Yahct Club Games and Nitrome Announce Shovel Knight Dig

The brand-new Shovel Knight game shakes things up with procedurally generated level layouts, new characters, and the quest to venture further down into the earth.

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.

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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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Josh Broadwell
Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.