempt the final level at any time, using the other levels as a means to power up your character. It’s a great mechanic and one that works extremely well for both newcomers and hardcore players.

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Rayman Legends

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When Rayman Origins released, it delivered a fantastic 2D platforming experience than none of us knew we wanted. With the sequel, everything is improved.

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Rayman Origins was already fantastic, but Legends adds more inventive platforming challenges, excellent co-operative play and immensely impressive music based stages. It’s a wonderful game and one that doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves.

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Cuphead

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Speaking of brutally hard, Cuphead is one of the top contenders. Don’t be fooled by its 1930s animated style as each level is infused with a devilishly hard boss to tackle.

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Despite the difficulty, discovering each boss, learning their patterns and eventually overcoming them is an immensely rewarding experience, making getting to the end a satisfying adventure.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/df10bf80ce8d45b86911e2750ef89f2e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/df10bf80ce8d45b86911e2750ef89f2e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13633","description":"

Celeste

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Not many Platformers come accompanied with an emotionally charged story, but Celeste not only manages to do that, but also manages to embed it into its gameplay.

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Exploring themes such mental health and anxiety, the trial and error gameplay lends itself beautifully to the narrative situations it puts the players through. For once, a game being brutally hard has an actual connotation and creates one of the best platformers ever made.

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Conker Live & Reloaded

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Another classic platformer by Rare, the loud mouthed squirrel offers something more adult for those who are fans of the genre.

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Live & Reloaded is an updated version of the original Nintendo 64 version and while some of the content was cut, it’s spirit remains intact.

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The Xbox Series X does a wonderful job of bolstering it to the point that it could pass as a modern day release. Enjoy its crude humor and inventive ways it works with the platforming genre.

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A Hat In Time

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Invoking inspirations from industry titans such as Super Mario 64, A Hat In Time quickly manages to be so much more. The genre shifting adventure at one minute can be a fantastical platforming adventure, before turning into a murder mystery.

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Running throughout all of this is an enormously fun platforming adventure that you won’t want end, even after you’ve collected all of the collectibles

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Banjo-Tooie

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Not only one of the greatest platformers to play on the Xbox Series X, but one of the greatest of all time. Banjo-Tooie builds upon its predecessor with a vast, open-ended way of tackling its various, colorful worlds.

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Each corner is brimming with personality and it’s collect-a-thon gameplay is addictive till the very end. Hopefully one day we receive another entry, until then, check out one of the original entries that defined the genre.

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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Following on from the absolutely wonderful Ori and the Blind Forest, the sequel manages to create something truly special. It was always going to be hard following on from the original, but Ori and the Will of the Wisps does it with ease, with a breakneck pace that gives you more toys to play with at a faster rate.

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Accompanied by a beautiful art style and emotional storyline, it’s hard not be enamored the moment the game starts.

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Spyro Reignited Trilogy

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Speaking of classic platforming heroes returning, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a perfect example of another franchise being given a new lease of life.

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Massively easier than the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy, each game builds upon the previous with new mechanics, finer level design and more collectibles than you can imagine.

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Those with a 4K TV will also love the use of Auto HDR from the Xbox Series X, which makes each frame absolute ooze with detail.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/41ca4cd71713c74df10e4ab065feb821.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/41ca4cd71713c74df10e4ab065feb821.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13625","description":"

Psychonauts

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With the sequel making its way to the Xbox family next year, there’s never been a better time to dive into the weird and wonderful original version of Psychonauts, which is available via backwards compatibility.

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Even now its unique art style makes it an absolutely charming experience, blending classic platformer influences with an essence of Tim Burton. Not only that, but it’s emotionally charged story is an absolute treat. Check it out ahead of the sequel.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/52686c1432d7f90e623b0abdd353560d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/52686c1432d7f90e623b0abdd353560d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13628","description":"

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

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It’s unfortunate that Crash Bandicoot 4 was met with poor sales, as the game is actually a phenomenal step up for the original trilogy. Building on every facet possible, the pitch perfect controls, vibrant worlds and fantastic level design come together in one lengthy package.

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With an array of mirrored levels, gauntlets designed for genre veterans and a plethora of unlocks led, it’s the gift that keeps on giving and one that deserves more attention.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d6647c5df5fdf413486eec65733e11e8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d6647c5df5fdf413486eec65733e11e8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13627","description":"

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

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It’s no surprise that the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is difficult, brutally difficult intact. Yet, there’s something compelling about its loop that keeps you coming back for more. Containing the original three games, the whole package is here before, with a brand new coat of paint.

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While it doesn’t bring anything entirely new to the table, it manages to capture the sense of nostalgia whilst also feeling modernized. It would only be later another game would build upon it…

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/platformers-9ef80.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/platformers-9ef80.jpg","type":"slide","id":"217468","description":"

Just got an Xbox Series X for Christmas? No doubt you're looking for some sweet new games to play on your new console. 

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One genre that's stuck with gaming since the beginning is platforming and the genre resurgence over the past few years and the Xbox brand is home to many iconic heroes, some of which are exclusive to the system.

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From fast paced 2D platformers to open-world 3D platformers with worlds begging to be explored, each of these games manages to balance something new and old to create a truly special experience. 

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So without further ado, check out this list of 15 platformers available on the Xbox Series X. Most are Xbox One titles, but some Xbox 360 and even Xbox titles made the list.

"}]]]>
Best PS4 Platformers to Play on PS5 https://www.gameskinny.com/njha2/best-ps4-platformers-to-play-on-ps5 https://www.gameskinny.com/njha2/best-ps4-platformers-to-play-on-ps5 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 15:45:43 -0500 Ethan Anderson

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Rayman Legends

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Last, but not least, we have Ubisoft's platforming mascot, Rayman. Rayman hasn't gotten a new mainline game in nearly 10 years, so sometimes this platforming great isn't as talked about as others.

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That shouldn't be the case, because Rayman Legends knocked it out of the park. It's a vibrant, joyful, and creative platformer that'll have you on the edge of your seat more than once throughout its relatively short runtime.

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The game also features some of the best couch co-op platforming that you can find on the PS4, so don't miss out if you're a fan of the genre.

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As you can see, there are more than enough top-notch PS4 platformers that should be played on PS5. And we can't wait to see even more games get added to the PS5's library in the years to come.

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Are there any platformers that you'd like to see added to the list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/501c6693d57643e197114d9baf59661b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/501c6693d57643e197114d9baf59661b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13560","description":"

Sonic Mania Plus

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Sonic the Hedgehog is a household name at this point. With Sonic Mania, SEGA and developer Headcannon brought the series back to the 2D platformer roots that made it so popular.

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The "Plus" version adds DLC, allowing players can speed through levels as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty, or Ray. It also features new zones, updated classic stages, and a four-player multiplayer option.

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This game is a must-play for any and all Sonic fans, and it's also a great entry point for anyone curious to see what the blue hedgehog is all about.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e67ad28778e1016adb93a89cb01ae4f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e67ad28778e1016adb93a89cb01ae4f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13557","description":"

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

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Shovel Knight started out as a Kickstarter campaign that slowly became more and more successful. Developer Yacht Club Games has managed to deliver on everything promised and more.

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This is another platformer that successfully captures the magic of retro games in the genre while still adding enough present-day flair to stand out on its own merit. Arming the player with a simple shovel and a few movement options seems odd at first, but you'll grow to love it in no time at all.

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The Treasure Trove edition contains all four DLC campaigns, as well as a multiplayer Battle Mode and co-op for the main campaign. This is a platforming experience that absolutely shouldn't be missed out on.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/59190d5ebd20e5904a9a6e47e44147ee.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/59190d5ebd20e5904a9a6e47e44147ee.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13555","description":"

The Messenger

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The Messenger is a love letter to old-school Ninja Gaiden fans with its retro sounds/soundtrack, visuals, and overall feel. It even has an unexpected amount of humor, which is just a bonus, since it's already excelling in other aspects.

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You assume the role of a ninja who must deliver a scroll to save his clan after his village has been attacked by a demon army. You'll be jumping, swinging, slashing, and warping between 8-bit and 16-bit worlds on this journey.

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The level of nostalgia here is simply unmatched. The Messenger really does have everything that you could ask for as a fan of old school platformers.

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Spelunky/Spelunky 2

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Spelunky is a platformer with an endlessly fun roguelike gameplay loop. The first game launched on consoles back in 2012, and Spelunky 2 was just released in September for PS4.

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The sequel piles on the exploration as players are tasked with avoiding traps while searching for treasures and missing family members on the moon. Each run can reveal new items, NPCs, and paths through the game. As you venture deeper, your home base will grow, leaving you more prepared to make those deep runs into the unknown.

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This treasure hunt can be completed alone or with friends online, so there's plenty of randomized platforming to go around.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/52e435832ace73cf765a9a180cb7e005.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/52e435832ace73cf765a9a180cb7e005.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13556","description":"

INSIDE

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INSIDE is another entry on this list that's able to mix genres effortlessly. It's a relatively short narratively driven puzzle-platformer that'll keep you gripped through your entire playtime.

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Those who played Playdead's previous platformer, LIMBO, will no-doubt love INSIDE just as much, if not more. It takes what made its predecessor great, and improves upon that already winning formula.

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You're once again playing as a young boy, but this time, you seem to be heading towards the main cause of the danger around you.

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The dark atmosphere, mysterious plot, and creative obstacles will be sure to leave you wanting more by the time the experience comes to a close.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/410e816111b17c0c5475bbaa08477491.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/410e816111b17c0c5475bbaa08477491.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13554","description":"

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

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For most players, the first genre that comes to mind when thinking of Hollow Knight is probably Metroidvania. That said, there's still plenty of challenging platforming to overcome here.

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It isn't easy, but if you can master the movement, timing, and control needed to traverse Hollow Knight's world, you'll find that it contains some of the best platforming experiences that the genre has to offer. You'll be finding secrets, tackling tough bosses, and enjoying that sweet satisfaction of improvement as you progress.

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The Voidheart Edition is essentially the console version that contains all of the content added to the PC version of the game before it came to consoles. It was free on PlayStation Plus back in November but is $14.99 otherwise. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c64c83fda3c07e2ff575b24e4f423c09.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c64c83fda3c07e2ff575b24e4f423c09.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13553","description":"

Ratchet & Clank

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Like Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank is also a classic platformer. The difference here is that it's fully 3D and a lot more action-oriented, containing some of the most oddly unique weapons found in any game in the genre.

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It's also technically a game based on a movie, based on a game. That sounds confusing, but trust me, it makes sense.

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The Ratchet & Clank movie was coming out around the same time as the game, and this soft reboot is a retelling of the very first game. This means that all newcomers to the longstanding franchise are welcome to give this one a shot.

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You'll get to see how Ratchet and Clank start out, going from humble beginnings to intergalactic heroes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c2412b97903f576442d18a960ed6f182.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c2412b97903f576442d18a960ed6f182.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13552","description":"

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

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This classic platforming franchise made its return to relevance in 2017 with the N. Sane Trilogy, and as it turns out, Crash and Coco have a lot more to give to the genre beyond the original trilogy and a few spin-offs.

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Crash 4 manages to bring back the feel of the original games while adding plenty of twists to keep things feeling fresh.

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This time around, there are five playable characters and new masks that provide special powers to shake up the platforming. This is one that both newcomers and series veterans should check out.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f7f2ed66bddf7a13c9177bac8f0e6bb8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f7f2ed66bddf7a13c9177bac8f0e6bb8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13549","description":"

Celeste

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While all of the entries on this list are undoubtedly worth playing, Celeste can be considered one of the best platformers of the generation. It won both the Games for Impact and Best Indie Game awards at The Game Awards in 2018, and for good reason.

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The game has tight, responsive controls, a fantastic soundtrack, and a plot that can be relatable to so many of its players.

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Celeste is able to meaningfully tackle the topics of anxiety and mental illness while still making sure that its platforming stays enjoyable throughout the entire experience. It truly is one of the best in the genre.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/platformers-67667.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/platformers-67667.jpg","type":"slide","id":"217300","description":"

The PlayStation 5 has finally arrived, but there aren't a ton of brand-new launch games to pick from. That's doubly true if you're a fan of platformers. Sure, Sackboy: A Big Adventure released alongside Sony's new console, and it is a fantastic game by our account, but overall, genre choices are currently thin on the PS5.  

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The good news is that plenty of PS4 titles are available to play on PS5 through backwards compatibility, including plenty of must-play platformers.

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It's not too late to look back and find a few games that you may have missed — or may be hiding in your backlog. Here are some of the best PS4 platformers that you should definitely play on PS5, as we wait for games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Balan Wonderworld

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Yacht Club Games Shovels Up King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown Release Dates https://www.gameskinny.com/u6mx8/yacht-club-games-shovels-up-king-of-cards-and-shovel-knight-showdown-release-dates https://www.gameskinny.com/u6mx8/yacht-club-games-shovels-up-king-of-cards-and-shovel-knight-showdown-release-dates Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:45:29 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games first debuted way back in 2014 and quickly became the mascot of indie gaming. Five years later, the last installment in the saga, King of Cards, is set for launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on December 10.

King of Cards was the last in the set of fan-voted games expanding the Shovel Knight universe, following Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment. It follows, well, the King of Cards, the brash, lovable villain whose head-bash is as much his signature as his flair for gold and pomposity.

King of Cards sees you travel across multiple stages as the King, gathering gold, weapons, armor, and more, but it also includes a boss rush mode and a tactical card game to shake up the formula that's been established across the previous three games.

King of Cards will be part of the Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove compilation, the physical version of which is releasing on December 10 too, alongside the Shovel Knight Gold Amiibo. There is one catch, though. Manufacturing issues have delayed the PlayStation 4 version of Treasure Trove until sometime in 2020.

If that weren't enough, Shovel Knight Showdown is also launching on December 10. Though the name suggests it's a fighting variant of the Shovel Knight formula, Showdown will actually include a singleplayer mode, multiplayer gameplay, new levels, and new characters.

You can check out the initial trailer above. 

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And if even that doesn't satisfy your craving for Shovel Knight, Yacht Club is still working on the completely new Shovel Knight Dig game, set for release sometime next year. Check out our impressions of it here. Also, the full announcement post is here for those who're interested.

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Yahct Club Games and Nitrome Announce Shovel Knight Dig https://www.gameskinny.com/9bvwd/yahct-club-games-and-nitrome-announce-shovel-knight-dig https://www.gameskinny.com/9bvwd/yahct-club-games-and-nitrome-announce-shovel-knight-dig Wed, 28 Aug 2019 15:26:07 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Ahead of PAX West, Yacht Club Games announced Shovel Knight Dig, a brand-new Shovel Knight game developed in partnership with Nitrome. Among other things, Yacht Club said that the collaboration with Nitrome helped produce high-color pixel graphics and improved sound over the original as well.

Dig has been in development for more than a year, but Yacht Club said there's still a ways to go before it will be ready for release. However, more information and a playable demo will be available at PAX West, and the game was confirmed for the Nintendo Switch.

Shovel Knight Dig combines two major points of the original Shovel Knight games — navigating stages using clever digging techniques and gathering treasure — but packages them in a completely different style.

Instead of traveling to the right like a traditional side-scroller, the goal is digging further down, as Shovel Knight tries to recover his stolen treasure from the nefarious Drill Knight. As the name suggests, digging plays a significant role in the game and its mechanics.

Shovel Knight gets some new moves to help make the dig easier, too, actions called "Speed Shovel mechanics." What those will look like isn't completely clear, though, since some of the shovel-wielding hero's moves shown off in the trailer resemble special upgrades from the original game.

Also resembling the original game is the familiar loot loop, where Shovel Knight uses all the plunder found during their journey to purchase a bevy of upgrades and new outfits from the world's quirky inhabitants.

Dig's various stages will feature the same kind of crafty design that gave the original its character — but they won't be set in stone. Each playthrough features a different sequence of pre-crafted stages for "infinite replayability." 

Shovel Knight is widely regarded as the figurehead and trendsetter of indie gaming, with its nod to retro greats like Mega Man and Metroid wrapped in a thoroughly modern package.

Along with making its way onto all major consoles, the Knight even made cameos in other major releases, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Yooka-Laylee. Yacht Club has been working on Shovel Knight and its various offshoots for a long time, and it seems that's a trend that won't be going anywhere in the near future.

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How Nintendo Changed the Meaning of Indie https://www.gameskinny.com/ugccx/how-nintendo-changed-the-meaning-of-indie https://www.gameskinny.com/ugccx/how-nintendo-changed-the-meaning-of-indie Tue, 09 Apr 2019 11:55:03 -0400 Michael House

Only one video game series lets me beat up industry icons like Pikachu and Donkey Kong as I play as Super Mario, the biggest icon of them all. Of course, this description can only fit Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise. As absurd as its concept is, though, I’ve never thought twice about it  as with many other video game fans, the series has been a regular part of my life since childhood.

However, there’s something about the latest Super Smash Bros. entry that made me do a double take. As I struggled to take down an especially tough Zelda, I employed an assist trophy for help. Expecting a big-time video game character like Waluigi or Bomberman to appear from the trophy capsule, I instead got indie character Shovel Knight.

On top of being a popular fighting series, Super Smash Bros. serves as a  who’s who in video games. I was surprised, then, to see an indie game character alongside classic figures such as Mario and Zelda. Considering the current state of the industry, though, my surprise was unjustified, as to be indie no longer means to be separate from mainstream gaming.

Although Shovel Knight’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is indicative of the indie scene’s growing prominence, it’s also representative of why this trend exists  since the beginning of the Switch era, Nintendo has treated indie games with almost as much importance as its own franchises.

Such a focus on these games is not only evident in the Switch’s large number of indie games but also in Nintendo’s marketing operations. After its Switch Presentation in January 2017 left many wondering what other first-party games were in the system’s pipeline, some hoped for immediate answers. While a Nintendo Direct broadcast in the same month revealed Fire Emblem Warriors, the company had a different priority.

Shortly before the Switch’s launch, Nintendo aired a presentation similar to a Nintendo Direct but under a new label: Nintendo Switch Nindies Showcase. Rather than information about first-party games, this broadcast was dedicated to news regarding indie games bound for the system  and yes, Nintendo even created a word for indie titles available on its platforms.

Though this presentation was a first for the company, it was not the first indication the indie scene would play a major role in its plans for the Switch. As Nintendo made the system’s 2017 release schedule more transparent in early February, it became clear it wouldn’t come out with another major, non-port title until months after the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, Nintendo made sure fans would still have many other games to play until the next first-party one.

While some of these games included third-party games from major publishers, nindies did more of the heavy lifting, as they not only outnumbered the former but also filled the Switch’s pressing genre gaps. For example, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove made up for the absence of 2D platformers like Mario and Donkey Kong, and titles like World of Goo and Snake Pass gave players their puzzle game fix.

By letting these games provide the essential experiences that would otherwise be missing, Nintendo not only demonstrated its favor of the indie scene but also legitimized it.

As the company continued to foster the indie community via more Nindies Showcases and other promotions, it began to create a distinct identity for its new console. Whereas video game companies had traditionally flaunted the number of high-budget titles on their systems, Nintendo saw a selling point in the Switch’s growing indie catalog.

With one of the three main console makers treating indies as more than just supplementary content, these games gained exposure among video game fans at large, as the subsequent actions of the other console makers can attest.

For example, Microsoft’s heavy promotion of Cuphead shortly before its 2017 release would’ve been hard to believe if it weren’t for the indie scene’s heightened popularity  in previous years, such pride in a 2D, hand-drawn title as a console exclusive would’ve been unusual.

Additions to Xbox’s indie library continue to receive fanfare from Microsoft. In its 2018 E3 briefing, the company demonstrated its attitude toward these games by following the reveal for the major Halo Infinite with a trailer for the upcoming indie title Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Furthermore, it considered its acquisition of independent developer Compulsion Games so important it announced it during the presentation.

When it comes to Sony, the company’s free PlayStation Plus offerings reflect its increased focus on the indie scene. Considering its recent reduction of six free choices per month to two, many would assume it would prioritize AAA titles over indie ones. However, in both months since the reduction occurred, one of the two options has been an independent title. In the eyes of Sony, then, such games are of comparable value to that of their bigger-budget counterparts. 

Though Shovel Knight’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a clear manifestation of this entrance of indies into the mainstream, this phenomenon is most apparent in Nintendo’s announcement of Cadence of Hyrule in March. By allowing an indie developer to utilize elements of the classic Legend of the Zelda franchise in its own game, the company continues to show “indie” and “mainstream” are no longer opposite terms.

Currently, Nintendo shows no signs of slowing down its support of the indie community. As the Switch library develops further, it will be interesting to see how the company will keep pushing the envelope regarding the definition of “indie.”

In any case, though, it’s safe to say it’s already changed the name of the indie game.

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7 Indie Darlings with a Switch Release on The Way https://www.gameskinny.com/bxjoi/7-indie-darlings-with-a-switch-release-on-the-way https://www.gameskinny.com/bxjoi/7-indie-darlings-with-a-switch-release-on-the-way Fri, 02 Mar 2018 13:21:02 -0500 buymymixtape123

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/d/i/bdi5f-wvzfa5eqmy0mdpm7tnnfwqv9qo-473c6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/d/i/bdi5f-wvzfa5eqmy0mdpm7tnnfwqv9qo-473c6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"178893","description":"

These are just a few of the many nindies that are coming to the Switch during this year. This is a great time to own a Switch as we already have blockbuster games such as: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and DOOM, and now have these nindies to look forward too. It is great to see the Switch getting a large amount of support, therefore keeping fans interested and more people investing in the console.

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It will be great to see how these nindies play on the Switch when they arrive. I can't wait to try out Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Moonlighter when they drop. Which nindie are you the most excited for?

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ba8d843c6354060855961377e28b3cb7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ba8d843c6354060855961377e28b3cb7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11875","description":"

Moonlighter

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Release: TBC 2018
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Moonlighter is an RPG that is reminiscent of the old school Legend of Zelda games and will be arriving on the Switch this year. Moonlighter expands on the original Legend of Zelda's formula, as you can talk to villagers and take on quests for them which will reward you with equipment and other items. You can also own a shop, which you will be able to manage and make money off of. Crafting also plays a big role as you can make better equipment to help you complete dungeons. Moonlighter promises to be an interesting port to the Switch and is well worth checking out. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-awayjourneytotheunexpected-image1600w-3188b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-awayjourneytotheunexpected-image1600w-3188b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180341","description":"
Away: Journey to the Unexpected
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Release: TBC 2018
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Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a first person adventure title where you try to get recruit different people in the world to join your side to try and help you throughout your adventure. There is a negotiation mechanic which is highly reminiscent of trying to negotiate with personas in Persona 5. What really stood out for Away is the graphics. The game is set in a  colorful 3D world, but the characters are cartoonish and are in 2D. This unique graphic choice makes the game look even cooler than it already is. The protagonist of Away wields a stick which allows you to use melee attacks or magic spells. Be on the lookout for this game as time goes by!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0a879cbf139b9cb9f465c360f6616591.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0a879cbf139b9cb9f465c360f6616591.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11874","description":"

Crypt of the NecroDancer

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Release: Feb 01, 2018
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Brace Yourself Games' rhythm like dungeon crawler is coming to Switch on February 1st. I never heard of this game until my friend showed me it last summer, and I, for one, was quite shocked at the intriguing take on an older genre. On the surface Crypt of the NecroDancer looks like a regular dungeon crawler, but it is so much more than that. This game's movement and combat is based off a rhythm movement, similar to Dance Dance Revolution's rhythm controls. So lets say you want to move around in the dungeon, you would have to time your movement to the beat of the background music. If you do this you will gain a score multiplier, and if you are unable to the move to the beat then enemies will be able to attack you and you lose this multiplier. This game is incredibly fun and is a great fit as a nindie for the Switch. This game is also out now so go ahead and get it when you can.    

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dce770e990b7177c995ad3819c246039.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dce770e990b7177c995ad3819c246039.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11873","description":"

Layers of Fear: Legacy 

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Release:  Feb 21, 2018
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Layers of Fear: Legacy is also becoming a nindie, and it will become one of the first horror games that is being ported to the Switch. Layers of Fear first came out in 2016, and it received heaps of praise from critics and fans for its immersive horror experience. In Layers of Fear, you are a painter traveling through a mansion while trying to finish your masterpiece. While trying to finish this painting you go on a journey full jump scares and puzzles, all while finding out more about the painter and how he come to be where he is. Layers of Fear may not have the same frightening build-up as games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard or Outlast, but it still provides a tense atmosphere alongside an abundant amount of scares and a mysterious plot that will keep you interested throughout the game. The game is out now so if you haven't tried it, go try it now!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a0eb76eaea345ed71a01b6361029373d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a0eb76eaea345ed71a01b6361029373d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11872","description":"

Terraria 

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Release: TBC 2018
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Terraria - developed by Re-Logic - is a 2-D make your own adventure sandbox game which has very similar mechanics to Minecraft and could have been influenced by this popular game. Re-Logic first announced that the port for Terraria would be coming out on the Switch last year, but they pushed the release back for 2018. This was disappointment to many Switch owners as many fans were looking forward to exploring the world of Terraria on the new console. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd3b957d7c331cd6ae0a4cf8367b5dff.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd3b957d7c331cd6ae0a4cf8367b5dff.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11871","description":"

Inside

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Release: TBC 2018 
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Playdead's critically acclaimed Inside is now making its way to the Switch, and it will be bringing its darker, eerie visuals and story with it. Playdead's first title - Limbo - earned renown throughout the gaming scene in 2010 as Limbo was a beautiful yet fatalistic and depressing puzzle game. Inside is no different, with sombre themes and puzzles being in the forefront of the game. Furthermore, both titles are driven by their bleak and desolate tales which will shock and amaze you throughout the game. There are no new features arriving with this port of Inside, but being able to play it anywhere because of the Switch's portability is going to be a massive plus for the port.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/860fb75a62d9d05ec2ff1477171ae420.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/860fb75a62d9d05ec2ff1477171ae420.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11870","description":"

Shovel Knight: King of Cards

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Release: TBC 2018
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Yacht Club Games' fan favorite indie game is now coming to Switch as the last piece of standalone DLC called King of Cards. Shovel Knight was a Kickstarter funded plat-former that is reminisce of old 8-bit plat-formers of the late 80s. In the follow-up DLC you're the "King Knight," who is trying to lay their claim on the monarchy by taking on the "Three Kings" who are currently ruling. Other than a new protagonist and 30 new levels, King of Cards will have a new built-in mini card game too.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nindiesnews-shovelknight-dcd31.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nindiesnews-shovelknight-dcd31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"178846","description":"

Since the release of the Switch last year we knew that the console was going to get a lot of the indie games ported or released onto the eponymous device. Games like: Stardew Valley, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Yooka Laylee and Retro City Rampage DX have already been ported to the Switch, and these games fit the console like a glove. Nintendo is going to keep up with the ports and new releases of indie games - or nindies - throughout the year with a plethora of nindies coming out soon. So here's 7 nindies you should look out for that are heading to the Switch. 

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Gift Guide: Best Secret Santa & White Elephant Gifts Under $10 https://www.gameskinny.com/9o1l5/gift-guide-best-secret-santa-white-elephant-gifts-under-10 https://www.gameskinny.com/9o1l5/gift-guide-best-secret-santa-white-elephant-gifts-under-10 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:18:30 -0500 Josh Broadwell

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/o/meowth-e879c.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/o/meowth-e879c.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"173442","description":"

Pokemon Plush 8"

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Price: $9.74

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Buy it on: Best Buy

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The Pokemon franchise's unique position in pop culture makes these 8 inch plushes ideally suited for white elephant or secret Santa exchanges. If you put a group of people together in a room, chances are they're familiar with some of the most popular Pokemon, like Pikachu, Meowth, and Jigglypuff.

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If you order these online, there's no guarantee which one you'll get, but the pool of possibilities includes all the staples, with Psyduck, Hoopa, Sylveon, Zygarde, Togepi, and Wobbuffet rounding off the bunch alongside those already mentioned. Being the series mascot, though, Pikachu naturally gets the most attention, with three different forms. But really? That's okay.

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White elephant and secret Santa don't have to mean throwaway, and you certainly don't have to throw away a ton of money to buy something decent. With these picks representing all that popular gaming culture has to offer, you're sure to be the envy of your holiday gathering.

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Let us know in the comments what you plan on picking up, and be sure to check out our other gift guides as well!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2017-warrior-dragon-photographic-print-likelikes-e3866.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2017-warrior-dragon-photographic-print-likelikes-e3866.png","type":"slide","id":"173441","description":"

Dragon Warrior/Quest Monster Poster

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Price: $6.60 for an 8x8

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Buy it on: Redbubble

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While we all have to continue wait for Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Forgotten Time to finally make its way west—along with the 3DS Virtual Console versions of the original trilogy—this poster might just make the wait a bit easier.

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It's a gathering of the series' well-known monsters, including the golem and dracky, and even a slime, among others, all positively oozing classic 8-bit charm. It comes in three different sizes as well, all of which are measured in inches, but the larger are a bit pricey for a white elephant gift. No one is stopping you from playing secret Santa for yourself, though.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/a/crash-381b9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/a/crash-381b9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173438","description":"

Crash Bandicoot Necklace

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Price: $7.23

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Buy it on: Etsy

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This year finally saw Crash Bandicoot return to his classic roots with the HD remaster Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, and what better way to share the enthusiasm than with this fantastic handmade necklace?

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The pendant is made of plywood and sports a Crash icon taken almost straight from the game, capturing the wild energy characterizing the original trilogy. It's sure to evoke a bit of nostalgia, but it's more than suitable for the platformer fan in general too.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/t/botw-42e94.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/t/botw-42e94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173435","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Poster

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Price: $5.12 for a 5x8; $10.24 for an 8x12

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Buy it on: Etsy

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Sometimes, everyone needs a good reminder that what's on the inside counts more than anything. There aren't many better ways of getting that reminder than this print inspired by Breath of the Wild. What immediately catches the viewer's eye is the staple shot of Link overlooking Hyrule that's quickly becoming a modern classic.

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The modest black font next to it forms a subtle complement to the overall image, with its message (appropriately placed above Hyrule Castle) that no amount of strength substitutes the courage it takes to wield it.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/a/n/kanto-puzzle-a9a4c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/a/n/kanto-puzzle-a9a4c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173434","description":"

Pokemon: Map of Kanto Puzzle

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Price: $6.97

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Buy it on: GameStop

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For a while, rumors swirled of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon sending players back to Kanto. Whether they do, or if it lives up to fans' expectations, is almost irrelevant with this excellent puzzle. It's a 550 piece puzzle of the original Kanto map, one of the most well-known maps in gaming history.

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When complete, the puzzle measures 18x24 inches and also uses the well-known color palette and aesthetic from Generation II to help give it that extra fuzzy touch of nostalgia. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/a/coaster-82f31.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/a/coaster-82f31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173433","description":"

Gaming Themed Coasters

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Price: $7.00

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Buy it on: Etsy

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The best gifts are practical and stylish, and these gaming themed coasters are both. From Halo to the original Final FantasyMega Man and Kirby, almost every major genre is represented with these coasters. It's all done in a retro, 8-bit style, like Pixel Pals, but for half the price (cat leg not included).

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Better yet, the seller offers custom colors, so if you want a different background from what is shown, that's no problem. If you're buying for a Final Fantasy fan, there's even more to love about this, since you can choose from Black and White Mages, the Fighter, and a Chocobo.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/3/5/735a09ab89ec97a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/3/5/735a09ab89ec97a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173432","description":"

Shovel Knight Magnet Set

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Price: $10.00

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Buy it on: Fangamer

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Simple understatement often wins the day over big and flashy, and that certainly holds true with this official Shovel Knight magnet set. The four magnets each feature character art of the four core characters: Shovel Knight himself, Black Knight, Shield Knight, and, of course, the Enchantress.

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They measure 1.25 inches—big enough to be noticed without getting in the way. The magnets are ideal for bags or (naturally) the fridge, according to the designer, making it super simple for you recipient to show off their love of retro and indie gaming.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-84097.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-84097.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173436","description":"

Kingdom Hearts Wall Art

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Price: $10.00

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Buy it on: Etsy

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Kingdom Hearts fans were treated to a new trailer for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3 this year, but for many, it still seems worlds away. This wall art is a good reminder of why that wait is worth it, though.

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It captures the intriguing paradox of whimsy and philosophical seriousness the series is known for and trims it down to the core characters (no sea-salt ice cream here). The 5x7 size poster is the same as your average picture, so whoever receives it will have no trouble finding the perfect spot and frame for it too.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/n/minecraft-bank-71e1d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/n/minecraft-bank-71e1d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173431","description":"

Minecraft Bank

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Price: $10.00

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Buy it on: Etsy

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People have been burying money underground for centuries. This Minecraft inspired block bank continues that tradition, albeit with the twist that your underground is above ground…and isn't made of ground.

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Anyhow, the block is a 4 inch cube and uses pegged beads to achieve its mimicry, looking as nifty up close as it does from a distance. The sides detach, allowing for easy coin retrieval should the temptation to break the bank be too much to handle, but note that it's designed not to be taken apart very often.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/u/g/mug-3541e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/u/g/mug-3541e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173430","description":"

Super Mario Heat Changing Mug

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Price: $9.99

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Buy it at: GameStop

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If you know someone looking to enhance their game first thing in the morning, this Super Mario heat changing mug might just do the trick. It's ideal for NES and Mario lovers, but Mario has become a key figure in pop culture in general, so it works just as well for even non-gamers.

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When cold, the mug depicts a level scene with the black background that looks like it's straight out of world 3. Add hot liquid, though, and the scene explodes with detail. Along with the background turning blue, smaller things like coins, enemies, and clouds appear, in addition to an invincibility star. Pour coffee, get invincibility star. Coincidence? Definitely not.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/i/f/gift-guide-header-aeb18.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/i/f/gift-guide-header-aeb18.png","type":"slide","id":"173443","description":"

The year has zoomed past, and the holidays are almost upon us once more. Cold nights, snowball fights, and colorful lights await you--but so does the dreaded company party with that white elephant or secret Santa gift exchange you never know what to buy for. Fortunately, we've got you covered with this handy guide!

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From retro gear to home decor, there's plenty of quality to be found without having to spend a fortune to get it. The best part? Almost everything is suitable for gamers and non-gamers and is sure to crack a smile on the face of even the coldest Scrooge.

"}]]]>
Shovel Knight is Getting New Amiibo Figures https://www.gameskinny.com/oq1a1/shovel-knight-is-getting-new-amiibo-figures https://www.gameskinny.com/oq1a1/shovel-knight-is-getting-new-amiibo-figures Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:51:17 -0400 Steven Oz

During Nintendo’s Nindies@Night event in Seattle, several announcements were made -- including the reveal of three new amiibo from the Shovel Knight game series.

Two years ago at PAX West, Yacht Club Games originally announced that its game Shovel Knight would receive amiibo support. And now, these new figures are joining the lineup. 

These three new knights are based on King Knight, Plague Knight, and Specter Knight. As with all other amiibo, these will activate certain things when tapped on the NFC reader for the Nintendo Switch.

According to Nintendo, these amiibo will unlock exclusive in-game content:

"While playing Shovel Knight, players can unlock exclusive armor sets, new challenge stages and the ability to summon fairy companions to accompany players on quests."

Amiibo

These new figures will work on Yacht Club Games Shovel Knight: King of Cards -- which is set for release in early 2018 and serves as a prequel story that reveals how King Knight claimed his throne. 

There's no word yet on when these amiibo will be released to the public. Nintendo is saying that it will be sometime in 2018 to coincide with Shovel Knight: King of Cards.

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5 Must Have Third-Party Games for the Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/r80d0/5-must-have-third-party-games-for-the-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/r80d0/5-must-have-third-party-games-for-the-nintendo-switch Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:05:02 -0400 eleccross

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Fast RMX 
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The sequel to Fast Racing Neo from the Wii U, Fast RMX comes to the Switch with all the previous game's content and more. Including new tracks and racing machines, the game even has 4-player split screen multiplayer and online multiplayer with up to eight Switch systems.

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This is a game for all those people looking for a new F-Zero game or even a game to play with friends that don't own a Switch. It's a fast paced and incredibly challenging racing experience that even supports split-screen play.

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---

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These and many other games on the e-shop are all great titles worth your time and money. You just have to take the time to look. And when you find them, share them in the comments below so others can find these great games.

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For more Switch coverage and more keep your eyes on Gameskinny.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c99f3cc5d7c82b911d4fde37bde8a6f8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c99f3cc5d7c82b911d4fde37bde8a6f8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11015","description":"
KAMIKO 
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Kamiko is a very small, very cheap game. You play through five small levels as one of three characters, each with their own weapon and attacks to go with it. The goal in each level is simple, find and charge four shrines in order to access a boss. If you've ever played Titan Souls the bosses here feel very reminiscent of the bosses in that.

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If you're the kind of person that likes time trials, the game even times you and keeps your records. Kamiko is a simple little fun game that's good if you're looking for something super cheap.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2f4ec7aea8eefcd63d9216b7d46a5057.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2f4ec7aea8eefcd63d9216b7d46a5057.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11014","description":"

Snake Pass 

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Snake Pass is a collectothon with very unique movement mechanics. You play as a snake named Noodle and traverse the levels by moving like a snake.

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By slithering, wrapping yourself around poles, and performing other snake-like movements, you traverse diverse levels collecting everything you need to complete the level and more. The style feels very similar to Banjo-Kazooie, though the only connection between the two are the composer Grant Kirkhope. If you're a fan of Banjo-Kazooie or indie games with really unique mechanics, you should definitely pick up Snake Pass .

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4afd1ee66d9b50e6bc384300d8055c04.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4afd1ee66d9b50e6bc384300d8055c04.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11013","description":"

VOEZ 

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Voez is a rhythm game that was originally free to play on smartphones. However, on Switch, you pay one price and get the whole game from the get go. It also stands out because it is currently the only game on the console that can only be played in handheld mode because all the controls are on the touchscreen.

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Voez offers a large library of original tracks that offers a challenge to even the most hardcore rhythm game fan. If you like rhythm games and own a Switch, you should definitely pick this one up.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/114659d94b9c0c73eb355dcbda2bc740.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/114659d94b9c0c73eb355dcbda2bc740.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11012","description":"

Shovel Knight

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Shovel Knight was one of the first big Kickstarter success stories. Released in 2014, it took the gaming world by surprise with simple yet challenging 2D platforming gameplay, a great story with humorous dialogue, and a nostalgic 8-bit art style. 

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Originally, the biggest selling point for the Switch version of Shovel Knight was that the "Treasure Trove" expansion would first be released on the Switch, which included the "Shadow of Torment" campaign and the gender swap mode. Though, by now, that's out on all other systems, too.

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Regardless, Shovel Knight is an awesome game that received acclaim from both critics and gamers alike. That alone should put it on your wishlist. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-image-1f145.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-image-1f145.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160500","description":"

It's been a little over four months since the release of Nintendo's latest console, the Nintendo Switch. Since launch, the console has been incredibly successful, flying off the shelves faster than Nintendo can stock them. But there's arguably been a dearth of great games for the console. The most notable game for the system so far has been The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which absorbed even those who'd sworn off the franchise.

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But other than Breath of the Wild, what else is there to play on the Switch? Maybe you've already grown tired of the game or maybe you were never interested in it in the first place. Either way, there are some great games on the Switch that you can play right now, even if you aren't interested in Nintendo games at all  -- and you simply love the idea of having all your games on the go.

"}]]]>
How Indie Devs Are Filling the Platforming Void https://www.gameskinny.com/eeg5b/how-indie-devs-are-filling-the-platforming-void https://www.gameskinny.com/eeg5b/how-indie-devs-are-filling-the-platforming-void Sun, 16 Apr 2017 14:37:06 -0400 Dan Roemer

The platforming genre -- outside of Nintendo's offerings -- has fallen from the mainstream as of late, but thankfully we have indie developers filling that much needed void. So much so that in recent years we've seen some of the best the genre has to offer thanks to the indie scene. Today I'll be breaking down my favorite sub-genres of platformers and what indie games within these genres truly stand out and that you should check out!

Puzzle Platformers

Braid

 

The puzzle platforming genre is more alive than ever thanks to the indie-scene, with incredible games such as Jonathan Blow's Braid released back in 2008, originally for the Xbox360. From its time manipulation mechanic based puzzles and platforming, to the odd obscure story and the many different unique worlds with their own time manipulation rules, Braid is one of the best puzzle platformers of all time.

And really, it's a beautiful example of how indie developers are taking old tricks and making them new -- keeping the platforming genre alive, well, and diversified. 

Inside

 

2016's INSIDE, from developer Playdead, has an incredibly haunting atmosphere. This game is a testament to what a platformer can achieve in terms of horror, puzzle solving, and environmental storytelling. It's not hard to see why puzzle platformers are alive and well thanks to indie developers like Playdead. Garnering an overwhelmingly positive rating on Steam, INSIDE is also on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Hardcore, Challenging Platformers

Indies have also given us platformers that will simply kick your ass and possibly make you destroy a controller or two. Harkening back to the days of the arcade quarter munchers, you will absolutely die in these games, but you'll still keep coming back for more punishment because of their addictive nature.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy, from developer Team Meat, is without a doubt one of the most challenging platformers out there. Whenever you die (which will be a lot), you'll know it's purely your fault. Why? Because the controls are dead-on precise, making every move you make not only intuitive but highly reactive. Stack over 300 levels on top of that, and you'll end up dying a hell of a lot and keep coming back for more.

N++

 

If you thought 300 levels was insane, N++ from developer Metanet Software features well over 2000 levels.

The N series started off as a flash game released back in 2005, which you can play and download here for free. I remember sinking countless hours into it in the public library of my high school during lunch hours and talking with my friends about how far we could get in each episode. 

I'm proud to say N++ was one of the games I was excited for when I originally bought my PlayStation 4; it's also available on PC now as well. With the endless levels, competitive local multiplayer, local co-op, and a level creator with an active community. N++ is the accumulation of over 11 years of work for developer Metanet Software, and it clearly shows.

Pure 2D Platformers

By “pure” I mean basic in design, or games that take inspiration from titles that made the genre what it is today. Games such as Mario, Sonic, Mega-Man, Donkey Kong, etc., would fit into this category. Once again the indie scene has absolutely given us games that take us back to the platforming roots of the 80s and 90s.

Freedom Planet

 

Prior to the upcoming release of Sonic Mania, it almost seemed like we'd never get a tried and true return to form to the original 2D Sonic games of the early 1990s. Some could say we did get Sonic the Hedgehog 4 -- but I'd say that was more of a dumpster fire than an actual return to form.

But the indie developer GalaxyTrail filled that void for many with Freedom Planet.

Successfully Kickstarted and released in 2014 for PC and just last month for the PlayStation 4 in North America, Freedom Planet contains the loops, speed, and boss fights you'll remember from the original Sonic games and the high octane of platformers of years past. The name itself is inspired by the 90s Sonic OVA movie in which the main setting was called “Planet Freedom."

In fact, the game itself started off as just another Sonic fan game, but the developers wanted to give the game its identity; which is exactly what they achieved.

Shovel Knight

 

From developer Yacht Club Games comes Shovel Knight -- probably one of the most iconic indie platformers of all time. It has been released on just about everything, from the Nintendo Switch to the PC. And chances are that if you have a console made after 2005, you can play Shovel Knight on it, which you should. 

Shovel Knight takes modern design cues from the Dark Souls series while taking heavy inspiration from Mega-Man and Castlevania. With an incredible soundtrack, challenging but not unfair level design, a unique life sytem, bright, vibrant retro stylized visuals, and free DLC that expands the game even further, Shovel Knight is an indie platformer that needs to be played by everyone who wants to experience what 1980s platformers were like in their heyday.

3D Platformers

Unless it's Mario, Sonic, or Ratchet and Clank, the heyday of 3D AAA platformers seems to have come and gone (unless you're Snake Pass!). However, the indie scene is also just now budding with potential for quality 3D platformers. And although I still feel we haven't fully reached the heights of what the other sub-genres have accomplished, there are still some great games out there. 

Yooka-Laylee

 

Developer Playtonic Games successfully kickstarted and released Yooka-Laylee only a couple of days ago, with the Switch version right around the corner. Despite the mixed reviews it's been receiving -- and not being exactly indie -- I think it's an important step in the direction of filling the void for 3D platformers from the indie-scene and shows what a non-AAA company can do within the platforming genre. 

Playtonic Games, for those who don't know, is made up of former RARE employees, and Yooka-Laylee itself is a throwback to the 3D collect-a-thon' platformers of old -- especially in terms of design. Running on the Unity engine and featuring a soundtrack from none other than Grant Kirkhope, I think it's a game that Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie fans are really going to appreciate.

Poi

 

Coming from developer Polykid and released on Steam earlier this year, Poi is another game that hearkens back to the N64 era of 3D platformers. But more specifically, it is heavily inspired by 3D Mario games in terms of design, including more recent games like Super Mario Galaxy.

In Poi you collect medallions that act the same way the stars do in the 3D Mario titles. It's a bit lacking in polish overall, but if you're a fan of 3D Mario games and need something to fill the void until Super Mario Odyssey this December -- then I can't recommend it enough.

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So as you can see, if you're a platforming nut and looking new, innovative platformers to sink your teeth into, the indie scene is ripe with casual and hardcore offerings to satisfy your every need. 

From 2D platformers to 3D platformers, indie devs are easily filling the platforming void left by AAA developers. 

But what do you guys think, what are some of your favorite indie platformers? Let us know the comments below and for everything platforming and indie related, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

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7 Indie Gems That Need to Be Ported to Mobile Devices https://www.gameskinny.com/03ifq/7-indie-gems-that-need-to-be-ported-to-mobile-devices https://www.gameskinny.com/03ifq/7-indie-gems-that-need-to-be-ported-to-mobile-devices Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Amy Turnbull

There’s no denying there are some amazing indie games out there, and many of the most successful ones can be found on Steam for PC, or on home consoles. With the ever-growing technology of mobile devices, and the rising popularity of mobile gaming, more and more indie games are finding a home on this platform. Not all developers are taking advantage of this area of the market though, so we’re taking a look at some of the current best indie games we think would fare really well on mobile.

1) Darkest Dungeon

This side-scroller gothic RPG from Red Hook Studios is a turn-based battle game with a twist. Instead of purely focusing on the characters' physical strengths and abilities, Darkest Dungeon has the player facing the emotional and psychological stresses one might experience living a life of gruelling adventure and hardship.

Tasked with leading your group through a dark and dangerous land 500 feet beneath the earth, you must battle not only the enemies you encounter, but also such atrocities as famine and disease, all while dealing with the mental stress of the darkness that is closing in.

Darkest Dungeon

While puzzle games and basic platformers lend themselves well to mobile gaming, we've seen with recent mobile games like Mobius Final Fantasy that RPGs (and particularly turn-based RPGs) can work surprisingly well, too. Darkest Dungeon would be no exception. The game's hand-drawn graphics are really neat, and the almost comic-book-like art style would transfer really well to mobile devices, providing a game that not only plays well, but looks great too.

2) Stardew Valley

Described by developers Chucklefish Ltd. as an "open-ended country-life RPG," Stardew Valley allows you to build up your own farm and surrounding land from scratch, whilst learning valuable skills like farming, fishing, mining, foraging, and combat. Much like with Harvest Moon, your character is just one part of a larger community of people that you will get to know as you play, making friends and even starting a family of your own if you choose to.

Like many games of this type, Stardew Valley can be quite addictive, with endless hours of open-ended fun to be had customising, building and maintaining your own little corner of the Valley. Basically, it's the kind of game perfect for dipping in and out of for short periods of time without having to commit to sitting and playing for long stretches in order to achieve anything.

Stardew Valley

As anyone that's had to turn their game request notifications off will know, Farmville is the most popular game on Facebook. It's an addictive simulator always within arms reach wherever you may be, thanks to its ease of access on smartphones and other mobile devices. Why not take that one step further, by bringing a more in-depth farming simulation game to mobile -- one that doesn't require the use of social media to run/play it? Stardew Valley would definitely be a good candidate for this, and has the potential for success in this area as it plays right into the hands of what mobile gamers already enjoy.

3) Death Squared

The recently released co-op puzzle game Death Squared, from developer SMG Studio, has already seen a lot of success while being showcased at various PAX events around the world.

The game requires each player (1, 2, or 4 people) to guide their own individual robot to matching, colour-coded goals, all while maneuvering their way around deadly hazards, and each other. When playing in one of the co-op modes, players must work together to solve these puzzles, all while preferably keeping each other alive. 

Death Squared

Death Squared is the Monopoly of the indie gaming world. If you love arguing with your family and waiting to see who flips a table first, this is the game for you. It is frustrating and endearing in equal measures. Death Squared's simple yet appealing premise, its co-op opportunities and the easy-to-grasp controls make it a great candidate for mobile gaming that can be enjoyed by casual gamers and even non-gamers.

4) Shovel Knight

With the recent release of the complete Shovel Knight compilation, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, on April 5th, now seems like a better time than ever to port this popular adventure game to mobile devices.

In this action-adventure platformer from Yacht Club Games, you play as Shovel Knight, a hero out to find his lost love. Using your trusty Shovel Blade, you must battle the knights of the Order of No Quarter and ultimately defeat their leader, The Enchantress. Treasure Trove also contains both the sequel and prequel to the original game, allowing you to play as Plague Knight and Specter Knight in their respective adventures, too.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Shovel Knight, Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight's 8-bit style will transfer easily to mobile devices, and the bold colours would look great on current technology. The basic side-scrolling method of play would work well with touch-screens, and the overall retro aesthetic would appeal to those that look back fondly on the 8-bit era of gaming. The whole thing has a very nostalgic feel to it, and with everything retro being so in right now, this endearing quality would appeal to gamers young and old.

5) Inside

This unusual puzzle platformer from developer Playdead is one of the top-selling games on Steam currently. It is visually beautiful; dark, creepy, and atmospheric, and this somewhat grim aesthetic and the accompanying morbid soundtrack (recorded through a real human skull) all work together to keep the player on the edge of their seat.

Inside's mysterious description reads simply, "Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project." The game's rather disturbing concept of human experimentation, and playing as a lone boy trying to escape the setting, is an uncomfortable experience, particularly if it all goes wrong and you have to watch the young child die. This game won't be for everyone, but for those that enjoy the macabre, it's a must.

This game is a sequel to its equally creepy predecessor, Limbo, which is already available on iOS and Android, but it also works as a standalone. It would be a great move to have Inside follow in Limbo's footsteps to mobile gaming. The game only take 2-3 hours to complete, but with its oppressive atmosphere any longer would probably be overkill. The resulting concise story, side-scrolling gameplay, and gorgeous graphics make this a great candidate for the mobile platform, and Limbo's success in that area would no doubt continue in this sequel.

6) Paradigm

This brand new dystopian adventure game, released just last week, is bizarre and hilarious in equal measures. Developed by Jacob Janerka, Paradigm was a huge success on Kickstarter, more than tripling its initial goal of $14,000. Described by Janerka as "Pixar meets Fallout", the game's quirky 2D graphics and numerous 70s and 80s pop culture references make for a delightful, if strange, gaming experience.

Paradigm is full of self-deprecating humor, as you play as the ugly-yet-confident protagonist of the title, a mutant who has to put aside his dreams of becoming a famous glam rock musician in order to go and save the world. Your nemesis? A tyrannical sloth named Olaf (yes, really). It's a tough gig, but someone's gotta do it.

The point-and-click gameplay makes this a perfect candidate for mobile gaming, with this method having easy compatibility with touch screen technology. The dark humour and overall bizarre story makes for a fun game to dip in and out of whilst on the move (though it's definitely not one for the kiddies!).

7) Undertale

Described by developer Toby Fox as "the friendly RPG where nobody has to die", Undertale offers a rather unique way of defeating foes, by offering friendly means of negotiation, such as sharing a secret, or doing a dance.

As the protagonist, you must find your way out of an underground world of monsters and mayhem, or risk staying trapped down there forever. Your choices in-game will determine your character's fate, so there is a lot of replay value simply by doing things differently each time you play the game through.

Undertale

Undertale is one of the most most popular and successful games on Steam to date, becoming an instant classic. The story-driven RPG is very reminiscent of old-school NES games like The Legend of Zelda, and that nostalgia and simplicity, along with a fun sense of humor, is really endearing. The game's existing popularity alone makes this a great choice of game to make more widely available, and with everyone and their dog seeming to have a smartphone or other mobile device on them these days, what better way to make something available to the masses than through a mobile port?

There are tons of amazing indie games out there, with more and more being released every week. With such a huge selection to choose from, and so many of those not (yet) ported to mobile devices, let us know in the comments what you'd like to see in the world of mobile gaming in the near future!

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Shovel Knight's Finally Getting the Spectre Knight Update https://www.gameskinny.com/wcqtt/shovel-knights-finally-getting-the-spectre-knight-update https://www.gameskinny.com/wcqtt/shovel-knights-finally-getting-the-spectre-knight-update Tue, 04 Apr 2017 04:39:05 -0400 Erroll Maas

Beloved 16 bit platformer, Shovel Knight, will finally be getting its Specter of Torment update on PC on April 5th, with the update coming to other consoles at an undetermined time later this month.

Specter of Torment is a prequel to the events of Shovel Knight and stars Specter Knight, who is sent by the villain, The Enchantress, to recruit members for her Order of No Quarter. The expansion will also cover the origin of Specter Knight and how he came into that position.

Shovel Knight Treasure Trove, a collection of all Shovel Knight updates and expansions as well as the first version of Shovel Knight to feature Specter of Torment, released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on March 3rd of this year. Shovel Knight Treasure Trove will be released for other consoles at an unspecified time this month for $24.99, and will include all previous and future expansions and updates. Current owners of Shovel Knight will be able to have their game updated to Shovel Knight Treasure Trove for free. The  DLC expansions will also be available as standalone titles for $9.99 each.

Shovel Knight was originally released by Yacht Club Games in 2014. In Shovel Knight, you play as the character of the same name, collect treasure, and fight against enemies with your trusty shovel.

The game released to critical acclaim and has had one previous DLC expansion released in 2015 called Plague of Shadows, in which you play as the character Plague Knight.

Shovel Knight is currently available for 3DS, Wii U, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita.

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The 9 Nintendo Switch Launch Titles & How Much They Cost https://www.gameskinny.com/vzbax/the-9-nintendo-switch-launch-titles-how-much-they-cost https://www.gameskinny.com/vzbax/the-9-nintendo-switch-launch-titles-how-much-they-cost Sat, 04 Mar 2017 14:57:42 -0500 Bryant Pereira

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Well, there you have it: all nine Nintendo Switch titles that will be available at launch. With a wide variety of games to choose from, Nintendo is aiming to have something for everyone.

Keep a look out for reviews of the games here on GameSkinny, and let us know in the comments below what you’re planning on getting at launch (other than Breath of the Wild, of course).

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2c64ccc4fb068557f20b9d01ee5ee7a4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2c64ccc4fb068557f20b9d01ee5ee7a4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10503","description":"
Skylanders: Imaginators
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  • Developer: Toys for Bob (Activision)
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  • Price: $59.99
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  • Availability: Retail
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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The original Skylanders spawned the toys-to-life craze that Disney Infinity and Nintendo’s Amiibos followed quickly after. A simple, kid-friendly platforming adventure game, Skylanders: Imaginators allows players to put Skylanders figurines onto the Portal of Power, which allows them to control the characters in-game. Imaginators brings in a new feature -- customizable characters. Unfortunately, the Switch port of the game will not support Traps and Vehicles from some of the previous entries in the series.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/9/d/r9dkah09oqbyygiizjch-bbefb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/9/d/r9dkah09oqbyygiizjch-bbefb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152212","description":"
Just Dance 2017
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  • Developer: Ubisoft
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  • Price: $59.99
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  • Availability: Retail/Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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From the debut release, Just Dance games have been a staple on Nintendo systems. The 2017 edition already released on the Wii, Wii U, and other consoles, but not launching on the newest system would be a major mistake. The Joycon remotes can be used just like the Wii Remotes are, as they track motion within the controller themselves. The base game contains around 40 songs, with much more available for purchase through the e-Shop.

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I Am Setsuna
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  • Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
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  • Price: $39.99
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  • Availability: Digital
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  • Buy it Nintendo.com
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Released last year to positive reception on PlayStation systems and Steam, I Am Setsuna is a JRPG that emulates the combat and themes of old school Final Fantasy games and Chrono Trigger. Fans of those series will instantly recognize the Active Time Battle system, random encounters, and storytelling. The story’s central theme is sadness and follows a young woman named Setsuna who must sacrifice herself to appease demons.

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Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
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  • Developer: Yacht Club Games
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  • Price: $24.99
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  • Availability: Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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One of the best examples of modern 2-D side-scrollers, Shovel Knight and its expansions "Plague of Shadows" and "Specter of Torment" will debut on the Nintendo Switch. The original game and Plague of Shadows were critically acclaimed and considered the best homage to classic 8-bit side-scrollers. The new expansion, "Specter of Torment," has players taking control of the Reaper in an all new story. The Switch version will have two player co-op as well.

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Snipperclips
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  • Developer: Nintendo
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  • Price: $19.99
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  • Availability: Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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A cute indie-like title that is, unfortunately, likely to fly under the radar, Snipperclips is a cooperative game where players can cut each other up into different shapes in order to solve puzzles and complete levels. The game supports up to four players, and like 1-2 Switch, is guaranteed to generate laughter as players either work together to progress through the game or purposely cut each other up to frustrate the other players.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/7/q/k7qemwjwn9qorbadm7zp-356df.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/7/q/k7qemwjwn9qorbadm7zp-356df.png","type":"slide","id":"152208","description":"
Super Bomberman R
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  • Developer: Konami
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  • Price: $49.99
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  • Availability: Retail/Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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Bomberman is coming out of retirement for the release of Nintendo’s new console. Returning in an old-school fashion, Super Bomberman R will look extremely familiar to old-school gamers. Similar to the Super Nintendo entries, Super Bomberman R puts players in a 2D grid where they must attack each other by dropping bombs. The game supports up to eight players both locally and online.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot04-ca041.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot04-ca041.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152207","description":"
Fast RMX
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  • Developer: Shin’en
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  • Price: $19.99
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  • Availability: Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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A spiritual successor to F-Zero, Fast RMX pits players against each other in anti-gravity vehicles for high-speed, 60fps races on futuristic tracks. The game supports up to four-player local multiplayer and eight players online. Fast RMX is a remix to the Wii U game Fast Racing Neo, with nearly twice the amount of content and improved graphics. Fans of Captain Falcon’s premiere series are in for a treat.

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1-2 Switch
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  • Developer: Nintendo
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  • Price: $49.99
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  • Availability: Retail/Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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This generation's Wii Sports, 1-2 Switch is a complete demonstration of everything the Switch is capable of. A compilation of 28 mini-games, 1-2 Switch will have gamers of all experience levels laughing hysterically as they milk cows, quickdraw against one another, and strut down a runway as a fashion model. The game shows off all of the features of the Joycon and can guarantee some laughs in any party setting.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8b13b6996459ac3131d55a5d130aa80f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8b13b6996459ac3131d55a5d130aa80f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10501","description":"
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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  • Developer: Nintendo
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  • Price: $59.99
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  • Availability: Retail/Digital
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  • Buy it on: Amazon
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The Legend of Zelda series is breaking the mold with its newest entry. The highly-praised game is a must-have for Nintendo Switch early adopters as it’s quickly become one of the highest-rated games of all time. Explore a vast open world, uncover hidden weapons and secrets, and save the land of Hyrule in the most progressive Legend of Zelda title to date.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/78841dd67151ed5f50b5929773659363.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/78841dd67151ed5f50b5929773659363.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10500","description":"

The Nintendo Switch has just released and it's brought with it 12 launch titles for gamers to choose from. Zelda Breath of the Wild is the obvious choice for most Nintendo fans, but for those uninterested in the series or needing something else to play while they take breaks from their long adventures, there’s a variety of interesting titles to choose from, both digitally and in stores.

Here’s a list of all the Nintendo Switch launch titles, what they are, and how much they’ll cost you.

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3 Hilarious Indie Games That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud https://www.gameskinny.com/lhepx/3-hilarious-indie-games-that-will-make-you-laugh-out-loud https://www.gameskinny.com/lhepx/3-hilarious-indie-games-that-will-make-you-laugh-out-loud Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:38:12 -0500 Rob Kershaw

As gamers, we sometimes need a break from killing, puzzling, or being overwhelmed by all of the earnest feels. Too often, the medium takes itself far more seriously than it needs to and overlooks the fact that, like film, there is as much scope for comedy in gaming as there is for drama.

Since many triple-A studios are happy to just pump out the latest dour iteration of whatever franchise their publishers think will sell, it's often down to the indie community to bring the heart of humor to the masses. We're not talking about the likes of Goat Simulator -- which, while amusing for ten minutes, was more physics experiment than game. 

There have been a number of standout titles that have justifiably succeeded because of their comedy, not despite it. So if you're looking for a giggle -- and in the current climate, the gods only know we need one -- check out these three offerings, and set your gaming dial to "chuckle".

Jazzpunk

If you're looking for absurd humor, Jazzpunk will deliver everything you want and more. Part exploration game, part avant-garde take on the spy genre, it refuses to take itself seriously for even a moment. While you have objectives such as infiltrating a "consolate" building, many of its finer moments come from traipsing around the sandbox world and interacting with the random assortment of people and things scattered throughout.

Side quests are as ridiculous as they are funny. You'll help a frog retrieve a "Starbux" password code it dropped in the road by playing a game of Frogger, where failure results in him wearing more and more casts and bandages. Maybe you'll be transported into a virtual pizza which spoofs The Shining, and makes you fend off angry toppings with a pizza cutter. Alternatively, you could end up in a cinema, throwing popcorn at other members of the audience for no good reason.

Jazzpunk succeeds despite not having a strong narrative thread or cohesion to its gameplay. It throws a lot of wacky ideas into the ring, and while some of them fall flat, there are are plenty more just around the corner to drag you back in. It rewards exploration, and searching around for the next bizarre joke is basically the point. It's a short game which could easily be completed quickly if you decided to speedrun it, but that would miss the point entirely. It's an experience to be savored and prodded, coaxing out its humor from every refuse-filled alley or deliberately locked door. If you ever wanted to degauss a pigeon, Jazzpunk is the game for you.

The Stanley Parable

If Jazzpunk is an out-and-out comedy, then The Stanley Parable derives its laughs from far more subtle elements -- the deconstruction of gaming itself. You play as Stanley, a silent office worker whose mundane life pushing buttons is upended when the computer he is working on stops giving him orders. He is forced to leave the comfort and safety of his office, and explore the building to find out what happened.

Unlike other first-person games, this story is narrated entirely by an unseen and haughty Englishman who directs Stanley to where he should go. The comedy -- and indeed, the entire point of the game -- originates in the choices Stanley makes, whether following the narrator or not. If you choose to defy the narrator, he becomes more and more annoyed, suggesting with increasing forcefulness that Stanley return and follow the correct path.

While the game offers little more than rudimentary mechanics such as opening doors and pressing buttons, its brilliance lies in the game's reaction to you willfully disobeying its instructions. Galactic Cafe have catered for every possible path you take and decision you make -- going down in an elevator when it tells you to go up, taking the right door instead of the left, and so on -- and the fourth wall is broken more times than you can count. There are at least seventeen endings and a plethora of Easter eggs to discover. When a second narrator steps in and starts deriding the first, you'll be shaking your head at how such a simple, yet fiendishly funny concept hadn't been realized before.

For all the laughs though, The Stanley Parable is also a deeper look at our own actions as gamers, programmed to follow the set route laid out by designers through visual markers, and constrained by the lack of alternatives to simply treading the line that a studio has laid out. The game even represents that idea visually, ultimately resulting in the game world breaking before your eyes as the narrator snarkily berates you. It's a hilariously dry meta-treat which all gaming fans need to experience.

Shovel Knight

As much of a revelation for its take on the platforming genre as its humor, Shovel Knight successfully delivers a robust and interesting throwback to NES-style gaming, while simultaneously delighting players with its corny dialog and spade-based puns. 

Though the gameplay and aesthetic may feel at times like Ghosts 'N' Goblins meshed with DuckTales, Shovel Knight valiantly forges its own path, giving you the option of destroying checkpoints for mega moolah and potentially sabotaging your game in an innovative risk/reward mechanic. Peppered throughout are wonderful characters, engaging bosses, and enough bad jokes to warrant eight hours of anyone's time.

It may not be a full-blown comedy, but Shovel Knight goes one better by layering the laughs onto a seriously impressive base game. It's occasionally self-referential, but never overly so; Kratos appears as a boss, but the rewards for defeating him make his appearance more than worthwhile. The insults flung between Shovel Knight and his foes never overstep their boundaries, and the entire experience is one of reverence to the genre, bolstered by pithy putdowns.

Still, if you fancy adding a dash of puerility to your game, you can always unlock Butt Mode which replaces many of the game's proper nouns with the word "butt". Seriously, it's never not funny. You're welcome.

Which indie games have made you laugh out loud? Let us know in the comments!

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Save the Switch: How Nintendo Can Save the Switch from Themselves https://www.gameskinny.com/zdbmw/save-the-switch-how-nintendo-can-save-the-switch-from-themselves https://www.gameskinny.com/zdbmw/save-the-switch-how-nintendo-can-save-the-switch-from-themselves Sun, 22 Jan 2017 05:00:01 -0500 Neal Cox

The Nintendo Switch is a bit of a mess.

We've discussed it many times here on Gameskinny, with some opinions ranging from positive to ehh. So it's safe to say that the presentation of the device on January 12 was not the knockout success that many people, including members of the press and myself, were hoping for. And, as more and more information has slithered out from various news outlets such as Nintendo of America, Kotaku and more, it seems that the situation for the handheld/console hybrid is getting more and more grim as time goes on.

So, now what? 

PART ONE: The Marketing

First and foremost: Nintendo needs to stop marketing the Switch as a console.

If it were more powerful in its console form, I would understand. But it's not. Even the master of under-performing, the Xbox One (which I love dearly), is out-classing it. I did not pre-order the Switch because it is a home console that can compete with my Xbox and PlayStation. Instead, I pre-ordered it because it was a handheld that could play real games. Not some hacked-to-pieces versions of games we love, but actual games that could be played on console or PC. 

So the fact that Nintendo is trying to market the Switch as a console that runs at 1080p (sometimes) in a world of Scorpios and Pros has me worried. Do they understand what they've got here? It's the Shield, but better. It's the Vita, but with more support. It's the 3DS with more power under the hood. It is quite possibly the future of handhelds and consoles. But if they don't treat it like that, why should we?

PART TWO: The Games 

The common complaint among those who don't want to buy the Switch is the games. The launch lineup is, to put it nicely, abysmal. Is it as bad as the Nintendo 64? No. There were only two games for that launch, but that doesn't make it right. And if this thing is still being marketed as a console against systems like the Xbox One and PS4, then it makes this lineup even worse.

And while I wish I could go back in time and tell Nintendo to get third parties on board for launch so we could have games like Minecraft, Skyrim and Shovel Knight now instead of later, I can't. Their first-party content, while usually awesome, will not save them (just ask the Wii U). So if Nintendo wants to keep people like me around, who see the potential and want Zelda, they're going to need games. 

In an article that was published on January 16 by IGN, it was revealed that talks between Gearbox, the developers of Borderlands, and Nintendo have broken down. While this is bad news to begin with, it is important to remember that Borderlands 2 was on quite a few systems. I even played Borderlands 2 on my Macbook back in the day. It didn't look good, but it was playable. If they could make it work on a Macbook in 2012, they can make it work on a Nintendo Switch in 2017. But it's not there.

On top of that, the Virtual Console, a feature that really could be saving the Switch in its early days, has not really been discussed. And from what little we have heard, it's not sounding good. From several demonstrations of games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8, it would appear that the Switch is not lacking in power on the handheld side of things. So the question becomes this: Who is holding Nintendo back?

PART THREE: The Software

I know what you may be thinking: Didn't we just talk about software? Yes, but this section refers to two other kinds of software: 

A. The OS/UI of the Switch

B. The Switch's applications 

With Subsection A, I want to start out by saying that, from the brief glances we've seen at the press conference, reveal and several demos, the UI itself looks great. Simple, functional and pretty, it appears that Nintendo was looking more toward Apple than Android for its design, which I think works better for a console. That being said, it seems that there are two functions of most modern consoles that the Switch is missing: voice chat and achievements/trophies. 

What about that mobile app that handles voice chat, you may ask? That is something that should have been baked in, rather than slapped on like some last minute addition that Nintendo forgot about. Xbox and PlayStation have voice chat built in. If this thing is a console you can move, why did you leave that out? And before Nintendo thinks they can just change their marketing and call it a day, both the Vita and 3DS have mics. This may be a pure hardware issue, but as I've said before in this very article, that doesn't make it right. 

Now, with the achievement and trophy deal, I can live with not having them. Do I like my gamer score on Xbox? Yes, I do. Do I like hunting for achievements every now and then, going back to games that I would have long forgotten about to get them? Yes. Does it give a longevity to games that they might not have otherwise? Yes. So why doesn't the Switch have them?

I have some ideas, but I'm saving them for later. So in the meantime, I will leave you (and hopefully Nintendo) with this: You can always add them with a software update. PlayStation did it, you might be doing it. But if you haven't started those plans, get them ready for E3. 

With the applications, it seems that Nintendo is missing something big. Something so big that very few devices do not have it. No, not tetris. They've got that. Sort of. No, I'm talking about Netflix and video-streaming services.

Sure, it's good to focus on games. We learned from Xbox One's botched announcement that too much entertainment will leave consumers, uh, less than pleased. However, there is such thing as a balance, and these kinds of apps are important to have on a system that you are supposed to be taking with you everywhere. While one of my colleagues believes that not having Netflix on the Switch at launch isn't that bad, I am inclined to politely disagree. It's one less thing that the Switch has to offer. And, as we've seen, the games are lacking, so this is not the time to be delaying features. 

So, if Nintendo's got Netflix in the pipeline, it would be best to get it and services like it on the system sooner rather than later. 

PART FOUR: Accessories

I could use this video to essentially summarize this entire article. It's not perfect, because I am not plagiarizing (please don't sue me), and our focuses are different. But it does a great job of nit picking the multitudes of missteps that Nintendo has taken with the Switch. One of the main points of this video, much like my article (still not plagiarizing) is the accessories for the Switch. 

 

This is an actual screenshot from Gamestop's website. One Joy Con is $49.99, before taxes. And that's just in the United States. What about in Canada, England, Australia, the EU and other countries with high taxes? 

If you lose a controller, or break it, you have to shell out anywhere from $50 to $80 to get it replaced. So why bother? Why not get an Xbox or PlayStation, get a controller with the console, and get another, full-fledged controller for $60? Sometimes they aren't even that much, if you get one used. The point is, we're paying for the tech inside of those controllers, whether we want to or not. I don't know about you, but I wasn't jonesing for HD-Rumble and evolved motion controls. 

On top of that, the system is launching with a meager 32 GB SD card. Sure, SD cards with higher storage might be easy to get, but that's another hidden cost that the system carries with it, unless you go all physical. So, Nintendo's got two options again: Stay the course, and scare people off, or, lower the prices, and make getting this "console" for birthdays/Holidays a little more affordable. 

---

I hinted at this earlier in the Software section, so I wanted to come out with it here at the end: The Switch seems a little half-baked.

It has so much potential, and from what we've heard from those who've gone hands-on, it's a well put together machine. But from its dismal launch lineup to its lack of features, it is apparent that this launch is premature.

However, I do not have a time machine. I can't go back and, with my "decades" of "industry experience," and tell Nintendo what to do. This is the world we live in now, and if we want to see the Nintendo Switch survive and thrive, it falls on Nintendo to start righting its wrongs. 

TLDR: Nintendo need to come out swinging at E3. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a member of the Games Industry, nor do I work at Nintendo. I do not claim to know how their business is operated or why they do the things that they do. I am also not claiming they are idiots. Nintendo hasn't been around this long because they're stupid. 

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The 10 Best Indie Games of All-Time https://www.gameskinny.com/us8ll/the-10-best-indie-games-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/us8ll/the-10-best-indie-games-of-all-time Fri, 05 May 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Curtis Dillon

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Well that's it for our list, and I'm sure you're all happy and agree with every game on here. All jokes aside, we want to hear what your favourite indie games are. Feel free to drop your personal Top 10 in the comments below and let us know where we went horribly wrong!

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There are so many amazing indie games it was super difficult to narrow this list down to 10 - hence the overlong honourable mentions. It pained me personally to leave out games like Oxenfree, Rogue Legacy, and Guacamelee, but that's part of the fun. The gaming world is so vibrant right now, with amazing titles coming out on a weekly basis. It's incredibly encouraging that six of the games in this list, came out in the past three years!

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Gaming is alive and well in every spectrum, the least of which is the indie scene. Games like Shovel Knight prove that what's old can be new again, while Everybody's Gone To The Rapture show immense beauty and a narrative that can only be told in a game. There's so much breadth and diversity that everyone can find something to love. And on that note, we also want to hear which of those 10 is your favourite! So get chatting in the comments and be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your gaming coverage!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/z/s/gzsf4r8-009db.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/z/s/gzsf4r8-009db.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148190","description":"
Honorable Mentions:
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    \n
  • Bastion
  • \n
  • Limbo
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  • Dear Esther
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  • Braid
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  • Super Meat Boy
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  • Hotline Miami
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  • OlliOlli
  • \n
  • Spelunky
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  • Rogue Legacy
  • \n
  • Oxenfree
  • \n
  • Thomas Was Alone
  • \n
  • Don't Starve
  • \n
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • \n
  • Actual Sunlight
  • \n
  • Three Fourth's Home
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  • Guacamelee
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  • Her Story
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  • Nidhogg
  • \n
  • The Beginner's Guide
  • \n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot3-dbdc6.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot3-dbdc6.png","type":"slide","id":"157674","description":"
Stardew Valley
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Stardew Valley is a phenomenon. Similar to Undertale, it has a rabid fan base and everyone that plays it falls in love. And there's a very simple reason why: it's addictive.

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I'm not a fan of farming simulators, games like Animal Crossing never appealed to me. Yet I kept hearing reverent praise for Stardew Valley, so eventually I picked it up on a PSN sale and figured I'd play a few hours before deleting it. 94 hours later I finished Stardew Valley.

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Why? Never before had I played a game with a better carrot on the end of the stick. Every day cycle in Stardew Valley lasts one hour, and in that hour you might water your crops, chop down some tree's, run into town and go fishing, and go to the bar to talk to the locals. Of course you could turn it off there but tomorrow you want to go to the blacksmith and crack open an ore, run down to the forest to see if the gypsy with the travelling cart is back, then maybe go up to the mines where you accidentally run out of stamina and pass out. You wake up the next morning and someone stole your money, so now you have to make it back, as well as check out the community centre, and maybe you have your eye on a villager so you'll want to bring them a gift. That's a quick example of how you could easily lose three hours to Stardew Valley.

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Stardew Valley is a really special game that is every bit as charming and fun as it is life-consuming. It's so much more than a farming simulator; Stardew Valley is like Animal Crossing meets The Sims, with a dash of Zelda thrown in. Even now that might not sound like it's for you, but I bet if you give it a couple of hours, you will be caught, hook, line and sinker.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ebd6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ebd6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148191","description":"

Shovel Knight

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Shovel Knight was a game funded on Kickstarter and one of the true success stories to emerge from the platform. Carrying-on the lineage of classic platformers like Super Mario World, Mega Man, and CastleVaniaShovel Knight didn't reinvent the wheel but it might have perfected it.

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Of course, in the world of gaming it comes as blasphemy to say anything is better than those that pioneered the way, those that people hold the most nostalgia for, but the reality is that Shovel Knight combined the best elements of all of those classic games to make the perfect action platformer. Even though it is an amalgamation of those games, taking the world map, inventory, and combat from NES classics, Shovel Knight was a success because it has a personality of its own.

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With whimsical characters, fairytale setting, and flawless mechanics, Shovel Knight did was so few other modern platformers were able to achieve: originality and peerless quality. Available on pretty much every platform imaginable, there's no excuse not to play Shovel Knight. Personally I played it on the PS Vita, where it feels right at home. Furthermore, Yacht Club Games, developer of Shovel Knight, has released two full-length DLC's, the most recent being a brand new game from head-to-toe, and there's more to come. Oh, and all of it has been free if you already own the game. That's fan service like no other. So, what are you waiting for?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/u/journey-21161.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/u/journey-21161.png","type":"slide","id":"148179","description":"

Journey

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Journey is often considered the crown-jewel of indie games. A break-taking voyage through a scorching desert in order to reach the shining peak of the mountain ahead; a deceptively simple premise.

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Journey celebrates the majesty of nature and offers-up an adventure that is as unforgettable as it is beautiful. The game clocks-in at around two hours and takes you through the full spectrum of emotions, from the awe of climbing your first dune and seeing the vista ahead, to the dread you feel when traversing the dark underground locales.

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And, perhaps most importantly, along the way you might meet a friend. As you play Journey you can encounter another traveller, who joins in your trek to the mountain top. This partnership formed the core of many Journey experiences, especially when the game ends and you realise it was another player and not just an AI. In all the online gaming house I've played, none has been as unique and touching as my solitary Journey playthrough.

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There's a reason Journey is revered to the extent that it is. It is a masterpiece of storytelling and visuals that manages to tug on all the right strings while not uttering a single word. When people say video games cannot be art, point them in the direction of Journey.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/n/gonehome0814131280jpg-88281b-1280w-607e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/n/gonehome0814131280jpg-88281b-1280w-607e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148186","description":"

Gone Home

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What can I say about Gone Home that hasn't already been said? The game launched in 2013 on PC and set new standards for environmental storytelling and progressive topics in gaming.

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Gone Home, from The Fullbright Company, tells the story of Katie, a college student who returns from a summer abroad to her family's new home in Oregon, set in 1995. The family is still in the process of moving, so there's a lot boxes and disarray around the home, and her parents and sister are nowhere to be found. Once again it's hard to say much more without spoiling the game for anyone.

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Gone Home, in a way, put "walking simulators" on the map. Even though the term is often used in a derogatory fashion, the sub-genre is alive and well, in large part thanks to the brilliance and success of Gone Home.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-010-02026.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-010-02026.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148182","description":"

Inside

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Playdead was always going to have a very hard time attempting to follow-up its smash-hit Limbo. However it did something much, much better; the team eclipsed every single element of Limbo and crafted a game so stylish and weird that it demands to be played. They crafted Inside.

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Not quite as grayscale as Limbo, Inside added a little red to the proceedings and some excellent lighting, to create a really stunning game. It's difficult to talk about the plot, or even mechanics, of Inside without delving into spoiler territory in some fashion. I will say that it plays a lot like Limbo but much improved, and I guess that kind of sums-up everything about Inside: it's Limbo on steroids.

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In short, Inside is a fantastic game that you should play. It's the modern evolution of the puzzle platformer, which uses all the facets of the genre to perfect it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-gone-rapture-screen-ps4-30jan15-aa6b8.jpeg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-gone-rapture-screen-ps4-30jan15-aa6b8.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"148181","description":"

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

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Set in a perfectly recreated 1980's English village, in which every single person has disappeared, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture tells a story of everyday life coming to an abrupt end.

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As a voiceless wanderer, you are guided through the picture-perfect village of Yaughton by an ethereal ball of light that seeks to reveal to you the mystery of what happened to the locals. The people have left behind literal traces of themselves, which, when prompted, take form and act out some of the last moments of their lives like a message from beyond the grave. You can follow these particular people and watch exactly what they did: who were they with? Or were they alone when they met their demise? Did they at least get a goodbye?

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The answers to those kind of questions are what pushes you through the game, while unravelling the much-larger mystery at hand. You become connected the the villagers, while never actually meeting any of them. Everybody's Gone To The Rapture is a testament to well-written dialogue and a perfectly created setting. These elements come together to weave a story that will tug at your heart strings as much as it makes you scratch your head and wonder.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friends-loser-833fb.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friends-loser-833fb.png","type":"slide","id":"148185","description":"

Undertale

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When you talk about beloved video games, you think Pokemon, Zelda, Skyrim, but you can definitely add Undertale to that list.

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Emerging from obscurity in 2015, there was a long ground swell of devotion and fanfare for Undertale. It seemed that everyone who played it, fell in love with it, and rightfully so; Undertale masterfully created a game that weaved typical RPG elements with original Pokemon-style graphics, and a fairly simple story. Then it took all of those elements and flipped them on their head; the story twisted into something much darker and revelatory (while still making you laugh), and the battle system changed, continuously kept you on your toes.

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Undertale is the perfect storm of mechanics, characters, art-style, plot, etc., melding together to create a masterpiece. It's an example of every single element of a game being utilised to further the experience and keep players engaged. Undertale is an adventure like no other and one I implore everyone to take - and you can play it on your standard laptop for $10!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/f/unfinished-swan1-212ca.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/f/unfinished-swan1-212ca.png","type":"slide","id":"148180","description":"

The Unfinished Swan

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Giant Sparrow is a games developer that was signed by Sony literally out of college, and the first thing they created was a plain white room, in which the player would splash black paint around. Eventually, after years of development, that rudimentary idea formed into The Unfinished Swan.

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Standing toe-to-toe with Journey as the best indie game on the PS3, The Unfinished Swan portrayed the adventure of Monroe, an orphan, who was only allowed to retain one painting from his mother's collection, after she sadly passes away. One night, Monroe wakes-up to find the swan missing, and so he leaps into the canvas and finds himself in a completely white world.

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The mechanic of the game sees Monroe throwing paint, which splashes on surfaces to reveal the world and help you navigate. The sheer sense of wonder that comes from throwing every blob of paint to find a mundane object, such as a park bench or a wooden crate, is equalled by the touching story of Monroe searching for place in the world. The game is a beautiful, serene journey, narrated by a soothing voice, that will stick with you long after it's over.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-review-screen-dacf1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-review-screen-dacf1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148183","description":"

Firewatch

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The first game from developer Campo Santo, Firewatch had lofty expectations ahead of its release in 2016. With a development team that worked on The Walking Dead and Mark of the Ninja, and art courtesy of Olly Moss, it's easy to see why this game was so highly-anticipated.

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Firewatch puts you in the shoes of Henry; a middle-aged man who needs a break from his difficult life, so impulsively takes a job as a forest lookout in the Shoshone National Park, Wyoming. The game takes place in 1989, a year after the horrible Yellowstone Fires. Playing as Henry, you have a walkie-talkie that connects you to the other nearest lookout, Delilah, who guides you through the first days on the job.

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Firewatch is sheer beauty. From the jaw-dropping art by Olly Moss, to the emotionally-charged voice acting, Firewatch is everything a narrative-driven experience should be. The gameplay aims to serve the story, and the overall package is so finely crafted that it's impossible not to become immersed in the gorgeous world that Campo Santo has created.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/z/fez-010-d9bf6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/z/fez-010-d9bf6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148187","description":"

FEZ

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Fez was arguably the first big-hit of the indie scene. Created almost entirely by Phil Fish, Fez is a marvel of game design.

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With mind-bending level design, in which you rotate the levels to progress, beautiful pixel-art, and pleasant sound design, Fez is simply a joy to play. Sure it might look like a Super Nintendo game but your SNES would have a stroke if it tried to play Fez.

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Fez begs you to explore its world at your own pace and it's a testament to the design that you can do so without getting frustrated. The first time you jump into the blocky world and the entire perspective shifts, you'll have a smile on your face and be hooked to the brilliance of Fez.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indies-a3c57.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indies-a3c57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148189","description":"

What defines an "indie game"? That is the question... that I will not be answering here today. That's right: I'm not about to answer the tired debate of what actually constitutes an indie game and what doesn't. Truth be told, the word has lost all meaning in the current development landscape of Kickstarter and Steam Early Access.

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For the sake of this list, we can agree that indie simply means downloadable title made on a low budget by a small team of developers. That, too, is redundant considering all games are available to download -- but I digress.

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Anywho, the world of indie games exploded onto the scene way back in 2008, with Braid. Back then, downloading a game onto your console was still a foreign concept and few gave the idea a second thought. Fast forward almost a decade and these games are making up two-thirds of the games released on PS4 and Xbox One.

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It took a long time, too long, for these games to get the recognition they deserve, with a lot of gamers clinging to the ignorant idea that if it isn't on a disc, it isn't worth their time. Thankfully that mindset is all but gone today, and most gamers use the valuable time between AAA titles like Resident Evil 7 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, to catch-up on many smaller games that can be completed in a single sitting.

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The best thing about the "indie" games, is that they are filling the void left by mid-tier developers like THQ. Such B-level video games have been replaced by passion projects that don't have the same requirements as a full-release title would -- for example, had Outlast released in 2007, it would have been 10 hours longer, you would have had a gun, and it would have been less impressive.

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The "indie" scene allows developers to be artistic and branch out, spreading their wings without pressure. Furthermore, we may have once considered an indie to be a side-scrolling, 2D game that could run on an SNES, but now it can be anything from Limbo, to Firewatch. There is no pigeon-holing or defining this aspect of gaming and I for one love it.

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So here we are, about to celebrate the ten best indie games you can possibly play. This list is in no particular order and it's important to remember that there is always a level of partiality, so do not be offended if your favourite title is merely an honourable mention. So, without further ado...

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Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and Specter of Torment Announced! https://www.gameskinny.com/23r0t/shovel-knight-treasure-trove-and-specter-of-torment-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/23r0t/shovel-knight-treasure-trove-and-specter-of-torment-announced Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:24:44 -0500 DannyPTP

Yacht Club Games have announced Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch!

Among these announcements, Body Swap Mode has been added. Have a look at these released designs:

In addition, co-op mode will be added to all versions, bar the 3DS and Vita. This allows a lot of replayability to the game and has been a requested item for some time.

Shovel Knight will also be rebranded to Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope to go with the new titles. Plague of Shadows will be released separately allowing players to go through Plague Knight's campaign whenever they want. Specter of Torment allows players to take on the role of the reaper, which will change things up.

Even more will be added in 2017! (Titles TBD)

  • Shovel Knight: King Knight’s Campaign – A crazy campaign with the gilded goob himself!
  • Shovel Knight: Battle Mode – Duel with up to 4 players as your favorite heroic or villainous knight! (3DS/Vita not included)

There's certainly a lot coming for fans of Shovel Knight. Will you be picking these up? Dig down in the comments!

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Shovel Knight has Pretty Much Become Indie Gaming's Mascot and That's Okay https://www.gameskinny.com/obtys/shovel-knight-has-pretty-much-become-indie-gamings-mascot-and-thats-okay https://www.gameskinny.com/obtys/shovel-knight-has-pretty-much-become-indie-gamings-mascot-and-thats-okay Sat, 05 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Damien Smith

Since the release of Shovel Knight, the character has become somewhat of a mascot of indie gaming. There has been numerous cameos of the character in a variety of games. Whenever a Shovel Knight cameo is announced there is massive hype for the characters appearance. Over the past two years, the knight has stood for the best of indie gaming and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Where it all began

The popularity of the character began with the release of the side-scrolling platform game Shovel Knight on June 26th, 2014. The game was developed and published by Yacht Club Games. It initially released on PC, 3DS, and the Wii U. Due to the game's success, it was later released on PS3, PS4, PSVita, Xbox One, Mac, Linux and Amazon Fire TV.

The game uses 8-bit graphics that are reminiscent the NES era of gaming. You take on the role of the Shovel Knight, who lost his beloved Shield Knight after being cursed by an amulet. The former Shield Knight becomes the Enchantress and raises to power, spreading evil across the land.

Shovel Knight, returns out of exile to face off against the Enchantress and hopefully turn her back into Shield Knight. You must travel to the Tower of Fate while facing off against crazy enemies and upgrade your shovel and armour. The game was met with critical acclaim, with reviews averaging at 85%.

As of April 2016, the game has sold over 1.2 million copies. The game is immensely popular, and the fans all came to love the character of Shovel Knight from their adventures playing as him. It was the beginning of what would create him to be the mascot of indie gaming.

Becoming a mascot

With the popularity of the game and its protagonist, it wasn't long before other indie developers wanted to have Shovel Knight featured in their games. Already he has appeared in two games.

The first being Runbow a platform racing game for the Wii U. The second game being Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, an action-platform game where he appears as a secret boss when using the Shovel Knight Amiibo.

He is also set to appear in five upcoming games. Hex Heroes, a party real-time strategy game, racing game Road Redemption, action RPG Indivisible3D platform adventure Yooka-Laylee and finally the Metroidvania title Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

The ever popular knight also had a cameo appearance in Sun Creature Studios' animated series The Reward: Tales of Alethrion. There are few video game characters that have had anything close to the number of cameos that Shovel Knight has. Making him one of the most popular video game characters ever -- he might even become as iconic as Mario or Sonic are today.

What is so appealing about the game?

Before Shovel Knight was even released, many fans who grew up with the platforming genre were longing for its return. After the 90s, the 2D platforming genre slowly began to die off in favour of 3D.

The design of cartoon-like characters was forgotten due to graphical technology slowly allowing for more realism with each passing year. Developers began focusing on more action orientated games, with characters that resemble real life people.

It left gamers with nothing but memories of the 'good old days.' Shovel Knight brought back the classic character design, with cartoon-like characters that are full of colour, but most of all humour. It is a game that not only looks like the games of old, but plays like them too.

It was created by a fan for the fans. It is what many gamers had long waited to see released. For those who owned an NES system, it was the nostalgia trip of a lifetime. For those who didn't, there were enough modern touches to make the game so appealing -- Shovel Knight doesn't play exactly like the classic 2D platformers, it plays exactly how you remember those classic 2D platformers.

With a loveable character, a classic story with a twist, infectious music, beautiful retro graphics, great gameplay and simply a great experience, there is nothing to dislike about the game. It is something that any gamer can pick up and enjoy.

Shovel Knight is a hero

Shovel Knight is a game that has revived a genre that had been lacking for so many years. Not only that, but it stands out as a beacon telling you, "everyone with the passion and determination can go out there and make a great game." It is a game that told the industry it was wrong.

The industry was wrong in believing that people only wanted better graphics and realistic gaming. It was wrong in believing that the platforming genre is dead. Shovel Knight told the industry, that there is always a place for such games to exist, and that plenty of gamers out there still want them.

The character of Shovel Knight is about being more than just a hero in the story of the game, he is a hero to gamers too. He brought back the love of the 8-bit platformers, and that has given him the imminence popularity. It earned him the badge of hero in-game and out.

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Shovel Knight to Make Guest Appearance in Yooka-Laylee https://www.gameskinny.com/1p65g/shovel-knight-to-make-guest-appearance-in-yooka-laylee https://www.gameskinny.com/1p65g/shovel-knight-to-make-guest-appearance-in-yooka-laylee Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:19:31 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Yooka-Laylee, the 3D platformer meant to serve as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, has recently had a new trailer revealed by developer Platonic Games. It's showing off a number of the games colorful and quirky characters, with a surprise. Among the revealed cast members was a very special guest, the stalwart hero who shares the same name as the game he stars in, Shovel Knight.

The newest Yooka-Laylee trailer went through a parade of original characters, all with amusing and expressive designs, as well as creative names to match them. There's Rextro the retro-gaming T-Rex, Kartos the mine cart whose name is a reference to God of War, and Trowzer the snake (get it? Trouser snake hahaha). But even with all of these interesting characters shown off in the trailer, Shovel Knight's appearance was still the most surprising, despite it being given away in the title.   

Interestingly enough the 3D model for Shovel Knight shown in the trailer was not made by Playtonic Games, and was actually made by Shovel Knight's original developer, Yacht Club Games. His voice was provided by Sean Velasco, who was the head director and designer for Shovel Knight, in the first actual instance of Shovel Knight verbally speaking out loud in any way. 

Shovel Knight was an indie 2D platformer from 2014 developed by Yacht Club Games that released to critical acclaim. Yooka-Laylee is coming from a developer that, while mostly composed by former industry veterans from Rare Ltd., is still independent and new to the world of gaming. With Yooka-Laylee's mission statement seemingly being to revive the fading genre of the 3D platformer in the gaming mainstream, it only seems fitting that it and Shovel Knight would cross paths like this at one point.

Yooka-Laylee is planned for release worldwide across multiple platforms in early 2017.

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Can You Dig It? https://www.gameskinny.com/9pmja/can-you-dig-it https://www.gameskinny.com/9pmja/can-you-dig-it Thu, 22 Sep 2016 11:18:24 -0400 Nintendude_13

At face value Shovel Knight may seem like a love letter to a simpler time in video games, but it is much more than that. As a gamer who was born during the heyday of the N64 and PS1 I have always found it hard to play games that predate that generation because of their unforgiving nature and obtuse level design. Shovel Knight takes the appearance of an 8-bit era game however and makes it feel welcoming to players of all ages.

Shovel Knight maintaining his routine duties.

Gameplay

The gameplay mechanics are simple at first; you can jump, dig/attack, and perform a jump attack midair on your enemies. I was comfortable with the controls immediately because of their simplicity and ease of use. As the game gets into the nitty-gritty more options become available to the player. Shovel Knight has access to numerous powers and weapons, akin to Mega-Man, that expand the possibilities of gameplay. The best part about these weapons, or “relics” as they’re called, is that they are all optional to acquire. Some you can buy from a vendor in the hub town and others you find within each level. However, you do not need any of these relics to complete the game; they just make things easier.

Aside from the relics, Shovel Knight has much more to teach the player. As you progress throughout the lairs of each enemy Knight you start to come across stronger enemies with more complex, or varying attack patterns. Keep in mind these foes are just grunts. There are bosses as well. Each boss, a Knight who is a member of “The Order of No Quarter”, has their own unique fighting style that can take some serious effort to learn how to fight. Enemies may take some time to overcome but it never feels like the game is being cruel to the player. With a nice mix of platforming thrown in, and optional checkpoints scattered throughout those levels, Shovel Knight has the best difficulty for casual and hardcore gamers alike.

Presentation

Now if you are someone who is not a fan of pixel art in video games then Shovel Knight certainly will not appeal to you. These classic games hold up just as well as the day they were released and Shovel Knight will do the same years from now. The game hearkens back to the 8-bit era of graphics in games and then pushes the limit of expectations. I am referring specifically to the mini-bosses and bosses. The characters and creatures looked so intricate and it was not hard for me to imagine these characters in a 3D world. Battle animations were smooth and quick, never suffering any drops in frame rate, regardless of how many enemies were on screen. That’s part of the joy of choosing an older aesthetic for the game; with modern technology you can make battles far more hectic without suffering any technical hiccups. Shovel Knight’s visuals are a great blast from the past that are nostalgic, while still feeling fresh and expressing all the uniqueness the game has to show off.

Music

Shovel Knight’s soundtrack blew away all of my expectations. Each track fits the scene it accompanies so well and sets the tone for the epic adventure you are embarking on. When I found myself dying repeatedly at the same spot I could never give up because the music was that of a determined knight on his quest. There were plenty of times I would find myself just listening to the music and not moving in the game. I am not the type of person to typically play with headphones either, but I wanted to enjoy the soundtrack to its fullest extent. I can’t say that any tracks were particularly catchy or that one stuck out more than any others, but I found myself enjoying all the music as I played.

Final Verdict

Shovel Knight is an old-school game through and through all the way down to the archaic story. There certainly is not much depth to it, but honestly it does not matter. It took me a solid eight hours to plow through the campaign (side levels and extra bosses included) and I preferred the simple story for something of that length. I was entertained by the dialogue between Shovel Knight and each foe; it added a light-hearted humor that gave the characters personality. I wish these moments had been expanded upon throughout each level as a whole. I felt like each Knight I faced was a one note character, and while I appreciated the dialogue they were given, I can’t help but feel that if they were given more screen time they would have given the world they inhabit more character. The story, simple as it may be, genuinely surprised me at the twist with the final boss (no spoilers here) and the ending was so cute that it warmed my heart to satisfaction. 

From start to finish Shovel Knight kept me entertained and impressed with its interesting level design, unique characters, and exciting gameplay. Shovel Knight’s campaign is just the beginning of this quest. Upon completing the campaign you unlock a plethora of bonus content. There is new game plus, a challenge mode for the levels, and the option to replay the campaign as one of the villains (titled as Plague of Shadows). Shovel Knight will keep the consumer busy for a while considering that the developer still has two more DLC updates planned. There are two more campaigns for villains expected to roll out and new modes accompanying those expansions as well. So, for $14.99 I think Shovel Knight might be the best value I have ever seen for a video game. After purchasing it, on sale at that, I felt like I owed so much more to the developer Yacht Club Games. With there now being a physical version of the game and an Amiibo available for purchase I am highly considering supporting the game as much as I can. I cannot personally recommend Shovel Knight enough.

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