Shovel Knight


If you’re looking for a game that both looks and plays like something from 1989, this games will really excite you.  This game takes advantage of modern hardware to  — make a NES game?  Well, not quite.

Retro “8-bit” graphics are a common theme all over gaming, partially because they’re cheaper to design, but here it’s more than that.  Shovel Knight is designed to both look and play like a NES game.  It takes cues from games like Mega Man, Duck Tales, and Zelda II.  The engine plays smoother than what the NES could do, but the amount of times you will die because you didn’t do something perfectly is going to be high.

Let’s face it, modern games are often different.  They’re often designed more to entertain you than to challenge.  This game is a sort of middle ground.  While the game brings back memories of “Nintendo hard” with the number of times you die, it has a checkpoint system that means dying is always just “try it again.”  This maybe keeps the modern gamer from rage quitting and deleting it.  The sense of accomplishment isn’t quite the same, but I’m not sure we live in a world where many people would go for that sort of thing anymore.


  • In 2015 an expansion, “Plague of Shadows,” was added to the game, with a new set of content and new characters.
  • In 2016, another expansion, “Specter of Torment,” was announced for release in spring of 2017.

Fire Hardware Compatibility:

The game is listed as compatible with only the Fire TV platform, as the game requires a controller, and supports all hardware except for the 2014 Fire TV Stick, which is notably weaker in graphics capabilities than the rest of the Fire ecosystem.  Realistically there are probably not many hooking controllers up to their Fire tablets, and maybe it would lead to a lot of refund requests if it were marked as compatible with them, but there’s probably no technical reason it couldn’t be marked as compatible with any Fire tablet that supports the Fire OS equivalent of Android 4.2, the minimum required by the game, or basically anything from 2013 on.


As mentioned, the game requires a game controller.  And here’s where I have to either admit that I’m getting old, complain that all my controllers are lousy, or complain that there’s something wrong with the Fire TV platform and controllers.  I couldn’t play the game worth a flip on the D pad on any of my controllers, including the Sony DS4 which Yacht Club recommends.  I’m going to try a few more soon, and along with a different platform or two to see if it’s just me getting old or something else.

GameCircle Integration:

This game utilizes GameCircle, including Whispersync to store game state in the cloud.

Developer: Yacht Club Games (Android port by Trihedron)
Game Web Site:

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Amazon Links:

Amazon Download ($15)
My Amazon Review

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