I’ll keep this brief – so far I love Shovel Knight.

Shovel Knight takes what was great about classic NES and SNES games and brings them into a modern era. The graphics, music, and gameplay are strictly old-school, but the game runs buttery smooth and it knows exactly what it is as seen in the whimsical tone of the game. As with any platformer, gameplay and controls are king, and thus far, Shovel Knight reigns supreme.

Using his shovel as the main weapon, I was quickly able to use it as a pogo stick and bounce off obstacles and enemies to traverse across areas and gain access to the myriad of secrets hidden all over the early levels. Digging with the shovel and killing enemies gives you gems that tally up your gold, allowing you to purchase health and magic upgrades in the town.

After the first few levels I can say two things positively – One, I love this game, and Two, this game is tough. I’ve died more than I’d like to admit in the first few hours, but it never feels cheap, and it has only made be better at controlling my dear knight. Playing on the Wii U has been a joy, as at any time I can use the screen of the Gamepad as my main view, putting the screen close to my face as I twitch and jerking trying to survive.

I’ll have a full review coming soon, but for now, go ahead and pick up Shovel Knight. It’s fantastic.