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Former WayForward devs launch 8-bit adventure Shovel Knight on Kickstarter

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Yacht Club Games, a studio made up of former staff from Mighty Switch Force developer WayForward Technologies, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new game: Shovel Knight, a retro 8-bit adventure drawing influence from the Mega Man, Castlevania and Dark Souls games.

Players control the titular Shovel Knight on his quest to defeat the evil Enchantress and rescue the one he loves. His only weapon is a ShovelBlade, a multipurpose blade used to battle a retinue of evil knights and dig his way across the world. According the game's Kickstarter, each level is built around a certain theme and culminates in a boss battle also contingent with that theme. Each boss will have a unique look and personality.

Shovel Knight utilizes the color palette of classic Nintendo Entertainment System games, but with "many modern touches." Backgrounds will reveal different layers as players "scroll" through to create a depth effect. The Shovel Knight's combat mechanics have also all been built around one move, a downward thrust of a digging shovel. The Knight's abilities all stem from this one move: he can dig through dirt, stab down from above and flip enemies over with the flat part of the blade.

Yacht Club Games writes that while Shovel Knight is nearing the end of pre-production, "many things are still up in the air." The Kickstarter campaign will fund completion of animations, backgrounds and audio. An early build of the game will be playable at PAX East next weekend in Boston, Mass. Check out the trailer posted above for a first look at Shovel Knight.

Yacht Club Games was founded in 2011 by former director Sean Velasco and employees of WayForward Technologies, the studio behind Mighty Switch Force and licensed titles including last fall's Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage? The team has worked on titles including Contra 4, A Boy and His Blob and Double Dragon Neon, and created Yacht Club Games in order to create titles that "fuse modern and retro game philosophies."