I have been lucky enough to review Shovel Knight on the Wii U and on the PlayStation 4. You can go ahead and add the Nintendo Switch to that list and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove doesn’t disappoint. If you’ve already played the original and the Plague Knight spin-off, then I would recommend starting on Specter of Torment. If this is your first rodeo in the Shovel Knight universe, then you should jump right into the original. There are some minor changes/modifications to the classic but I’ll get to that in just a moment. Let’s jump right into it!
Before I begin, it appears there is some confusion going around the interwebs on what to purchase. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is the Original Game, Plague Knight, and Specter Knight. Whereas Specter of Torment is just the Specter of Torment playthrough so if you only want the next installment in the Shovel Knight saga where Specter Knight tries to assemble the Order of No Quarter, then Specter of Torment is for you!
As I mentioned there are new features in the returning game such as Body Swap mode and Sound Test mode. Body Swap mode allows you to switch the characters gender as well as how they’re referred to during ingame dialogue and text. This can be changed during anytime during gameplay so if you don’t’ like how something looks or reads, change it.
Then there’s Sound Test mode and Shovel Knight has some of the best old-school music around. You can listen to your favorite songs from the game in one spot and frankly more games should give you the option to listen to the great music in the game. One more major addition is co-op mode through the Shovel Knight Amiibo. You can use the Amiibo at Madame Meeber to unlock the Fairy of Shovelry. This little guy is the player two for co-op mode and can help out in tight spots so get your friends over and play!
Specter of Torment tells the tale of Specter Knight trying to break his bonds of servitude to the Enchantress and regaining his humanity. Will you be able to help him get it back? Specter Knight is pretty quick and with some equipment upgrades, becomes even faster. Try grinding a rail on his scythe and climb up a wall to get where you want to go and not think it’s totally badass!
You still collect jewels/treasure because it wouldn’t be a Shovel Knight without that but you also collect red skulls and Curios to fight. You will need to use the Curios carefully as you can attack with claws as well as regain health. Health and power in Specter of Torment is Darkness (Power) and Will (Health) so use them wisely.
It was interesting to see the how the game was reimaged in certain spots. What I mean by that is you’re fighting the same bosses that were in the last two versions of the game but the battles are different, variations if you will. Polar Knight is a good example since the fight is similar but at the same time there is a different feel to it.
You have Polar Knight throwing snow at you but you can jump over and then pillars start to fall. However you can run up these snow pillars and then attack from above. It’s changes like this that show Yacht Club put the time and effort into Treasure Trove. They could have given the same boss fights as before but they didn’t!
Where you upgrade is set up similarly to the rest of the games but the cast of characters is different as it looks like there are two “undead” cats among others. An interesting mechanic is that you can purchase you’re Curios item but you need to get out of the play area alive with it. Each area is pretty easy to get out of but be careful.
You’ll need armor and weapon upgrades to make it to your final destination and your ultimate destiny. Just like in previous Shovel Knight games, different armors have different abilities. Study what armor makes you stronger and that might be the difference in battle.
To Recap, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove: Specter Of Torment is the third installment in the Shovel Knight series and the first on the Nintendo Switch. It tells the tale of Specter Knight trying to regain his humanity from the Enchantress. Along the way he gains new powers and abilities and listens to some bitchin music along the way. The game plays and feels like a brand new Shovel Knight experience and it’s these reasons that I’m giving Shovel Knight Treasure Trove: Specter of Torment for the Nintendo Switch an 8.5/10. I would like to thank Yacht Club Games for the review code.