EXCEED: Shovel Knight Review

EXCEED: Shovel Knight - Level 99 games - $29.99
Shovel Knight Box 1 2048x2048

Game title: EXCEED: Shovel Knight

Game description: Bring the fast-paced action of head-to-head arcade fighting to your gaming table! Choose your fighter from an ever-growing roster of diverse characters, each with their own deck of special moves and supers. Play your cards to unleash fireballs, dragon punches, and deadly combos on opponents! Exceed is fast to teach, and easy to whip out as a quick filler, but it really shines with repeated plays! This box contains everything you need to run two simultaneous games of Exceed—perfect for a small tournament to cap off your game night!

Overall
3.5
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

New in the line up of EXCEED Fighting System sets is Shovel Knight, based on the insanely popular indie video game by Yacht Club Games. It falls in line with the previous sets where the basic rules are fairly simple to learn and the depth and strategy comes from the character decks used to play the game.

 

Pros

  • Fast-paced
  • Excellent character options
  • Tight, frantic gameplay

Cons

  • The rulebook makes the game seem more complicated than it really is

If you’re interested in my initial review of EXCEED, please check here.

New in the line up of EXCEED Fighting System sets is Shovel Knight, based on the insanely popular indie video game by Yacht Club Games. It falls in line with the previous sets where the basic rules are fairly simple to learn and the depth and strategy come from the character decks used to play the game. With 2 sets and 2 individual decks, there’s plenty of shovel-bashing action to be had.

EXCEED: Shovel Knight can be purchased as one large bundle, or as a Hope Box, Shadow Box, Specter Knight Solo Fighter, and Enchantress Solo Fighter. For the purposes of this review I took a look at the Hope Box which contains the following character decks:

  • Shovel Knight & Shield Knight – It’s dangerous to go alone! Shield Knight joins Shovel Knight to fight together as a team once again. Work together with your partner to double-team foes!
  • Propeller Knight – Swoop and dance through the arena, striking with grace and precision as you dismantle your foes! If things prove too tough, send in your artillery crew to blow away the competition!
  • Mole Knight – Undermine your opponents by tunneling across the arena, attacking from every angle and giving no quarter! When the going gets tough, turn up the heat with even more burrowing power!
  • Tinker Knight – It’s time to put your master plan into play! Though you begin each duel frail, use this time to build up your mech, then unleash havoc in the second phase of the battle!
DSC 0280copy 2048x2048
Everything in the Hope Box

Each character deck captures the charm and quirk of their video game counterpart. Shovel & Shield are particularly interesting because they can maneuver on the field independently to fight and get major buffs when in the same spot in EXCEED mode.

My only real complaint that each of the characters takes a bit of getting used to, and there’s no in-depth rules or FAQ on how they each play. The first time playing Shovel & Shield completely baffled me in particular, not really knowing how to control both characters at once.

All in all, this is one of my favorite EXCEED sets to date. It’s colorful, quirky, and a lot of fun to play.

A copy of the Shovel Knight Hope Box was provided free for review by Level 99 Games

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