Reviewed on PC, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

The gaming industry is attached to an invisible pendulum. In recent years, that pendulum has noticeably swung towards an appreciation of the old school, with pixel art, grueling difficulty, and seemingly ancient ideas made new again. Yacht Club's Shovel Knight is one such product of the pendulum swing, though it doesn't fall into the trap all too common with likeminded games. It isn't just some throwaway cash-in or half-baked concept designed to take advantage of the zeitgeist. It doesn't just look the part. It expertly plays the part, making it perhaps the best retro-inspired game since Mega Man 9 and 10.