There isn't much one can say about Shovel Knight that hasn't already been said. We at Nintendo Life universally love the game and its two expansions, Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment, so when a collection of the three in one download on the Switch was announced, we were quite excited.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is the newest version of Shovel Knight, and the good news is all existing owners of the original get Treasure Trove as a free update. The Switch version of Treasure Trove includes the latest Shovel Knight adventure, the Plague of Shadows add-on and Specter of Torment, which we awarded a nine out of ten.
If you've never played any of the Shovel Knight series before, we'll briefly break down what to expect. Shovel Knight originally released in 2014 on a multitude of systems after an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign. The series is an homage to the 8-bit action platformers of yesteryear, with gorgeous pixel graphics that look like they would be right at home on an NES; in reality, of course, the visuals are well beyond what the original hardware could achieve, but the nostalgia is present and correct. The two expansions included in Treasure Trove follow the stories of two of the series' villains: Plague Knight and Specter Knight. Each of them have a well-written backstory and unique platforming capabilities, each replete with their own challenges.
Treasure Trove also adds a few new tricks, such as the ability to gender swap any of the game's main characters, making for a somewhat different narrative, though not in any material way. In addition to swapping folks' genders around, Yacht Club Games has seen fit to remove the restriction requiring one to own the Shovel Knight amiibo to play co-op. Some amiibo functionality is still in for Treasure Trove, however you now receive an adorable shovel fairy, from an equal adorable new character named Madame Meeber. Your tiny Shovel buddy will fly around, greedily attempting to pick up all the gems they can find, even those in hidden areas.
Beyond these new additions you have three chapters of Shovel Knight, each of which is a competent standalone game in its own right, with immense replayability thanks to the quality of each offering. If you want to know more, we strongly recommend you check out our reviews for both the original Shovel Knight , and the new timed-exclusive Switch Specter of Torment. Each campaign makes a fine, standalone game, but combining them gives a lot of excellent content in one place for new arrivals to the series.
Shovel Knight has always been excellent, but bundling these three chapters together, including new functionality, increases the attractiveness of an already incredibly compelling package. These games are fantastic, and having the complete Shovel Knight experience in one spot, clocking in at around 15 hours of gameplay in our case, makes this a must-have for Switch owners - especially those that have so far failed to dig into this game and its add-ons.