GAMEPLAY: The mechanics are fresh and clever, as you dash into enemies or walls to create a spin attack you can use on other enemies and objects. The card game is also initially fun, but it lost my interest pretty fast.
AUDIOVISUALLY: Honestly I hate these brownish pixel visuals. Most of it looks like mud. The music on the other hand is spectacular, some of the best in the medium!
STORY/PRESENTATION: There’s a lot of humoristic dialog, but it’s not something that interests me. You’ve got a world map with levels on them, and to be honest it just feels too formulaic, too “been there done that”.
MULTIPLAYER: Unfortunately you can’t play the adventure in co-op like you can in the original campaign, but there is a separate “Showdown” released, which is a Smash Bros light. We tried one round, but it just felt messy. Might as well play Smash.
The original Shovel Knight didn’t actually do much for me. It felt too safe, too retro, not surprising enough. I might prefer King of Cards in some ways, as the levels are shorter and it feels more focused, and especially the later levels are quite creative. The visuals and the sameness bring it down for me. Despite the nifty mechanics, it screams “old”.