Shovel Knight was basically pitched to me this way: “It’s like 8-bit Mega Man meets the first NES DuckTales game.”
That’s probably the most spectacular description of a video game I’ve ever heard, and it’s actually fairly accurate.
Shovel Knight features the pogo-jumping mechanic from DuckTales, only with a shovel instead of Scrooge McDuck’s cane. Even if you can’t use your shovel to pogo across spikes the way Scrooge can with his cane, you can use that shovel to dig up gemstones, which is a pretty Scrooge McDuck-y thing to do.
And Mega Man. The level design brings to mind some of the the Blue Bomber’s 8-bit adventures. As does the music, though that’s largely the fault of Manami Matsumae, who wrote music for Mega Man and Mega Man 10.
There’s even a bit of Mario 3 in the mix too. I mean, look at the world map:
Simply put, if you loved the 8-bit era of gaming, or if you get a hard-on when you think about pixels and sprites, you should be playing Shovel Knight right now.