Valencia, California developer Yacht Club Games has set June 26 as the official North American release date for their 8-bit-inspired platformer Shovel Knight according to a post on the game’s official website. The 2D side-scroller, which was originally scheduled for a September 2013 release but was repeatedly delayed to allow for extra development time and testing, is a designed as a homage to the 8-bit console era of gaming and has attracted a great deal of attention from nostalgic gamers.
Shovel Knight began as a Kickstarter development proposal over a year ago. Described as a “groundbreaking love letter to 8 bits,” the project succeeded in not only meeting its initial $75 thousand goal but went on to raise a grand total of over $300 thousand. The enormous community response to the game allowed it to not only gain access to distribution via Steam through Valve’s Greenlight program but also to release on the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS.
Shovel Knight‘s main selling point is its adherence to 8-bit era game design, including gameplay that, according to the developers, draws inspiration from Mega Man and Castlevania. The game’s graphics use only the color palette available on an original NES, though they do incorporate some elements like parallax scrolling to give “a real illusion of depth” without breaking the 8-bit illusion. Its audio follows similar design principles. Thanks to reaching its stretch goals on Kickstarter, the game will even be shipping in a physical box with an NES-inspired instruction booklet to early project backers.
The 2D platformer follows the story of a shovel-wielding knight attempting to defeat an evil enchantress and her council of evil knights, known as “The Order of No Quarter.” Each member of the eight members of the Order and the enchantress herself serve as the final boss of a level themed around their character, much like NES-era classic Mega Man. The game also promises to ship with a 4-player co-op mode as well as a battle mode with playable bosses from the main storyline.
If you’re interested in playing Shovel Knight, it will be available on Windows, Linux, and Mac as well as the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS on June 26. European gamers will be able to purchase the PC versions along with their North American counterparts but will have to wait an as-of-yet undetermined amount of time longer before the game is fully localized for consoles. You can also watch the trailer below or on YouTube.