The Nintendo Switch may still be in its infancy, but it is quickly becoming a haven for indie titles and Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is one of the system’s best offerings. When purchasing Treasure Trove, you will unearth access to a ton of content – of which includes: Shovel Knight, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. However, the wealth doesn’t stop there, as you will also get Shovel Knight: King Knight’s campaign and Shovel Knight: Battle Mode – both are scheduled to release in the near future. By supplying Switch owners with a collection of exquisite titles, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is exactly what its name says: a treasure.
Both Shovel Knight and Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows have been released on other platforms, but it is worth mentioning that both games look lovely on the Switch screen. Whether being played on a TV or the Switch itself, the games run beautifully as there is no loss in performance when being played undocked. You are free to enjoy Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove anywhere during your leisure and you will receive the same quality experience whether being played on the go or on the TV.
There may be some concern over how the two games play and control on Switch due to the lack of a traditional digital pad on the Switch JoyCon. In our time with the games, we found that the analog controls were precise and offered plenty of control over the characters. If you prefer d-pad controls, you can always opt for a Switch Pro Controller.
The most recent release in Treasure Trove is Specter of Torment – which can be purchased as a standalone release from the Nintendo eShop. As exemplified by its individual SKU, Specter of Torment is an entirely new game; in which the player takes the role of the Specter Knight. The stages and boss battles found throughout this adventure are remixed versions of those found in the original Shovel Knight, but they now have elements that put Specter Knight’s agility and air slashing to proper use.
Shovel Knight could bounce off enemies with his shovel; whereas Specter Knight is an agile character and can perform aerial assaults by slashing objects/enemies diagonally and using that forward momentum to reach ledges or chain together several attacks to overcome obstacles. Specter Knight is a lot of fun to play due to his agility and flashy move set as it provides the player with more action than the standard Shovel Knight.
In terms of placement in the Shovel Knight narrative, Specter of Torment is a prequel and sets the bar for events that transpire in Shovel Knight. If you are familiar with Shovel Knight, you already have an idea of where the story is going to take you. Regardless, the action and level design offered in Specter of Torment will keep you playing for the duration of the adventure. As a standalone release, Specter of Torment is one of the finest 2D action/adventure games I’ve played in recent memory.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment are worthy additions to any growing Switch software library. If you are looking for an amazing action/adventure game, then Specter of Torment will more than satisfy that craving.
(Editor’s Note: A Switch review code for Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove was provided for the purpose of this review.)