With the trend in retro-styled indie games not showing any sign of stopping, it's especially refreshing to see a developer treat the style as an actual artistic choice and not an excuse to render game elements in the fewest possible number of pixels. The two-year-old developer Yacht Club Games - composed of former WayForward Games employees led by Sean Velasco - has proven itself one of these tasteful producers with the unveiling of Shovel Knight, an 8-bit style platformer, on Kickstarter.
Wearing its classic influences proudly (most prominently Mega Man and Castlevania, which the game's Kickstarter page and promo video both plainly admit to), Shovel Knight will task players with plenty of side-scrolling and platforming action as they guide the titular hero through varied environments with little more than a shovel and their wits. Don't be fooled by the colorful imagery and cartoonish designs; Yacht Club is out to make any victory hard-earned:
"We want to create fun and challenging gameplay," the developer says. "We want to both tug at your heartstrings and delight you with levity and charm. It’s such an exciting time to be a fan of games; the industry is experiencing a renaissance and creativity is flourishing. We are so, so excited to develop games that we love, in hopes that you love them too!"
Given the team's pedigree (counting Double Dragon Neon and Mighty Switch Force amongst their recent accomplishments) there's little reason to doubt that Shovel Knight will succeed at all of this and more. The game's Kickstarter drive has already accumulated just over $16,000 of its $75,000 goal, and at this pace should have no problems meeting the target by its end on April 13.