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Shovel Knight Dig: Strike the earth! Again!

Exposition Owl

Owl of the not-so-wild
(he/him/his)
A while back, Yacht Club and collaborators Nitrome announced Shovel Knight Dig, which appeared to blend Shovel Knight chocolate with Steamworld Dig peanut butter, all in a gorgeous candy shell of modern hi-res pixel art. I’ve been over in the corner frothing quietly about it for quite some time.

But the time for quiet frothing is over, for the game will be released on Switch, Steam, and Apple Arcade on September 23rd! Let the full-volume frothing commence!

Also, here’s a trailer! It seems to star some Internet people that it expects me to recognize, but don’t let that put you off!

 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
(He, Him)
Oh good. I finally bought the puzzle game recently but I suck at it rather hard. This looks more my speed.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
I had been wondering where this had gotten to. Looks good! I'mma pick it up for my birthday.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
There's no Mac version and the PlayStation version isn't coming out until "later", so I don't own anything that'll let me play this yet. Boo!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Been watching a streamer (Barb) play this and it looks really good! Will probably buy it soon. The rockin' Genesis-style tunes are a definite selling point.

UPDATE: I DID buy it! And I even played a little! It seems very well-made and also pretty challenging, at least so far. Controls are actually fairly close to the original Shovel Knight, despite the Genesis makeover, so you've got a fair bit of momentum. The soundtrack is a total banger, at least so far. One thing I didn't realize is that this game was devoped by Nitrome, makers of Bomb Chicken. Which, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I was the only one here who had ever played that particular game. But they seem to have done a good job on this one!
 
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Aurelia

(she/her)
Do I understand this right, that the levels are randomly generated? A shame, because the artstyle is pretty great.
Yep!

Decided to try this game out on Apple Arcade as it was a lot cheaper than buying it outright ($5 vs $25) and it's pretty fantastic!

Not 100% sure if it's my favorite game ever, and I have sadly heard that it's quite on the short end (apparently the true ending can be finished in less than 10 hours?) but nevertheless it's still very fun.

I do however have an issue with how the game feels like it has weighted physics when compared to the original game? Either that or there's some form of input lag on Mac. It feels very similar but somehow quite different in a way that I can't really pinpoint.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
One thing I didn't realize is that this game was devoped by Nitrome, makers of Bomb Chicken. Which, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I was the only one here who had ever played that particular game. But they seem to have done a good job on this one!
Bomb Chicken is great! I’m really glad that developer is getting higher-profile work, they deserve it.

I’ll definitely pick this game up eventually but there is simply too much stuff to buy right now.
 

Kalir

Do you require aid.
(whatevs)
Yeah this is good. I can see a lot of good ideas here.

Here, some infoposts.
Basically: if you have a ring and would get hit with that ring's damage type, you take no damage or knockback but still get iframes as if you were damaged. This effect has a cooldown roughly twice as long as the iframes from getting hit last, so while you can't just, say, facetank the entirety of the Smeltworks with a Flameo Ring, it's more than sufficient to keep dangerous damage types in check.

As far as what elements are a threat in what area...
  • Explosive damage is more or less universal but especially prevalent in Mushroom Mines and Smeltworks so it's strong early.
  • Electric damage is almost exclusive to the Secret Fountain.
  • Fire damage is literally everywhere in Smeltworks and decent common in Magic Landfill.
  • Wind and ice damage are pretty much Magic Landfill only, but ice is nasty to get hit by since it freezes you for a frankly disgusting length of time and multiplies incoming damage.
In short: the elemental resist rings are very good and influence your route choice significantly if not going for a complete run. They're also my favorite implementation of a countermeasure in a platformer roguelike for status effects (something even Spelunky 2 hasn't really gotten right, and Spelunky 2 is amazing.)
Ordinarily, the game's path is Mushroom Mines -> either Smeltworks or Secret Fountain -> either the Grub Pit or Magic Landfill -> Drill Knight's Castle. However, the game has a Spelunky-like structure where, by doing special tasks in each zone, you can unlock an extended run that hits every area. I haven't completed it yet, but I did take some notes as to what you have to do. Here they are.
  • First, poke the owl at the campsite, they're a friend. The owl will indicate areas you need to go to and steps you need to take.
  • In the first zone (Mushroom Mines) you just gotta find them in a side room. Easy.
  • Second zone (Secret Fountain or Smeltworks) you need to buy the Cog on a String from Chester and then collect all three cogs anyway. Clear the stage to branch to whatever of the two zones you didn't go to.
  • Third zone you'll find some Griffoth statues, one per stage. Each one demands that you sacrifice something to open them. You get to choose, but yeah, do that for all three.
  • Fourth zone (Magic Landfill or The Grub Pit) you'll get the Skeleton Key. It's awesome and infinitely reusable, so feel free to ditch any other keys you have, but be sure to bring it all the way to the end. A special lock requires it and will open up a path to branch to the other zone.
  • Fifth zone is the hardest I've seen yet, haven't done this. You'll get a Siege Bomb that has a 60 second timer and a rock wall you gotta explode with it. If you drop the bomb by getting hit, play very cautiously, as a second hit will drop the bomb timer to 3 seconds and it's a very large explosion.
  • Sixth zone (Drill Knight's Castle) is where I don't 100% know what you need to do here, but survey says you can kill the hell out of the Omega Saw here with the end result of whatever you've got. So bait that sucker out and look for the weakpoint near the top of it.
 
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MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Just got my first clear - much more quickly than I expected to - thanks in large part to an item that doubled my max HP (but prevented me from seeing my remaining health during levels). A bit surprised to have already rolled credits after only four hours, but after reading Kalir's post it looks like there's still more to do. I'm not sure I would have made the owl connection based on the few hints the game gives you! I also still have a ton of armors to unlock, so far I've only found one of the missing blueprints.
 
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