Crowdfunding Spotlight – Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels

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When Shovel Knight developers Yacht Club Games released their original Kickstarter back in 2013, it amassed a staggering $311 thousand dollars. The game blew up in popularity and received several substantial content updates, with even more on the way. It’s time for Shovel Knight to return to the Kickstarter sphere once more; however, this time our armor-clad protagonist jumps from the screen onto our tables at home. The Kickstarter for Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels is live now, and is a tabletop adaption of the hit platformer.

Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels is created by Panda Cult Games in collaboration with developer Yacht Club Games. The target for this Kickstarter is $70 thousand, will two pledges: $40 and $70 each. For the former, players receive one copy Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels 2D Edition, while the latter grants players one copy of the 3D edition, which includes plastic models and more. But, before explaining these differences, how does Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels play?

What is Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels?

This is a tabletop game that accommodates up to four different players, although it is also be played solo. The retro, platforming gameplay from the original Shovel Knight translates onto the game board with figures and tiles. Players use an individualized, colored Shovel Knight figurine, while the opposite side of the board contains iconic enemies from the video game. These include Propeller Rats, Goldarmors, and more.

The game board uses tiles which contain environmental hazards such as spikes, and dirt mound tokens that contain treasure. The goal of the game is to collect as much treasure as you can by digging up these piles and defeating enemies. Of course, Shovel Knight is a hard game, so you won’t always be successful. Falling into a spike pit or succumbing to an enemy’s attack reduces your treasure in half, which can either be reclaimed by you or stolen by other players.

As you progress, the stage scrolls by removing the leftmost group of tiles, sliding the board back, and placing the next set of tiles on the board. This is to emulate the gameplay of the side-scrolling video game while introducing new hazards and enemies. Players might stumble across Chester the merchant, where you can spend your hard-earned cash to unlock new equipment; conversely, you might be lucky and find a strong relic like the Throwing Anchor underneath a dirt pile. At the end of a dungeon is a knight of The Order of No Quarter.

Players work together to defeat these bosses which utilize Boss A.I. cards. Kits for this Kickstarter include bosses such as the King Knight and Plague Knight. The player with the most treasure by the end of a dungeon wins. Because Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels utilizes miniatures, the aforementioned 2D version of this board game features 2D cardboard standees with bases, along with other necessary components to the game including dice. The 3D version includes physical, colored models. Board tiles are themed after different areas from the video game.

shovel knight tt board

The full board in action

What Stretch Goals Are Available?

This tabletop also features several stretch goals, although we only know of one at the moment. At $80 thousand, backers unlock playable boss heroes. This Kickstarter poses some challenges for Panda Cult Games, as well. Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels is slated to launch September 2020, should the campaign succeed. Possible risks include production issues, shipping delays, or issues at customs; however, Panda Cult’s team partook in over 20 Kickstarter campaigns collectively, with this being their second as a company.

Fans of the original Shovel Knight will likely feel right at home with the upcoming Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels. Again, it aims to emulate the gameplay experience of the video game into a tabletop form, while adding a couple more players into the mix and some good ol’ competitive fun. Check out the Kickstarter, which is live right now, by going to this link. For coverage of Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels from the show floor of Gen Con, check out our preview article!

Austin Suther

I love to write, and I love to game. So, I’ve combined those two hobbies into one! Some of my favorite games include Fire Emblem, Halo, The Elder Scrolls, and World of Warcraft. Sometimes I like to read the occasional fantasy novel, too!

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