Can you see yourself within the shovel?

The journey of Shovel Knight continues with the exploration of King Knight’s domain “Pridemoor Keep,” Specter Knight’s “The Lich Yard” and the Village. So far in the gameplay, interacting with the various NPCs has become worthwhile. Upgrades in health and magic capabilities have proven useful as the game really challenges the player to master the […]

The journey of Shovel Knight continues with the exploration of King Knight’s domain “Pridemoor Keep,” Specter Knight’s “The Lich Yard” and the Village. So far in the gameplay, interacting with the various NPCs has become worthwhile. Upgrades in health and magic capabilities have proven useful as the game really challenges the player to master the shovel. This is apparent in Pridemoor Keep when Shovel Knight has to maintain a downward shovel attack and jump over countdown spell books. Once the spell book is opened, it opens various others that form a path and once time runs out, Shovel Knight falls into a pit. Recovering, treasures in these situations is really difficult. In The Lich Yard, as well as in the battle with Specter Knight, the lightning in the background is a sign of ensuing darkness which requires the player to memorize where there are void pits and enemies. Ghosts and frogs are really tricky in these situations.  

This connects with Jamie Madigan’s points of “completeness of sensory information” and “cognitively demanding environments” which she uses as a meter of immersion. [1] The more abstract a game is the less immersive a game becomes. In regards to cognitive demanding environments, when the field including Shovel Knight becomes a silhouette, except for ghosts and dim candles/fires, the level has more of an ominous and haunted vibe due to the fact that the player is immersed in the darkness. The Village area is an example of completeness where the NPCs (non-playable characters) add to the immersion as each one provides a humorous quote or a distinctly different feature (examples in my other post).

The final point Madigan raises about “game characteristics leading to spatial presence”, is “a strong and interesting narrative, plot, or story will suck you in.” [2] What is unique about the this game is that the Order of No Quarter is a complete mystery, and so far much has not been said about The Enchantress, as well as the damsel in distress is a knight whose power is about equal or possibly greater than Shovel Knight. The sleep sequences make it feel as if though Shield Knight is dead.

Do it. In the dark.

Do it. In the dark.

1.Jamie Madigan, “The Psychology of Immersion in Video Games,” http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2010/07/the-psychology-of-immersion-in-video-games/, (July 27,2010).
2.Ibid.